PRESS RELEASE 054
Spain, France and Portugal coordinate with a view to an ambitious European response to the COVID-19 pandemic
17/04/2020
The State Secretary for the European Union, Juan González-Barba, held a meeting by video-conference on 17 April with the State Secretaries for European Affairs of France, Amélie de Montchalin, and Portugal, Ana Paula Zacarías, to discuss a European response to the COVID-19 crisis. This is the fourth meeting under this format since they began back in 2018, which shows the will of our three countries to work in close collaboration towards a stronger, more united and more sovereign Europe.

The three countries are convinced that the response to the crisis should also be European. They also expressed their support for the measures already taken at a European level to coordinate the action by Member States, protect Europeans and help companies and workers. This coordination will be even more important in the coming weeks.

The State secretaries addressed the strategies to lift the lockdown measures, the economic response and the measures to recover from the crisis, as well as the Multi-annual Financial Framework 2021-2027.

Only through European solidarity will we overcome this epidemic and revitalise our economies. No country can recover by itself, which is why Spain, France and Portugal expressed their backing for an ambitious European recovery plan, with joint financing and in line with European priorities, particularly the fight against climate change, the EU’s digital strategy and the development of a more social Europe. This will be a test for the solidarity and credibility of the EU.

Europe must rise to the circumstances of this historic challenge, which requires real revision. The three State secretaries stated that a genuine European strategy must be forged on health, agriculture and industry, and a more sovereign and more united and supportive Europe must be built. Lastly, they agreed to work together to this end, particularly with a view to the video-conference of foreign affairs ministers to be held on 22 April and that of the Heads of State and Government on 23 April.

-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-​

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