Catalonia’s pro-independence MEPs ask David Sassoli to reassign several EU Parliament budget items to fight the coronavirus

Pro-independence MEPs Diana Riba, Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí want the resources to be used for the purchase of health care equipment and for financing scientific projects to study COVID-19 considering the fall in parliamentary activity.

Given the fall in activity of the European Parliament in the coming months and the health emergency in Europe and the world, MEPs Diana Riba, Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí urge the President of the European Parliament to allocate a significant portion of the resources used to fund MEPs and their political action to the fight against the coronavirus.

The four MEPs say that the European institutions need to activate European funds and apply public policies necessary to overcome the current crisis. Different measures and initiatives to combat the pandemic will be approved at the plenary session on Thursday, which the pro-independence MEPs endorse.

But they insist that further action is needed and propose that all resources not spent in the European Parliament due to confinement be urgently allocated to European health.

They focus their request on three points:

  1. The General Expenditure Allowance is an assignation for each MEP of €4,563 per month, which is mainly used to pay rent for local assistants’ offices, transport, technical and office supplies, amongst others. As the activity will shrink in the coming months, they are urging Parliament facilitate the diversion of the MEPs’ allowance to health resources.
  2. Likewise, the Parliamentary Group assignations intended primarily for the organization of conferences, exhibitions, seminars and diffusion should be partially and proportionately diverted to the fight against the virus, since none of the activities mentioned will be carried out in the coming months.
  3. Since the Parliament will be making considerable savings thanks to closure in part or in whole, the MEPs request President Sassolí conduct an audit detailing the economic resources that will be saved, and that these resources be allocated to research on COVID-19 and to medical equipment.