Von der Leyen: ‘We now need to build a resilient, green, and digital Europe’

(EurActiv, 20 Apr 2020) European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen believes the “real Europe is standing up” to the coronavirus crisis now. In a written interview with EURACTIV’s media partner Efe, she spoke about a broad range of issues, from the challenges facing the Eurogroup earlier this month to the expectations for the summit of European leaders this week.

The key thing, the German politician said, is to realise that “business as usual is no more. We will need to ‘bounce forward’ and not ‘bounce back’. And we will need to build a resilient, green and digital Europe. At the heart of this will be our growth strategy, the European Green Deal, and the twin transition and opportunity of digitalisation and decarbonisation”.

Are you afraid of the rise in Euroscepticism in countries like Spain, traditionally one of the most pro-European countries in the EU?

In a crisis like this, the truth matters more than ever. So we should be honest about the situation we are in. And the truth is that when confronted with an invisible, powerful virus which knows no borders, populism and nationalism provide no answers.

Truth also matters when it comes to the economic fallout the whole world is grappling with. Europe has done more in the first four weeks of the crisis than it did in the first four years of the last one. We have taken a series of unprecedented decisions, from state aid to the Stability and Growth Pact and much more besides. This has enabled a collective response worth more than 3 trillion euros – the most emphatic in the world.

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EurActiv, 20 Apr 2020: Von der Leyen: ‘We now need to build a resilient, green, and digital Europe’