On 8 September, the Brussels Economic Forum – the flagship economic event of the European Commission – held a special edition of its annual event, now organised for the 20th time.
The Forum brought together high-level European and international personalities to discuss upcoming key challenges and debate policy priorities for the European economy, with European Council President and liberal leader Charles Michel delivering the closing speech of the event.
In his intervention, Michel emphasised that all crises come with economic consequences and uncertainty, that can also be of long-term.
“It is crucial to act with strength and unity,” he said while reminding the audience of the ‘Copernican moment’ of European cooperation: the agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the recovery plan to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adding that a major part of the budget is assigned for Europe’s climate ambitions, Michel noted that “The EU won't accept that environmentally substandard goods unfairly compete with European products, while damaging our planet.”
Michel remarked that European values must remain the base for all actions in order to make the continent stronger and more resilient and autonomous.
“Europe is united and confident. Anchored in our values. Europe projects power. We are ready to act to transform our economy and social model with the constant goal of greater benefit to our citizens […] European strategic autonomy is our new common project for this century,” he concluded.
The EU’s massive response to the pandemic sends a clear message:— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) September 8, 2020
United, Europe is a world power.
And we are strengthening our strategic autonomy for the well-being of our citizens.#EUBEF20 pic.twitter.com/fTlZAmo67f
(c) Photo credit: European Union 2020 / EP - Philippe Buissin, 23 July 2020