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First six months of 2020: Covid-19, investment in recovery, climate

To tackle the fallout from Covid-19, Parliament has pushed for ambitious and sustainable solutions for people, the economy and the environment. Read our overview of the first half of 2020.


By far the biggest challenge of the past months was the Covid-19 pandemic. The EU responded to the outbreak with immediate emergency measures and with long-term support for the recovery.

Emergency measures against Covid-19

Parliament approved initial measures to mitigate the impact of the crisis at the end of March. The focus of the first weeks was to slow the spread of the virus, provide EU-countries with medical equipment, promote research, boost European solidaritysupport the economyprotect jobs and repatriate tens of thousands of Europeans stranded around the world. Hundreds of billions of euros were made available.

Funds for vaccine and research

Parliament supported efforts to develop vaccines and effective treatments. The Commission rapidly allocated €48.25 million for 18 research projects with 151 research teams from across the EU and further funding worth hundreds of millions to develop treatments and diagnostics followed. MEPs stressed the need to ensure widespread access to affordable medicines.

Check out our timeline of EU measures against Covid-19

Parliament working remotely

The measures to contain the pandemic forced Parliament to limit physical meetings and work remotely. MEPs were still able to exercise democratic control and approve all necessary EU measures. For the first time, Parliament introduced a system to allow MEPs to vote without being physically present in plenary. Europe Day celebrations on 9 May, which this year marked 70 years since the Schuman declaration that led to the EU being founded, were mostly held online.

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