Managing the negative effects of the pandemic. The economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the labor market. It has led to deepening inequality, increasing numbers of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion, and hindered access to services.
Even though unemployment rates are expected to decrease in 2022, social repercussions of the health crisis need to be addressed.
The pandemic has shed light on existing imbalances and accelerated dangerous social trends, such as the precariousness of the living and working conditions of some group of workers, with a severe impact on the most vulnerable groups.
Strasbourg: Reversing the negative social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic (debate) – Renew Vlad Gheorghe’s European Parliament speech (15.09.2021).
The pandemic was and is a tragedy that turned our lives upside down, paralyzed our health and blocked the economy.
The consequences will be seen for years, if we do not act correctly.
Some have been hit harder by the pandemic: children and young people, women, the elderly, people with chronic illnesses and disabilities, seasonal workers, small entrepreneurs.
It is not enough to give record amounts for investments, we must fight corruption. It is not enough to give money from the Union budget if we do not fight the fake news phenomenon. It is not enough to provide funds to local authorities, if we do not tell them how to access them.
In short, to combat the danger that lurks along with poverty and deepening inequalities: rising extremism and social conflict, moving away from European values and updating the lack of trust in the Union.
I call on the Commission to act vigorously, with all European citizens in mind. I draw the Commission’s attention to the fact that all those who vote in the Union want facts, not European bureaucracy. They want concrete help, not official programs. They want to feel that they are better off in the European Union, not to hear speeches. They want proof that we are strong together.
We can’t just do this from a comfortable desk, looking at the papers, we have to listen to people, because they carry the burden every day and know best what they need. We have a duty and a responsibility to help them.