Coronavirus: President von der Leyen declares Commission will stop at nothing to save lives

President Ursula von der Leyen gave a speech at the European Parliament plenary session today on the Commission’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Emphasising the unprecedented nature of the crisis, the dramatic way our daily lives have changed and the tragedies that have unfolded at the heart of Europe in a matter of weeks, President von der Leyen paid tribute to the men and women, the “heroes” leading the fight everywhere in Europe, who take care of the sick and vulnerable, and keep our world turning. The President underlined the need for solidarity and compassion in these trying times, and the need for the EU institutions to show trust, unity and leadership. Speaking at the European Parliament this morning, President von der Leyen said: “We will stop at nothing to save lives. We will need to draw on all that makes us strong to get through this together and then to get back on our feet again. And we have no stronger asset for this than our unique Single Market. A successful European response can only be coordinated if our Internal Market and our borders work the way they should. A crisis without borders cannot be solved by putting barriers between us.” Mentioning the many initiatives taken by the Commission in recent weeks to tackle the crisis, she added: “Over the last few weeks we took exceptional and extraordinary measures to coordinate and enable the action that was needed. Europe is now really stepping up. But the people of Europe are watching what happens next. And we all know what is at stake. What we do now matters – for today as well as for the future.” The President also welcomed the gestures of solidarity shown among Member States, which “only goes to prove that it is only by helping each other that we can really help ourselves“. The speech is available online in all languages here. You will find more information on the Commission’s response to the coronavirus crisis on the dedicated webpage