Ursula von der Leyen leaves the European Parliament plenary on September 16, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium | Christian Ernhede/Getty Images
Von der Leyen: No ‘timelines’ for ending coronavirus support measures
Following up on State of the Union speech, Commission president says ‘Conference on the Future Europe’ is ready to roll
The extraordinary measures used to help protect the EU economy from the shock of the coronavirus pandemic should continue indefinitely — perhaps until the development of a vaccine, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Thursday.
“We are still amidst this pandemic and the economic crisis, and therefore I said it is important that we do not withdraw the support now, because we’ve learned in the last economic crisis that a premature withdrawal of support has a very negative impact on the economy,” von der Leyen said, adding: “We should not put timelines to restoring again the sustainability of our finances.”
Von der Leyen reiterated her intention to maintain the various emergency measures, which include a “general escape clause” from deficit rules and exemptions from restrictions on state aid to private companies, during remarks to reporters a day after delivering her first State of the European Union Speech.
Rather than setting any timeline for lifting the emergency measures, von der Leyen said the EU should set objectives for its economic recovery.
“I think we should not put timelines to restoring again the sustainability of our finances but more conditions we want to meet,” she said, “mainly derived from the development of the spread of the virus,