Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, spoke yesterday by phone with Austria’s European Affairs Minister Karoline Edtstadler.
They discussed economic recovery strategies in response to the Covid-19 epidemic, particularly the recovery plan expected from the European Commission and the proposal presented by France and Germany. The minister reiterated the French-German proposal for an ambitious, temporary and inclusive fund providing €500 billion in European budget expenditures to support the regions and sectors hardest hit by the crisis. They also raised the issue of progressively phasing out the lockdown and the prospects for a coordinated return to the Schengen area without internal borders, to help revive the EU internal market.
The minister and her Austrian counterpart also addressed the progress of negotiations to define future relations between the EU and the United Kingdom. Lastly, they talked about the ambitions that both our countries have for the Conference on the Future of Europe with respect to strategic considerations of the European project, and including ample citizen participation. Both of our countries hope to see the Conference begin soon.