Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, took part in the informal meeting of ministers for European affairs on May 26 via video conference.
The ministers discussed the following points:
- European coordination of post-crisis measures: In the context of the overall reduction in the number of new Covid-19 cases in the EU, the member states underscored the importance of easing lockdown measures in a coordinated manner. The minister of state notably underscored the challenge of ensuring a gradual return of free movement through the progressive and coordinated lifting of border controls, notably in the context of the resumption of economic and tourist activities, while taking the health situation into account.
- European economic recovery: While the European Commission will present its proposals today, May 27, the members states called for the implementation of instruments that would ensure lasting economic recovery in Europe and would also provide an opportunity to invest in the environmental and digital transformations. During the meeting, France and Germany presented the main components of their joint initiative set out on May 18, underscoring the need for an appropriate response to the economic shock, especially for the sectors and regions most affected, and to ensure that this recovery forms part of a political plan to promote European sovereignty.
- Conference on the Future of Europe: Several member states expressed the view that the Conference on the Future of Europe would provide an adequate forum for discussing the lessons learned from the crisis and the EU’s priorities with European citizens. In this context, the minister of state, together with her German counterpart, called for efforts to swiftly reach an agreement in the Council in order to make progress on discussions with other institutions aimed at quickly launching the conference.
- Rule of law: The European Commission provided an update on the preparation of its first annual report on the rule of law in the EU, due to be published in September. Several member states, including France, reaffirmed their support for this initiative and called on the Council to examine this report in detail in the fall.