By the EESC Employers' Groups

To limit the economic and social damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis, we need a series of measures - first to cope with the emergency stage, and then to move on to recovery and rebuilding. The most urgent step now is to save businesses and jobs.

The key factor is ensuring liquidity for enterprises (especially SMEs). The Employers' Group welcomes all support measures deployed so far at both national and European level. Now we need to ensure that this money reaches businesses without delay.

In addition to financial resources, the smooth flow of goods, services and workers is vital for an economy and society in crisis. It is fundamental to keep critical connections functional - both the Single Market and international connections.

We need a clearly thought out, controlled and compatible approach towards lifting the restrictions and shifting general restrictions to targeted measures. The clear and predictable opening of the EU's internal borders should be part of the Member States' exit strategies. This should be coordinated at EU level to ensure a level playing field.

Testing, tracing and protecting people's health are key to minimise the risks in lifting the restrictions. Businesses have a great deal to offer in terms of practical solutions here.

Companies need to be constantly engaged in planning and implementing measures, as they have practical knowledge and expertise of problems, needs and possible solutions. EU enterprises in all sectors and of all sizes are doing their utmost to get through the crisis. Together we can make it happen!

If you want to know more about the Employers' Group's proposals for getting through the crisis, read our position paper:!Dp99Um (lj)