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Covid-19 has a devastating human cost – Charles Michel

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“COVID-19 has a devastating human cost. There are family and friends behind all the numbers and statistics. Let’s never forget that.  That is why we are working 24/7 to defeat this virus.  Let’s continue to stand together, work together, and support each other.”

The President of the European Council Charles Michel said this in the concluding remarks of the EU Council videoconference held on Thursday.

European Council President Charles Michel, seen on screens, talks with EU leaders during an EU Summit video conference at the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium, 19 November 2020.
EPA-EFE/OLIVIER MATTHYS / POOL

The Council dealt with a number of issues related to the pandemic and also with the issue of the MFF budget issue which developed following Poland’s and Hungary’s stance to block the agreement reached last week.

Michel said that the financial package is essential for Europe’s economic recovery. and as such is it needs to be implemented it as soon as possible.

European Council President Charles Michel (on screen above), talks while the empty seats of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki (C) and other EU leaders are seen on their respective screens during an EU Summit video conference at the European Council building in Brussels Belgium, 19 November 2020
EPA-EFE/Olivier Matthys / POOL

He said that on the mechanism on conditionality, the vast majority of Members States agree with the compromise on the table, pointing out that “some Member States have indicated that they are not able to support the majority. We will continue the discussions to find an acceptable solution to all.”

However most of the attention went on the Covid-19 pandemic, stressing that COVID-19 in Europe remains serious and concerning and the situation is being monitored closely. “That’s why today we continued our discussions to assess the current situation and coordinate our efforts. We have seen promising signs since our last meeting, but we remain cautious and vigilant. We cannot let down our guard”, he said.

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