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Taoiseach to urge EU leaders to do more for member states battling Covid-19

Leo Varadkar is taking part in a European Council meeting in video conference format

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media during a visit to the Civil Defence Dublin Branch on Wolfe Tone Quay to receive a briefing on the contribution by Volunteers to the Covid-19 response (PA)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media during a visit to the Civil Defence Dublin Branch on Wolfe Tone Quay to receive a briefing on the contribution by Volunteers to the Covid-19 response (PA)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaks to the media during a visit to the Civil Defence Dublin Branch on Wolfe Tone Quay to receive a briefing on the contribution by Volunteers to the Covid-19 response (PA)

The Taoiseach will later urge fellow EU leaders to consider mutual sharing of the debt member states are incurring as they battle Covid-19.

Leo Varadkar is taking part in a European Council meeting on the pandemic – the video conference is the fourth occasion EU leaders have convened to discuss the crisis.

Earlier this month, the Eurogroup of European Finance Ministers announced a 540 billion euro package of support for member states. But it stopped short of a move to share the debt burden.

Some members want to see mutualised debt in the form of so-called coronabonds, with all EU nations involving in paying them off.

I am keen to discuss options for the medium-term, including how we revitalise the EU economy, and ensure that the EU is better equipped to deal with emergencies like this in the futureLeo Varadkar

At the meeting, Mr Varadkar will call for a much stronger response from the EU to the economic impact and will urge significantly more financial assistance for member states.

Such measures, the Taoiseach will suggest, could involve some form of mutual sharing of debt across the EU designed specifically to deal with the impact of Covid-19.

“As well as discussing the immediate impact of Covid-19 on health and human life on all our countries, I am keen to discuss options for the medium-term, including how we revitalise the EU economy, and ensure that the EU is better equipped to deal with Emergencies like this in the future,” he said.

The EU leaders are also set to discuss the possibility of a shared approach to the phased lifting of coronavirus restriction measures, when it is the appropriate time to do so.

PA