Commission’s statements and actions today in response to COVID-19 pandemic
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen and the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, participated in the extraordinary G20 Leaders’ videoconference called by Saudi Arabia that currently holds the G20 Presidency. A commitment was made to international cooperation and assistance to vulnerable countries, and an emphasis made on the unprecedented action, and fast, massive and coordinated global action that is necessary on the health and economic fronts to save lives and avoid a further economic crisis. More specifically, in the Joint Statement released pursuant to the event, by the two leaders, the following was called for:
- Coordination of the G20’s macroeconomic policies, mobilising all instruments available, to mitigate the economic downturn, support workers and companies most affected;
- To assist each other in repatriating citizens stranded abroad who wish to return home;
- Keeping trade flows and supply chains open.
The Commission President also made a speech at the European Parliament’s plenary session, among others, summarising the measures taken thus far, and clearly reminding Member States that ‘there is not one single Member State that can meet its own needs when it comes to vital medical supplies and equipment’, and that therefore more cooperation was needed.