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BLOG, Replies to campaigns from citizens

Citizens’ enquiries on self-employed workers on e-commerce websites during the coronavirus pandemic

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Citizens often send messages to the President of the European Parliament (or to the institution’s public portal) expressing their views on current issues and/or requesting action from the Parliament. The Citizens’ Enquiries Unit (AskEP) within the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) looks into these issues and replies to the messages, which may sometimes be identical as part of wider public campaigns.

The President of the European Parliament has recently received a large number of messages on the situation of micro-enterprises and the self-employed, in particular on e-commerce websites, in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. Citizens first began to write to the President on this subject in April 2020, calling on the Parliament to encourage the European Commission and EU governments to ensure that micro-enterprises and the self-employed (for example those working on the Etsy e-commerce platform), are an integral part of any economic recovery package.

Please find below the main points of the reply sent to citizens who took the time to write to the President of the European Parliament on this matter (in English and in Italian).

Main points made in the reply in English

For several weeks, the President has been stressing the importance of addressing the negative impact the coronavirus is having on businesses.

We would like to inform you that, on 19 March 2020, the President stated the following:

‘Europe is moving. Faced with this dramatic situation, with a duty to defend lives, livelihoods, and stability for all, the European Union is acting. We are talking about an intervention that, overall, is close to two trillion euros. It provides useful resources to support our economy and our model of social protection. It will protect jobs, businesses, and ensure families are not left alone in the face of these challenging times’.

The President also stressed that we need to begin immediately preparing for the reconstruction  of our economies and our societies and to explore further synergies to provide emergency assistance to the sectors and companies affected by the crisis.

We would also like to inform you that the European Commission is increasing its response capacity by proposing to establish an instrument, called SURE, which will pay out €100 billion in loans to help workers keep their income and help businesses stay afloat. The proposal applies also to self-employed workers.

Lastly, we would like to inform you that you can follow the President’s activities on his website, where, amongst other things, you can take a look at his speeches and at the press releases on his statements.

Main points made in the reply in Italian

Da varie settimane il Presidente sottolinea l’importanza di far fronte alle conseguenze negative del coronavirus sulle attività economiche.

La informiamo che il Presidente ha dichiarato, il 19 marzo 2020, quanto segue:

“L’Europa si muove. Di fronte alla crisi drammatica che stiamo vivendo, di fronte al dovere di difendere la vita, il lavoro, la stabilità di tutti, l’Unione Europea sta reagendo… Parliamo di un intervento che, globalmente, sfiora i 2000 miliardi di euro… Saranno risorse utili a proteggere la nostra economia e il nostro modello di protezione sociale, aiutando il lavoro, le imprese, le famiglie a non essere lasciati soli ad affrontare questa stagione così difficile”.

Il Presidente ha inoltre sottolineato che è necessario iniziare subito a preparare la ricostruzione delle nostre economie e delle nostre società  ed esplorare ulteriori sinergie per fornire assistenza d’emergenza ai settori e alle imprese colpiti dalla crisi.

Le segnaliamo altresì che la Commissione europea sta accrescendo la sua capacità di risposta proponendo di istituire uno strumento, denominato SURE, che erogherà 100 miliardi di euro sotto forma di prestiti per aiutare i lavoratori a mantenere il proprio reddito e aiutare le imprese a restare a galla. La proposta si applica anche ai lavoratori autonomi.

La informiamo infine che è possibile seguire le attività del Presidente sul suo sito web, in cui potrà consultare, tra l’altro, i suoi discorsi e i comunicati stampa sui suoi interventi.

About Ask EP

The Citizens' Enquiries Unit provides information on the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament. You ask, we answer.

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