Welcoming that an EU deal on a Covid19 recovery package and the EU Budget has been agreed, Cian O’Callaghan TD, Social Democrats spokesperson on European and Foreign Affairs, said:

“The agreement of a large European response to the Covid19 economic crisis is positive, but the deal and the manner in which the deal was made, means that there are really serious challenges ahead for the EU and its citizens.

“That the deal includes grants as well as loans is an important signal of solidarity amongst European nations, but the reduction in grant funding of €110bn and reallocation towards loans is disappointing.

“We saw in the last recession how the decisions and approach by the EU impacted people in Ireland and other countries leading to austerity from which many have not yet clawed their way back. There is a very high risk of the same now – countries whose economies were paralysed from Covid19, where major industries like tourism are devastated, will not be able recover at the same pace as richer countries and this will create further inequalities within the EU.

“It is welcome that our EU partners have agreed a Brexit fund which Ireland will benefit from as we face a perfect storm of the Covid crisis and a serious risk of a hard Brexit

“The cuts to health, research and the just transition fund to appease the so-called Frugals are deeply disappointing and the type of short-term thinking which creates long term crises.

“It is also very disappointing that conditionality on the Rule of Law has been excluded. The EU is more than a market, it is about protecting democracy and ensuring the fundamental rights of all its citizens. The EU leaders cannot continue to leave unchallenged the blatant curtailments of the rights of citizens that have taken place in countries like Poland and Hungary.”

21st July 2020

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