von der Leyen of the EU promotes German stimulus package at Merkel meeting | News | DW
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday welcomed the EU’s pandemic recovery plan for Germany during a meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.
“It really is an extraordinary response to an extraordinary crisis,” von der Leyen said of the 25.6 billion euros ($ 30.6 billion) package, which was also approved by the European Commission on Tuesday. .
“It will help Germany to emerge stronger from the pandemic,” von der Leyen said on Twitter. “Reforms and investments will help digitize and decarbonize the economy to prepare it for the future.”
Von der Leyen said 42% of financial aid would go to climate change projects, with a substantial amount also used to help Germany transform into a more digital economy.
In addition, the European Commission on Tuesday approved a much larger coronavirus aid package of € 191.5 billion for Italy, although Rome will have to repay most of the aid. All aid for the bloc of 27 members amounts to 750 billion euros.
What else did the two leaders discuss?
Von der Leyen and Merkel also discussed various other topics during their meeting, including the coordination of travel rules and migration policy.
Regarding the coronavirus, Merkel said she hoped the EU would cooperate more closely on travel rules within the bloc.
“I regret that we have not yet succeeded in having completely uniform action between member states on travel directives – it comes back to haunt us,” Merkel told reporters, while highlighting the spread of the delta variant.
“We have made good progress in recent months, but we are not where I would like the European Union to be,” Merkel added.
Von der Leyen said she was “worried” about the delta variant, but added that moving forward with the vaccinations should prevent it from spreading.
Merkel added that she hoped the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) would “act responsibly” with regard to hosting the final Euro 2020 match in London, and criticized the full stadiums planned for the semi-finals. The UK has been a major hub for the Delta variant.
Von der Leyen says EU must support Turkey on migrants
After the meeting, von der Leyen said the EU should continue to financially support Turkey, which agreed to a 2016 deal with the EU in which Ankara agreed to prevent migrants from reaching Europe in return. financial assistance.
“In my opinion, it is important for us to continue to support Turkey, with its 3.7 million Syrian refugees,” said von der Leyen. She added that part of the humanitarian aid to Turkey could be redirected towards socio-economic aid, as some of the migrants have been in the country for 10 years.
Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi also believe that the 2016 EU-Turkey refugee deal should be extended. The deal will be discussed at an EU meeting later this week.
wd / wmr (Reuters, AFP, dpa)