|8 March 2022||
|Question for written answer E-000935/2022
to the Commission
Silvio Berlusconi (PPE), Antonio Tajani (PPE), Isabella Adinolfi (PPE), Andrea Caroppo (PPE), Salvatore De Meo (PPE), Herbert Dorfmann (PPE), Fulvio Martusciello (PPE), Aldo Patriciello (PPE), Luisa Regimenti (PPE), Massimiliano Salini (PPE), Lucia Vuolo (PPE)
Subject: War – economic measures in support of defence, families and businesses
|The energy shock that businesses and households have had to cope with for months is set to last. Thus, in Italy, energy bills already amounted to EUR 22 billion per quarter. Current estimates put the cost at approximately EUR 35 billion per quarter. Sanctions penalise not just the target but also those imposing them. The highest price will be paid by SMEs in the high-value Made in Italy sectors, which export EUR 2.2 billion’s worth of goods to Russia. The price of cereals, with an increase of more than 40%, is also likely to cost Italian farmers EUR 8 billion.
Given that the European economy is again on the brink of a severe recession, can the Commission say:
1. Does it intend to propose measures to make permanent the mechanism that has enabled NextGenerationUE to be financed through the common issuance of debt securities?
2. Does it intend to postpone the deactivation of the general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact?
3. Does it intend to create a new fund for the construction of our common European home, capable of financing common defence, common industrial and energy policy, common migration policies, support funds for companies for the increased burden of sanctions and infrastructure for the ecological transition and storage of raw materials?
|Original language of question: IT|
|Last updated: 16 March 2022|
Answer given by Mr Hahn on behalf of the European Commission
1) The Commission reacted swiftly to the crisis caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by mobilising significant funding, notably via the CARE package and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). The Commission is monitoring closely the economic impacts of the current geopolitical situation and stands ready to propose additional measures, in light of rapidly changing circumstances. This includes assessing, in line with the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) Regulation, revisions to Members States’ Recovery and Resilience Plans, should those be requested. The Commission is not working at this stage on changes to the NextGenerationEU (NGEU) framework.
2) The Commission provided guidance on the conduct of fiscal policy in 2023 on 2 March 2022, contingent on the evolving economic outlook, stating that fiscal policies need to stand ready to react to the rapidly changing circumstances. The general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact will continue to apply in 2022, allowing fiscal policy to adjust to the evolving situation to address the immediate challenges. On the basis of the Commission 2022 winter forecast, the general escape clause is expected to be deactivated as of 2023. This will be reassessed on the basis of the Commission 2022 spring forecast.
3) Existing funds under the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and NGEU, and the RRF in particular, will continue to support the recovery and to alleviate the impact of the war in Ukraine insofar as it is aggravating the COVID-19 crisis. As requested in the Versailles declaration and following on the Communication of 8 March on RePowerEU, by May 2022 the Commission will present the RePowerEU plan to phase out dependency on Russian gas, oil and coal by 2027.
 Regulation (EU) 2021/241 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 February 2021 establishing the Recovery and Resilience Facility OJ L 57, 18.2.2021, p. 17.
 The decision on its deactivation is based on an overall assessment of the state of the economy, with the level of economic activity in the EU or euro area compared to pre-crisis levels (end-2019) as the key quantitative criterion.
 Declaration concluding the informal meeting of the Heads of State and Government of Versailles on 11 March, https://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/54773/20220311-versailles-declaration-en.pdf