European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has called on EU nations to invest billions in the bloc’s budget to avert catastrophic economic consequences from the current coronavirus crisis.
“We need a Marshall Plan for Europe,” she wrote in a guest article for the paper Welt am Sonntag, referring to the recovery program put in place by the US from 1948-1952 to help Western European economies after World War II.
She said that the EU budget was accepted by all member states as a means of leveling out inequalities in a spirit of solidarity and that it should now be tailored to cope with the crisis.
“The many billions that have to be invested today to avert a greater catastrophe will bind the generations together,” she wrote, calling the crisis a chance to renew the feeling of community among the nations of Europe.
The Marshall Plan, also known as the European Recovery Program, was a U.S. program providing aid to Western Europe following the devastation of World War II. It was enacted in 1948 and provided more than $15 billion to help finance rebuilding efforts on the continent. The brainchild of U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, for whom it was named.