Taoiseach welcomes proposed €750bn EU Covid-19 recovery fund

Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar has welcomed the proposal today by the European Commission of a €750bn fund to help the bloc's economy through the recession induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Taoiseach welcomes proposed €750bn EU Covid-19 recovery fund

Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar has welcomed the proposal today by the European Commission of a €750bn fund to help the bloc's economy through the recession induced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, unveiled details of the plans today in the European Parliament.

Commissioner Paoloa Gentiloni, who is in charge of economic affairs at the EU's executive body, confirmed the size of the fund in a tweet today.

The recovery initiative, which is called Next Generation EU, will go to help EU countries, regions and sectors of economies struggling with the fallout of the pandemic.

The move comes as the 27-nation trading bloc is set to enter its deepest-ever recession.

Virtually every country has broken the EU’s deficit.

Explaining the initiative to MEPs today, Ms von der Leyen said: "Next Generation EU will invest in repairing our social fabric, protect our single market, help rebalancing balance sheets across Europe and while we are doing this we need to press fast forward to what is a green, digital and resilient future because this is the future of Europe's next generation."

Responding to the news, Mr Varadkar said: "We need to kick-start economic and social recovery and get funds flowing to the sectors and regions that need them most.

"This proposal for a substantial, frontloaded recovery instrument comes on top of the three safety nets of up to €540 billion already agreed by EU leaders to support citizens, businesses, and countries.

"I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues in the European Council to reach an early agreement."

Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee said the announcement demonstrates EU solidarity "like never before".

"This fund will help Ireland and the EU in our recovery from this unprecedented pandemic," said Ms McEntee.

"In today’s announcement the EU has shown that we stand united and that we will recover together.”

Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher said that a weak response to the crisis "would have undermined the very future of the Union itself".

Mr Kelleher said that the Commission had listened to what the people of Europe wanted which is real, tangible economic stimulus.

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