Dutch MEPs critical of European Commission's "too slow" response to coronavirus crisis
Most Dutch political parties in the European Parliament are critical of how the European Commission responded to the coronavirus crisis. The FvD, VVD and PvdA think the European Commission responded too slowly. The CDA thinks Europe is struggling because the Commission doesn't have the power to take real action. Only the D66 said that the Commission took some excellent initiatives, NOS reports after speaking to the parties.
According to the CDA, the reason that the European Commission could not take faster and more decisive action, is because it doesn't have the power to do so. "They have limited powers and try to coordinate," European parliamentarian Esther de Lange said to the broadcaster. "They did come up with a directive to close al external borders. The question is whether all countries would have agreed to that directive if they had made that proposal a few weeks earlier. I don't thinks so."
According to the VVD and GroenLinks, a big problem is that the European Commission isn't usually involved in Member States' healthcare. But both parties criticized the Commission for not responding harshly to Hungary sidelining parliament under the guise of the coronavirus crisis. "If the European Union says it is a community of values, that has to be tackled hard," VVD MEP Malik Azmani said to the broadcaster. GroenLinks MEP Bas Eickhout added: "You have to act hard against countries that abuse the crisis to break down the rule of law. This was very passive."
Sophie in't Veld, MEP for te D66, is annoyed by how Member States are fighting over protective gear, with each country mainly thinking of itself. She is also worried that different apps will soon be released in the different Member States, all of them tracking citizens' movements and whether or not they've had the virus. "Right now we need historical measures. This is the biggest crisis in 75 years and the European Commission must really dare to jump into the deep end and not keep walking on the Member States' leash like a lapdog," she said to NOS.
FvD MEP Derk Jan Epping told the broadcaster that Brussels only realized the magnitude of the crisis very late. "In February, a load of 55 tons of mouth masks was transported from the EU to China, while a little later we needed it ourselves," he said. "Now they're trying to make up for the damage by throwing billions at it."