Eurogroup debates EU response to Covid-19

The EU’s response to the economic and financial challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic was the main topic discussed in the latest Eurogroup meeting, bringing together the EU’s finance ministers.

During the meeting, which was held via video conference, finance ministers discussed outstanding elements concerning the European Investment Bank’s pan-European Guarantee Fund and shared views on the priorities for the EU’s economic recovery plan. The European Commission also briefed ministers on the amendment, adopted last week, to extend the scope of the state aid temporary framework.

The chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee Irene Tinagli also took part in the meeting, to hold an exchange of views with ministers on the economic outlook of the euro area.

“Member states have implemented a number of measures in order to lessen the effect of the pandemic. Despite these difficulties, member states have sent the National Reform Programmes and Stability/Convergence Programmes, but given the way the situation is evolving, we already need to update those plans and introduce a recovery budget,” Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said.

Scicluna also underlined the need to identify where to focus efforts, as well as the need to boost confidence and coordination at the EU level.