By now, the majority of Member States have submitted their national plans, disclosing their intentions as to how they want to invest the monies from the EU’s Recovery Fund. Itt is not only Austria having a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the recovery’s social dimension. Hence, AK EUROPA, together with 20 other organisations is calling upon EU Finance Ministers to adopt a socially just and environmentally sustainable course out of the crisis. Everybody will be able to sign the petition until 14 June 2021.
The European Commission is currently reviewing the national plans of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, which will allocate 312.5 billion euros in form of direct subsidies to Member States. Due to the fact that by 31 May 2021 all national parliaments had adopted the resolution enabling the European Commission to raise capital on the financial markets, Member States can expect to receive the first subsidies soon.
From AK’s point of view, the Austrian Recovery and Resilience Plan fell short of expectations. Even if a significant part of the listed measures is definitely positive, there is a large social gap, which has to be criticised, in particular with regard to tackling unemployment and poverty. The problem of long-term unemployment, for example, has been completely ignored. Moreover, only about half of the funds made available by the EU can be evaluated as new additional investments. Apart from that, the involvement of the social partners – at least on the part of the workforce – has been reduced to a short conversation with the Minister for Europe and an email address to submit proposals to, even though Commission had explicitly provided for an involvement of the social partners.
Petition to EU Finance Ministers
To ensure that changes will be made within the scope of the Commission’s current review of the national plans and that funds will not be invested in projects, which do not contribute to a more socially just and sustainable economy, AK EUROPA, together with Finance Watch, ETUC and other organisations demands:
- No support for projects, such as fossil fuels, which have to be rated as non-sustainable and can be replaced by sustainable activities
- Focus all measures on people to guarantee high living standards for all
- Invest in the green transition and lay the foundations for an economy based on a resilient production and consumption system
- No return to austerity policy, which in particular in the 2008 financial crisis resulted in many EU Member States suffering from austerity measures
- Reform the EU Fiscal Framework to provide public households with scope for important investments
The more people support these demands, the louder the call to EU Finance Ministers to rethink the recovery following the Covid-19 crisis. Everyone can sign the petition under rethinktherecovery.org until 14 June 2021, thereby lending even more weight to the five demands to follow the path of a more socially and environmentally just Europe!