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EU gives go-ahead to EUR 540 bn recovery package

EU gives go-ahead to EUR 540 bn recovery package

EU leaders' video conference - Photo EU Council

(BRUSSELS) - EU leaders endorsed in a video call Thursday an agreement on safety nets for workers, businesses and sovereigns amounting to a package worth EUR 540 bn, calling for the package to be operational by 1 June.

At the video conference, the fourth video meeting of this kind, EU leaders discussed progress on the various dimensions of the European response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"It is of utmost importance to increase the strategic autonomy of the Union and produce essential goods in Europe," said Council president Charles Michel.

Leaders welcomed a European roadmap towards lifting COVID-19 containment measures, presented by Council presidents Charles Michel and Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on 15 April.

"We all agreed that the health and safety of our citizens comes first," said M Michel: "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."

The leaders 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.

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.

M Michel: "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."

At the meeting, some member states raised the illegal drilling activities by Turkey in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone. Leaders expressed their full solidarity with Cyprus and recalled and reaffirmed their previous conclusions on this issue.

Conclusions of the President of the European Council following the video conference of the members of the European Council, 23 April 2020

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