The Secretary of State for the European Union, Juan González-Barba, has held a videoconference with the Secretaries of State responsible for European affairs in France, Amélie de Montchalin, and Portugal, Ana Paula Zacarías, to discuss the European response to the crisis of COVID-19. This is the fourth meeting in this format since they began in 2018, illustrating the willingness of the three countries to work closely together for a stronger, more united and more sovereign Europe.
All three countries are convinced that the response to the crisis is also European. They also expressed their support for measures already decided at European level to coordinate action by Member States, protect Europeans and help companies and workers. This coordination will be even more important in the coming weeks.
The Secretaries of State discussed the strategies for lifting the containment measures, the economic response and the measures to recover from the crisis, as well as the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027.
Only European solidarity will allow us to overcome the epidemic and revitalize our economies. No country can recover on its own. For this reason, Spain, France and Portugal expressed their support for an ambitious European recovery plan, jointly financed and consistent with European priorities, in particular the fight against climate change, the Union's digital strategy, and the development of a Europe more social. It will be a test of the solidarity and credibility of the Union.
Europe must rise to this historic challenge, which requires a real review. The three secretaries of state stated that a true European strategic autonomy in health, agriculture and industry should be built, and a more sovereign and united and united Europe should be built. Finally, they agreed to work together for this purpose, in particular with a view to the video conference of the Ministers of European Affairs on April 22 and that of the Heads of State or Government on April 23.