EU Parliament sources confirmed to EURACTIV.com that although Sassolie holds daily teleconferences with von der Leyen and Michel, he doesn’t take part in videoconferences. The same sources said it was “bizarre” considering that the EU House is a key EU institution. IAN LANGSDON
Before you start reading today’s edition of the Capitals, feel free to have a look at this report on the fight against coronavirus in the Faroe Islands, where the salmon fishing industry has surprisingly helped identify cases en mass: “Coronavirus secrets of the Faroes“.
***To stay up-to-date on everything to do with the coronavirus across the capitals, feel free to check out EURACTIV’s comprehensive overview, which is regularly updated with the help of our network of offices and media partners.***
In today’s news from the Capitals:
EU INSTITUTIONS. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have excluded European Parliament President David Sassoli from talks on the EU response to the coronavirus crisis, El Paisreported.
“The main community leaders held a second videoconference on the coronavirus crisis on Monday (6 April) with the notable absence of the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli,” the Spanish daily reported.
“The leader of the only institution chosen by universal suffrage has been deliberately excluded once again from the forum in charge of preparing the roadmap for a comprehensive recovery plan […] Germany and the Netherlands lead the exclusion of Sassoli,” the newspaper added.
EU Parliament sources confirmed to EURACTIV.com that although Sassoli holds daily teleconferences with Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, he does not take part in videoconferences. The same sources said it was “bizarre” considering that the EU House is a key EU institution.
German ministers call for “spirit of solidarity”. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) have called for a “clear expression of European solidarity in the corona pandemic”. “We, therefore, propose that we work together quickly to ensure sufficient liquidity in all European Union countries,” Scholz and Maas wrote in a guest article published by five European newspapers yesterday, adding that the “funds must not come with any unnecessary conditions attached”.
Instead of responding to the demand from Italy, France, Spain and other European countries to create coronabonds to mutualise debts, they reaffirmed their government’s position that the ESM, in particular, should be used as an instrument.
In other news, Angela Merkel said that the EU is now facing its greatest challenge since its foundation, adding that “we have to defend our Europe, we have to strengthen it”. Merkel reiterated her support for the use of the ESM and the SURE funds but also pointed out that after the crisis an economic recovery programme will be needed. (Christina Goßner | EURACTIV.de)