Minister Donohoe to discuss economic impact of Covid-19 with EU Finance Ministers

16th April, 2020

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, will attend today (Thursday) the informal Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN), which be hosted by the Croatian Presidency from Zagreb and take place by videoconference.

At ECOFIN, European Finance and Economic Ministers will have an exchange of views based on the European Commission presentation of their latest assessment of the economic impact of COVID-19. Ministers will also be invited to endorse an important statement on the preservation of the flow of bank credit and corporates that are experiencing temporary difficulties as a result of COVID-19, and on maintaining a well-functioning insurance sector. Other agenda items include preparations for the IMF Spring meeting Washington on 17 and 18 April, and the European Semester. Minister Donohoe will represent Ireland’s position.

Speaking in advance of his attendance, the Minister said: ‘The COVID-19 pandemic represents the most significant shock to the world economy since the global financial crisis and has arisen at a time of an already weak global growth outlook. Our focus remains on protecting the safety and well-being of our citizens, by putting measures in place to address this global health crisis. I welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with my European colleagues once again at ECOFIN’.

“In this context, the strong co-ordinated policy actions announced to date at EU and national levels to address the economic impact of COVID-19, and to support the response of our front line services to the crisis are very welcome. We are also considering Ireland’s approach to the recovery phase, and in that context, I am working with my colleagues in Government and with senior officials to prepare a comprehensive policy response to support our recovery that we will publish once they are finalised.”

This is the first time that Croatia has held the position of President of the Council of the European Union, and this meeting was originally scheduled to take place in Zagreb as part of the Presidency programme.