EU leaders are discussing common rescue package

Charles Michel: "We must mobilise all our energy to protect our citizens and help our healthcare"

Photo: EU Charles Michel

At a videoconference summit that is taking place on Thursday afternoon, EU leaders are trying to come up with a united position on how to help their troubled economies after the onset of the coronavirus epidemic and to reduce its negative impact on the citizens.

During their third in a row virtual meeting the members of the European Council are continuing to coordinate EU efforts on combating the pandemic.

“We will continue to act decisively to developments as they unfold and fight this crisis. We must mobilise all our energy to protect our citizens and help our healthcare”, Charles Michel, President of the European Council said before the session.

On the agenda, heads of state and government are putting main focus on the four priorities identified, namely on providing medical equipment, with a particular focus on masks and respirators, promoting research, including of vaccines and tackling socio-economic consequences of the crisis. Along with dealing with the rescue package, leaders are also committed to helping citizens still stranded in third countries.

On Thursday evening, the EP will vote during its special session in Brussels on the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative, which will make €37bn from the Cohesion funds available to EU countries to address the consequences of the crisis and on a legislative proposal to extend the scope of the EU Solidarity Fund to cover public health emergencies.

The draft of the Joint statement of the leaders reads that while the urgency is presently on fighting the coronavirus pandemic and its immediate consequences, “we should start to prepare the measures necessary to get back to a normal functioning of our societies and to sustainable growth, drawing all lessons from the crisis”. This will require an exit strategy, a comprehensive recovery plan and unprecedented investment.

Similar articles