Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of State for European Affairs, met with her German, Spanish, and Italian counterparts via video conference in order to discuss the European response to the Covid-19 crisis.
The discussion notably focused on the need to implement a common European strategy to resolve the crisis and ensure economic recovery. In line with the guidelines set out by the heads of state and government on April 23, the four ministers underscored the importance of establishing an ambitious and solidarity-based recovery fund designed to help the regions and economic sectors most affected and to preserve European competitiveness. The proposals made by the European Commission over the next few days will be reviewed with this in mind.
European coordination of the strategies to lift the lockdown measures was also discussed in order to ensure the gradual resumption of economic activities and the movement of persons and goods, based on the evolution of the health situation. In this context, France, Germany, Spain and Italy agreed to work closely together on deconfinement in the cross-border regions, border management, the issue of intra-European tourism and economic recovery.
The discussion also focused on respect for the rule of law and fundamental freedoms, within the framework of the measures taken by the member states to respond to the crisis. France, Germany, Spain and Italy are exercising particular vigilance in this regard and support the initiatives of the European Commission.
Lastly, the four ministers discussed the need to start thinking about the post-crisis period, in close cooperation with citizens in the context of the Conference on the Future of Europe. The minister of state reaffirmed, in this context, the need for a radical overhaul of the European Union with the aim of drawing lessons from the crisis in order to make Europe more united, more responsive, and more sovereign, and ensure that it has strategic autonomy, especially in key sectors.