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An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar has welcomed the broad thrust of the publication today by the European Commission of the €1.85 trillion COVID-19 recovery package, the ‘Next Generation EU’.

He also welcomed the publication of a revised proposal for the next EU 2021-2027 Budget.

The Taoiseach said: “Ireland and every EU Member State has been affected by the COVID-19 Emergency, some more than others. We need to kick-start economic and social recovery and get funds flowing to the sectors and regions that need them most.

“This proposal for a substantial, frontloaded recovery instrument comes on top of the three safety nets of up to €540 billion already agreed by EU leaders to support citizens, businesses, and countries. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues in the European Council to reach an early agreement.

“Other EU budget issues such as CAP, cohesion, research and innovation are more important than ever. I also hope that we will use this opportunity to set Europe on the right path for the future, building a greener, digital, more resilient and sustainable Union.”

Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee said: “Today’s announcement by the European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, is extremely welcome. It demonstrates EU solidarity like never before. This fund will help Ireland and the EU in our recovery from this unprecedented pandemic. In today’s announcement the EU has shown that we stand united and that we will recover together.”

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