Government Statement following EU Council meeting
An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar joined fellow leaders, and the ECB President Christine Lagarde, at today’s video conference meeting of the European Council to discuss the immediate crisis and to chart a path towards economic and social recovery.
Leaders endorsed the package recently agreed by the Eurogroup - worth up to €500 billion - and asked that it be made operational by 1 June.
They also welcomed the Commission’s intention to undertake a sector-by-sector analysis on the economic impact of the crisis so as to better target supports necessary for recovery.
Leaders also discussed the urgent need for a Recovery Fund commensurate to the scale of the challenge. The Commission was asked to undertake further detailed work on this, including on how it might be linked to the Union’s budget, the MFF.
In his intervention, the Taoiseach joined those calling for a swift and ambitious EU response. He welcomed the Commission’s intention to undertake a sector-by-sector analysis, and highlighted acute difficulties in agriculture resulting from a collapse in exports and prices.
He stressed the need for urgent financial support for farmers under the provisions of the CAP.
He also called for a plan to be developed to ensure EU states have public health controls at airports before business and tourist travel resumes and so that it can.
And he spoke of the need for the EU to scale up its capacity to produce medical equipment and create stockpiles in advance of a possible second wave of the pandemic.