Brussels, Nov 5 (IANS) The European Union’s (EU) economic recovery from the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is expected to be slower than previously thought due to a second wave in several countries of the bloc, a top official said here.
“The months ahead will be challenging for everyone, so it is especially important that we discuss and coordinate our policies,” Xinhua news agency quoted European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis as saying at a press briefing on Wednesday.
His remarks came after a virtual meeting of the EU’s economy and finance ministers earlier in the day.
The ministers met to discuss the economic recovery in the bloc against a backdrop of tightened measures to curb the second wave of the pandemic.
The Commission will publish its autumn economic forecast on Thursday, Dombrovskis said.
He highlighted the urgency of reaching an agreement within the EU institutions on the 750-billion-euro recovery plan, the bulk of which is a 672.5-billion-euro tool named Recovery and Resilience Facility.
Dombrovskis stressed that the member states need to prepare and implement the ambitious plans with reforms and investments to support the recovery and transformation of their economies.
At the meeting, the Ministers renewed the discussion of new fiscal rules, which was disrupted by the pandemic early this year.
“We shall come back to it once this acute phase of the crisis is over,” said Dombrovskis.
Wednesday’s meeting also adopted conclusions on an action plan against money laundering and terrorism financing presented by the European Commission in May.
The continent’s overall coronavirus caseload and death toll currently stood at 10,866,134 and 277,125, respectively, according to the latest update by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.