On 23 April 2020 EU leaders discussed progress on the various dimensions of the European response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It was the fourth video meeting of this kind.
Lifting COVID-19 containment measures
Leaders welcomed a European roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures, presented by Presidents Michel and von der Leyen on 15 April.
“We all agreed that the health and safety of our citizens comes first. We also agreed to continue to follow the situation closely, in particular as we approach the holiday season, and to coordinate as much as possible to ensure a gradual and orderly lifting of restrictions.” – Charles Michel, President of the European Council
Roadmap for recovery
EU leaders also welcomed the Joint Roadmap for Recovery, which defines four key areas for action: single market, massive investment efforts, EU global action and better governance. It also sets out important principles, such as solidarity, cohesion and convergence.
The heads of state or government endorsed the agreement of the Eurogroup on three safety nets for workers, businesses and sovereigns, amounting to a package worth 540 billion euro. They called for the package to be operational by 1 June 2020.
Recovery fund and MFF
They also agreed to work towards establishing a recovery fund. Leaders tasked the Commission to analyse the exact needs and to urgently come up with a proposal.
“This fund shall be of a sufficient magnitude, targeted towards the sectors and geographical parts of Europe most affected (…) We remain committed to giving the necessary impetus to work on the recovery fund as well as the MFF, so that a balanced agreement on both can be found as soon as possible.” – Charles Michel, President of the European Council
Illegal drilling in Cyprus
The illegal drilling activities by Turkey in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone were raised by some member states. Leaders expressed their full solidarity with Cyprus and recalled and reaffirmed their previous conclusions on this issue.
Video meeting with Western Balkans
EU leaders also decided to hold a video conference with the Western Balkans on 6 May 2020.
Compliments of the European Council.