Speech by President von der Leyen at the European Parliament Plenary on the EU coordinated action to combat the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences

April 16, 2020
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Dear President,

Honourable Members,

There are no words that can do justice to Europe’s pain or to all those suffering across the world.

[…] Honourable Members,I am convinced that Europe can shape this new world if it works together and rediscovers its pioneering spirit.And for this, I want to cite a sentence from the Ventotene Manifesto – written by two of Italy and Europe’s greatest visionaries: Ernesto Rossi and Altiero Spinelli, one of our founding fathers. Writing from their prison on a remote island, at the height of the war, when all hope of a united Europe seemed lost, they gave us these words of confidence:The moment has arrived in which we must know how to discard old burdens, how to be ready for the new world that is coming, that will be so different from what we have imagined.

Dear Friends, this moment has arrived once again. The moment to put behind us the old divisions, disputes and recriminations. To come out of our entrenched positions. The moment to be ready for that new world. To use all the power of our common spirit and the strength of our shared purpose. The starting point for this must be making our economies, societies and way of life more sustainable and resilient. Finding the answers in this new world will require courage, trust and solidarity.And it will need massive investment to jumpstart our economies. We need a Marshall Plan for Europe’s recovery and it needs to be put in place immediately. There is only one instrument we have that is trusted by all Member States, which is already in place and can deliver quickly. It is transparent and it is time tested as an instrument for cohesion, convergence and investment. And that instrument is the European budget. The European budget will be the mothership of our recovery.

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Countries covered:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Palestine *
  • Syria *
  • Tunisia