Speaking at the opening of the European Parliament’s plenary session in Brussels, the second to be held remotely due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Parliament President David Sassoli thanked key workers for keeping Europe going. He said:

“Right now, our healthcare professionals are at the forefront of the fight against this virus. They deserve all our support, admiration and gratitude for the work they are doing and for the generosity they show even in the most difficult circumstances. I said it and I repeat it, the humanity of our citizens is our greatest asset.

“The small gestures of concrete solidarity keep us going. That is what Parliament wanted to do by opening its kitchens to prepare up to 1000 meals a day for homeless people and volunteers. We will also provide shelter for 100 vulnerable women in our Brussels premises. While in Strasbourg and Luxembourg, we have given the authorities the ability to use Parliament’s premises for emergency-related activities. They are the cities that host us, and we are forever grateful for that.

Speaking on the week’s plenary agenda the President added:

“It is especially important to keep our democracies alive and to listen to our citizens during this period. This week we will discuss and vote on a resolution on coordinated EU action to combat the pandemic and its consequences, along with other urgent measures. Our aim is to ensure the best possible actions are taken and highlight the funds that are needed to ensure the maximum possible resources are available to Member States. We must be ambitious because European citizens need a rapid response.

“At this moment we must be the voice of our brave citizens, contribute to this fight with discipline, and do what we can to build a better future.”

The full text of the speech is available here