Video conference of ministers for European affairs, 26 May 2020

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Publication Date 26/05/2020
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EU Ministers responsible for matters relating to broad European affairs held a videoconference on 26 May 2020.

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There was an exchange of views on a comprehensive approach to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, including the de-escalation of containment measures and economic recovery. Ministers outlined their national measures and timelines, and also provided their views on a comprehensive economic and social recovery of the European Union. They outlined their expectations regarding adjustments to the proposal for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) to take into account the new realities and as regards the to-be proposed recovery fund.

A number of key areas of action were mentioned in the discussion, such as strengthening the single market whilst ensuring a level playing field, supporting cohesion and convergence, green transition and digital transformation, and enhancing the EU's strategic autonomy.

Several speakers pointed out that the Conference on the Future of Europe would be relevant for discussing with EU citizens and other stakeholders the challenges facing the EU in the medium and long term, including the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis. The presidency highlighted that its aim is to find an agreement on the Council's position on the conference as soon as possible and to engage on this basis with the European Commission and the European Parliament.

The Commission also informed ministers about the state of play in the preparation of the first annual report on the rule of law in the EU.

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