Remarks by Commissioner Gentiloni at the Eurogroup press conference
"Check against delivery"
In the eight days since our last meeting, the seriousness of the outbreak has become clear to all of our citizens.
Europe is now the centre of this pandemic.
On this occasion, I think we should praise especially people working in our healthcare systems, all the people working there, as we do here in Brussels every evening at 20:00.
This fight for life is also, from finance ministers and institutions, a fight to mitigate, to tackle, the consequences of this crisis from an economic point of view.
We will have serious consequences.
Today, the purchasing managers' index for the euro area fell by 20 points to its lowest level ever, below even the level reached in the months after the Lehman Brothers crisis.
We acted strongly and fast.
I think we have to recognise this.
In a couple of weeks we took measures that only a few months ago were impossible to imagine.
We changed our rules, our fiscal rules.
Yesterday, the ECOFIN approved the general escape clause for our Stability and Growth Pact.
We changed our rules on State-aid.
We concentrated €94 billion from EU resources on initiatives to fight coronavirus.
The ECB took a strong, decisive step with its Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme.
And also Member States. At our last meeting we were aggregating about 1% of GDP on Member State measures. We are now above 2% of GDP.
Today, we discussed further possible steps through the ESM special initiative on coronavirus, through the EIB giving liquidity to small and medium-sized enterprises and through the Commission, the effort from the Commission to find new ways, using Article 122.2, to support jobs in this difficult situation.
These new steps we discussed today are steps we will deliver on soon.
These steps are part of a longer way.
Step-by-step, a European reconstruction plan should take place.
The coordination we are showing in the meeting today will make this possible.
+32 2 295 81 97
+32 2 296 49 76
Latest News from
Four Western Balkans’ fact-checking organisations join Facebook’s platform against disinformation14/08/2020 15:25:00
Disinformation and misinformation proliferated around the world including in the Western Balkans as the COVID-19 pandemic started. Western Balkans’ fact-checking organisations intensified their work on exposing and countering disinformation, raising the awareness and contributing to local public debates about the problem. As of 30 July, leading fact-checking organisations from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia continue their valuable work also within the third-party fact-checking program, which is a part of the Facebook’s strategy against disinformation.
Coronavirus: Commission concludes further talks to secure future vaccine14/08/2020 13:25:00
The European Commission yesterday concluded exploratory talks with Johnson & Johnson to purchase a potential vaccine against COVID-19. This
State aid: Commission approves €2 billion Italian guarantee scheme to support trade credit insurance market in the context of the coronavirus outbreak14/08/2020 09:25:00
The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €2 billion Italian scheme to support the trade credit insurance market in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.
Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the alignment of certain countries concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Venezuela13/08/2020 13:25:00
On 29 June 2020, the Council adopted Decision (CFSP) 2020/898.
Cambodia loses duty-free access to the EU market over human rights concerns13/08/2020 10:25:00
As of yesterday, 12 August, some of Cambodia's typical export products such as garments, footwear and travel goods are subject to the European Union's customs duties.
State aid: Commission approves €30 million Estonian measure to support Nordica in the context of the coronavirus outbreak13/08/2020 09:25:00
The European Commission has approved a €30 million Estonian measure to provide a share capital increase and a subsidised interest loan to the state-owned aviation company “Nordica Aviation Group AS” (“Nordica”).
Belarus: Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union on the presidential elections12/08/2020 15:25:00
On 9 August, Presidential elections took place in the Republic of Belarus.
Coronavirus: 23 new research projects to receive €128 million in EU funding12/08/2020 13:25:00
The Commission will support 23 new research projects with €128 million in response to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
State aid: Commission approves German aid scheme to support airports affected by the coronavirus outbreak12/08/2020 12:33:00
The European Commission has approved a German aid scheme to support airports in the context of the coronavirus outbreak.
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into public support for expansion of LG Chem's electric vehicles battery plant in Poland12/08/2020 10:25:00
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to assess whether €95 million of public support granted by Poland to chemical company LG Chem Group (“LG Chem”) for investing in the expansion of its battery cell production facility for electric vehicles (EV) in Biskupice Podgórne in the Dolnoślaskie region (Poland) is in line with EU rules on regional State aid.