Head of the European Commission: EU needs the “Marshall Plan” after Epidemic

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The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, believes that the EU will need a new “Marshall Plan” to overcome the consequences of coronavirus pandemic infection. She wrote about in the op-ed in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “It is necessary to invest billions of euros today to prevent a catastrophe in the future,” wrote von der Layen. She also expressed confidence that large financial investments to help the European economy overcome the consequences of the epidemic “link generations to each other” and strengthen EU unity. The head of European Commission’s column main idea is the need for a radical revision of the EU budget for 2021–2027. In her opinion, EU countries should show solidarity by directing funds to this budget. The Marshall Plan - named after US State Secretary George Marshall - provided for US assistance to European countries after World War II. The countries of the Soviet bloc rejected this plan while the Western Europe states including West Germany accepted it. He helped rebuild the European economy, destroyed after the war. It does not follow from the text of von der Leyen that she means US assistance; the “Marshall Plan” is referred to as a metaphor for large and focused financial investments. There is now a discussion in the EU about what tools to use to overcome the recession that will, most likely cause the coronavirus epidemic. EU countries account for about half of all of coronavirus infection detected cases in the world - more than 600 thousand. More than 40 thousand inhabitants of the EU countries have died, most coronavirus victims are in Italy, Spain and France. The economies of the EU countries suffer not only because of the epidemic but also because of the quarantine measures introduced in most European countries - many enterprises have been closed, mainly in the service sector, border control has been reintroduced between the Schengen countries or the borders have been completely closed. The EU is also criticized, in particular for the lack of assistance coordination to the most affected countries, such as Italy.