COVID-19 pandemic sees spike in EU social inequality

Even before COVID-19 came along more than 20 percent of EU residents were living on or below the poverty line.

Now things are getting much worse. The European Commission has just signed off on a so-called banking package designed to ensure financial institutions keep lending to households and businesses throughout the EU. Many day centers, food banks and soup kitchens for homeless people in the EU have closed due to a lack of protective clothing for staff. Other vulnerable groups are also at risk.

The European association of service providers for persons with disabilities has just issued a statement claiming there is a lack of protective equipment and testing for those with special needs. There is also a problem surrounding staffing numbers when it comes to careers.

Amid the lockdowns, domestic violence against women and children has soared. However, the most vulnerable of all right now are the elderly. In some EU countries more than 50% of coronavirus-related deaths are happening in nursing homes. All of this is fueling mental illness.

EU energy ministers held a video conference on Tuesday. They called for financial supports for their sector. They also agreed to continue to back the European Commission's much-lauded climate change agenda known as the green deal.

EU home affairs ministers met on Tuesday too. Most of their talks centered on the lifting of lockdowns. In this regard they agreed that member states should not go it alone. Apparently, cooperation and coordination in the EU has so far been patchy at best. Just ask Italy.