EU response to the coronavirus crisis: European roadmap towards lifting containment measures, with recovery in sight

Today, the Commission, in coordination with the President of the European Council, has put forward a European roadmap to phase-out the containment measures due to the coronavirus outbreak. The necessary extraordinary measures taken by Member States and the EU are working. They have slowed down the spread of the virus and saved thousands of lives. But they come at a dramatic cost to people, society and the economy, and cannot last indefinitely. While recognising the specificities of each country, the roadmap establishes criteria to meet before starting to lift restrictive measures. It also includes recommendations to ensure a gradual and coordinated exit across the EU. As the virus knows no borders, we also have to take into account the global dimension of this crisis. It can only be defeated through international coordination and cooperation, to improve our pandemic preparedness. President von der Leyen will host an online pledging conference on 4 May, to accelerate work on diagnostics, treatments and the development of a vaccine. Finally, our recovery from the health crisis also have to be an economic recovery. The Commission has taken measures to support health systems, businesses, and livelihoods, with the creation of SURE, to keep people in jobs, and the flexible use of cohesion funds. More is to come in the next weeks, as Europe needs a new Marshall Plan. President von der Leyen and President Michel will discuss with the heads of state and governments the key principles of a Recovery Plan and an outline of a reinforced Multiannual Financial Framework during their videoconference on 23 April. A press release and a factsheet on the European roadmap are available online. Today, the Commission also issued guidelines on testing methodologies. They aim to support Member States in effectively using testing tools, including when phasing-out confinement measures. You can watch this morning’s press conference on EbS. President von der Leyen‘s opening remarks will be online here shortly. More information on the Commission’s response is available on this website.