Video conference of the members of the European Council, 17 March 2020

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Publication Date 17/03/2020
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National leaders from the European Union held a video conference on 17 March 2020 to discuss EU actions in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Further information:

Heads of state and government focused on a set of priorities:

  • Limiting the spread of the virus;
  • Provision of medical equipment;
  • Promotion of research, including research into a vaccine;
  • tackling socio-economic consequences;
  • helping citizens stranded in third countries.

The measures included the reinforcement of the external borders by placing coordinated, temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the European Union for a period of 30 days. Leaders also endorsed the guidelines proposed by the European Commission on border management.

On providing medical equipment, leaders supported the Commission's effort to engage with the industry, run joint public procurement procedures and purchase protective equipment through the civil protection framework. The members of the European Council stressed the need to share information and to develop a vaccine and make it available to all those in need.

Leaders endorsed the Eurogroup statement of 16 March and invited the Eurogroup to continuously and closely monitor economic and financial developments and to adapt without delay a coordinated policy response. They also supported the various initiatives taken by the Commission in the areas of the single market.

Finally, leaders showed their commitment to coordinating between their embassies and the EU delegations in third countries when it comes to helping citizens stranded in third countries.

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European Council: Conclusions by the President of the European Council following the video conference with members of the European Council on COVID-19 (17 March 2020)

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