PRESS RELEASE 063
Spain and Germany join forces to offer a European and multilateral solution to the challenges posed by COVID-19
24/04/2020
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, held a meeting by video-conference today with her German counterpart, Heiko Maas. At this meeting, the two ministers observed the good state of bilateral relations between Spain and Germany, relations which are particularly strong at this time of great difficulty and will continue to be marked by solidarity and trust.

At an economic level, Ministers Maas and González Laya remarked on the dynamic nature of our relations. As well as political ties, Germany was also Spain’s second largest customer for exports in 2019 and our main supplier, with a balance of economic relations that exceed 70 billion euros. Furthermore, in 2019, Germany was one of the leading emitting countries of inbound tourists to Spain. For all these reasons, Germany will be a key partner in contributing to the economic reactivation of the country after the COVID-19 health crisis.

The two ministers also had the chance to review the outcome of Thursday’s European Council, as well as to exchange information on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in both countries. They also discussed potential “de-escalation measures” pending adoption, regarding which they have already maintained bilateral contact.

In addition, Minister González Laya expressed to Minister Maas her best wishes for the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which will take place in the second half of the year. During that time, we hope to contribute to the promotion of our common values, such as respect for the principles of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, including within the framework of emergency measures adopted due to the COVID-19 crisis. To this end, Spain trusts it will be able to work alongside Germany on those matters of great importance that will be the subject of debate in the European Union during the German Rotating Presidency, such as the Multiannual Financial Framework and the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Minister González Laya and Minister Maas agreed on the importance of the current period for Europe, and that this presents an opportunity for our countries to once again show the strength of European solidarity. In this spirit, the two ministers agreed to urgently boost an ambitious post-COVID-19 Reconstruction Fund that caters for the needs of those who are hardest hit by the pandemic.

The two Foreign Affairs Ministers reviewed several matters on the international stage of interest. They both stressed the need to implement a prevention policy to tackle migratory routes, in cooperation with the countries of origin and transit. They also stressed the importance of supporting countries in Latin America, Africa and the European neighbourhood to respond to the health and economic crisis of this pandemic, as well as the need to strengthen multilateralism.

Lastly, Minister González Laya and Minister Maas reaffirmed the support of Spain and Germany for the work of the World Health Organization, and its importance as a global coordination body to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.


-NON OFFICIAL TRANSLATION-

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