Last week the plenary of the European Parliament has debated on how the EU must respond to the social and economic consequences of the war against Ukraine.
The leader of the S&D Group, Iratxe García stressed the need to bring the bills down for citizens and enterprises, and proposed a series of measures including taxing windfall profits of companies benefiting from the crisis.
García said: “Right now our policies must focus on people being able to pay their bills. No one should worry about having to choose between turning on the heating or paying for food.”
“The EU needs a permanent budgetary capacity and to also make a permanent job safety instrument, such as the SURE put underway during the pandemic. This crisis calls for strong and effective social safety nets. Part of this can be financed through the urgent implementation of a tax on profits fallen from the sky and a minimum tax for multinationals, not only companies in the energy sector. It cannot be that we ask for solidarity only from families and SMEs, those companies benefitting from the crisis must pay their share.”
“It is time for an in-depth reform of energy markets to reduce our dependence on Putin and on fossil fuels in general. I welcome the measures announced by the European Commission to reform the energy market. We have been calling for these measures for months now. But this is not enough. The plan to uncouple the price of gas from electricity is too weak, while the proposal for a dynamic cap on the gas price is delayed to the end of next year – when we have no time to lose – and too vague regarding the criteria.”
“We have a list of reforms that would ease the pain of citizens and re-balance the burden of the crisis, and we expect the Commission and the member states to work together with this Parliament on the solutions. It is unacceptable that the Commission presents its legislative proposals through article 122 of the Treaty, which is meant to be used only for exceptional temporary measures. We need a different legal base for the joint procurement: leaving the European Parliament aside on this crucial measure is outrageous and a lack of respect to EU citizens. The Parliament is ready to work urgently, like we did in the past with the Covid-19 crisis, and we want to do it now.”