Delegation of the European Union to Eritrea

Remarks by President Charles Michel after the Special European Council of 17-21 July 2020

Brussels, 22/07/2020 - 12:00, UNIQUE ID: 200722_16
Remarks

Hello, everyone. We did it. Europe is strong. Europe is united.

We have reached a deal on the recovery package and the European budget. These were, of course, difficult negotiations in very difficult times for all Europeans. A marathon which ended in success for all 27 member states, but especially for the people. This is a good deal. This is a strong deal. And most importantly, this is the right deal for Europe, right now.

I would like to thank all the leaders and the President of the Commission and their teams for their hard work. We showed collective responsibility and solidarity and we also showed our belief in our common future. And this agreement sends a concrete signal that Europe is a force for action.

We negotiated about money. But, of course, it is about a lot more than money. It is about workers and families, their jobs, their health and their well-being. I believe this agreement will be seen as a pivotal moment in Europe's journey, but it will also launch us into the future. In fact, it is the first time, the first time in European history that our budget will be clearly linked to our climate objectives. The first time, the first time that the respect for rule of law is a decisive criteria for budget spending. And the first time, the first time that you are jointly re-enforcing our economies against a crisis.

We have decided to support a budget of 1 074 billion euro for the next seven years. We have decided to mobilise 750 billion euro to support economic recovery. Europe is united, Europe is taking action.

We have adopted guidelines on own resources, which represent a boost for the future of the European project by identifying the issues that we will address, together with specific timetables.

We have taken the view that the rule of law, governance, and our common values must be at the heart of what we do, and they are also at the heart of the decisions we are taking today.

As you can see, we have demonstrated that the magic of the European project works because, whenever we think something is impossible, there is this resilience, by dint of respect, cooperation, the willingness to work together, to overcome the difficulties together, by dint of mutual respect, there is this ability to cope by uniting, by coming together.

That is the magic of the European project. We have demonstrated it over and above our differences, our sensitivities, and our opinions. Europe has sent a signal to Europeans and to the rest of the world that this European Union is a Union of values; this Union, which brings together 450 million citizens, has the ability, when necessary, to respond with strength and robustness.

The signal we have sent is a signal of confidence and I believe it is an essential signal at a time when the world and Europe have been hit by an unprecedented crisis. A few hours ago, more than 600 000 deaths were attributed to COVID-19.

We know that this crisis affects and will affect families, women and men. We know that it is the responsibility of political leaders in our shared democracy to be able to demonstrate our ability to deliver pragmatic and real solutions.

The decision that we have taken is not a virtual decision. It is a real decision that will have and must have a positive impact in order to ensure that we can look to the future with the determination to live up to this challenge.

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