The Malta Independent 20 October 2020, Tuesday

EU support required to tackle job security, unemployment - Miriam Dalli

Wednesday, 1 April 2020, 17:54 Last update: about 8 months ago

As part of the Socialists and Democrat's task force working on measures to address the impact of COVID-19 across the European Union, Labour MEP Miriam Dalli is insisting on a protection net for workers, self-employed and small businesses.

Outlining the S&D's priorities, the Maltese MEP argued that the European Commission should launch a temporary European minimum income scheme to support those in precarious employment during this time of crisis. She also urged the European Commission to speed up its proposal for a European fund - known as the unemployment reinsurance benefit scheme - to top up the national unemployment benefit schemes.

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"With such measures complementing the work being done at national level by Member States such as Malta, citizens would have the peace of mind that the EU is truly supporting them in this time of need," Miriam Dalli said. She added that not knowing how long this pandemic will last, means that pressure on resources will increase.

These priorities will be included in the European Parliament's cross-party proposals to the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be voted upon during the next plenary of the European Parliament, on April 16.

Addressing a remote meeting of the Socialists & Democrats, with the participation of some 150 MEPs, Miriam Dalli insisted that the S&D should be at the forefront to ensure that no gap is left for a North-South EU divide, with the southern Member States being left to their own devices.

"We need to make sure that we protect our workers. In all our Member States, the most vulnerable groups are our own constituents, workers who are facing the possibility of being laid off," Miriam Dalli said.

"Over and above national initiatives we require an unemployment scheme that can provide a protective net to the many workers who are facing tough times and a European unemployment guarantee to support these workers."

A 2014 research study conducted by the European Parliament found that the establishment of a common unemployment scheme in Europe, in the course of the 2008 economic and financial, would have reduced the GDP loss in the most affected euro-area Member States by €71 billion, equivalent to circa €17 billion a year.

Despite the pressure put forward by the European Parliament for years, it was only last October that the European Commission committed itself to present a proposal on the EU unemployment reinsurance scheme.

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