Prime Minister Janez Janša and EU leaders on the socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic
A video conference of the European Council, called by European Council President Charles Michel, was held today. The heads of state and government and leaders of EU institutions discussed the situation and measures relating to the COVID-19 epidemic. Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša also participated in the video conference.
The leaders discussed measures to limit the spread of the virus, the activities of institutions to ensure the urgent provision of medical and protective equipment, the promotion of research, measures to tackle the socio-economic consequences of the epidemic, and efforts to help citizens stranded in third countries to return home.
Prime Minister Janez Janša welcomed the measures taken by the EU institutions thus far. Considering the urgency of the situation, he called on the Commission to speed up procedures and supplies as part of the joint procurement for the necessary medical and protective equipment. He thanked Czechia for helping provide the protective equipment. He highlighted the strategic aspect of protective equipment, which is of paramount importance in these times of crisis, as ammunition is in the state of war. The issue of the institutional ability to predict upcoming developments is also important; the question that arises here is why it took the World Health Organization so long to declare a pandemic. At the EU level, we need better coordination and a faster exchange of information and experience. It is also extremely important to take appropriate and timely action to tackle the socio-economic consequences of the crisis. "The dimensions of the crisis are enormous and can have great and fatal effects on the coherence of the EU and the economic and monetary union. In view of the extraordinary circumstances, Slovenia supported the initiative for a common debt instrument," said the Prime Minister.
The key debate was on measures to tackle the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic. The leaders welcomed the action taken by the European Central Bank and the European Commission. The debate focused on further measures. They invited the Eurogroup to present, within two weeks, proposals for a response that should take into account the unprecedented nature of this challenge.
The leaders also agreed that we should start to prepare the measures necessary to get back to a normal functioning of our societies after the crisis. This will require a coordinated exit strategy. To this end, they invited the President of the Commission and the President of the European Council, in consultation with other institutions, especially the European Central Bank, to start working on a proposal for a roadmap to recovery accompanied by an appropriate action plan.