In the position, the main issues relate in particular to the following:
• Financial assistance for companies and businesses: Many states have quickly adopted massive economic stabilisation packages and financially protect and ensure monetary liquidity for all affected companies, businesses, employees and citizens. This will be vital to prevent or at least mitigate larger-scale economic downturn, rising unemployment and financial problems of households and families.
• Safeguarding of employment: The EU via its structural funds and the Member States via public investments need to ensure financial and income support for those employees and workers who are hit by unemployment, short work or a temporary reduction of work.
• Performing public health services: In the future considerable investments will be needed to bring the resilience of health systems to a higher level. This concerns equipment, facilities, staff levels and employment conditions.
• More competence for the EU and solidarity among the Member States in cases of pandemics: CESI acknowledges the tremendous efforts which have been undertaken by different actors since the beginning of the crisis, but crisis preparedness and management will have to be further improved in Europe.
• A strong public service for sustainable societies: More public investments will be needed in the future also in other public services.
It is the public sector which is ‘essential’. It cares, protects and supports – the citizens, the society and the economy. It determines whether societies are sustainable or not. And the need for strong public services is increasingly recognised among citizens, the media and politicians.
• Paying of tribute to the heroes of the crisis: The doctors, nurses and hospital administration staff: They are at constant risk of own infection and the truly indispensable ones who deserve extra respect and thankfulness. But not only them: All those who keep key public services going at this very crucial moment, often also at elevated health risks, deserve deep appreciation. As do private-sector employees in sectors that need to stay operational.
• Act together hand in hand: Despite all margins for further improvements in the future, a multitude of actors have shown their willingness and ability for concerted efforts and actions. CESI expresses its gratitude to those acting in the common interest of us all.
Picture: © CESI 2020