State Secretary for the EU travels to Brussels to promote European Recovery Plan

The State Secretary for the European Union, Juan González-Barba, travelled to Brussels this week to promote the European Recovery Plan. He said “we need to close the negotiations on the recovery package quickly. We cannot drag our heels in the face of such an unprecedented challenge because the economic consequences would only intensify. The European Union needs to move forward with a joint and ambitious plan for economic recovery, improve our healthcare preparedness for pandemics, not leave anyone behind and not miss the bus to the eco-friendly and digital future”. The trip took place just a few days before a key European Council on 17 and 18 July, at which European leaders - now face-to-face - hope to reach an agreement on the Recovery Plan.

On this trip, the State Secretary was able to start a round of meetings with numerous European Commissioners. The EU Commissioners with whom he met included Vice-President Věra Jourová (Values and Transparency); Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič (Institutional Relations), Vice-President Margaritis Schinas (Promoting the European Way of Life); and Vice-President Dubravka Šuica (Democracy and Demography), as well as European Commissioners Johannes Hahn (Budget and Administration) and Nicolas Schmit (Jobs and Social Rights).

During the course of these meetings, Juan González-Barba had the opportunity to exchange views and convey the Spanish position on some of the top-priority issues for Spain, such as the Social Pillar, reform of the immigration and asylum system and the demographic challenge. Naturally, the ongoing negotiations around the Multiannual Financial Framework and the Recovery Plan featured heavily in the conversations. “Moving forward with the recovery plan will send a very strong message to the markets and our partners that the European Union is a sound project that wants to and indeed can play an important role on the international stage. If we cannot reach an agreement, we all lose. The people of Europe would not understand. The Government of Spain is ready to promote the agreement at a European level”, said the State Secretary for the EU.

He also met with Michel Barnier, EU negotiator for relations with the United Kingdom, to discuss the status of talks with the British on the future relationship.

Juan González-Barba also had the opportunity to meet with the Secretary-General of the European Commission to discuss the issue of a presence by Spanish citizens at the European Institutions. He also met with a number of European MPs, given the importance of the European Parliament in the measures to combat COVID-19 and the negotiations around the European recovery package and the Multiannual Financial Framework.





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