Ref. Ares(2020)3025964 - 11/06/2020
Ref. Ares(2021)1989111 - 19/03/2021
DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL MARKET, INDUSTRY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Brussels, 11 June 2020
Mr. Iñigo Urkullu Renteria
Lehendakari of the Basque Country firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr. Urkullu,
On behalf of Commissioner Breton, I would like to thank you for your letter of 12 May
2020 regarding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the road to recovery from
this crisis. I read your considerations and suggestions with great interest and they will
feed into our internal reflections.
The Commission recognises that the coronavirus pandemic is a major shock to the
European and global economies. Saving lives and protecting Europeans from the
coronavirus is our number one priority and we have a collective responsibility to
mobilise all the tools at our disposal to respond to this outbreak. To deliver, we need to
act with urgency, solidarity and audacity.
From the very start of the crisis, the Commission has put in place a multipronged strategy
to counter the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. It addresses, in particular,
the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are the heart and soul of
the European Single Market. To allow Member States to support strategic sectors and
protect jobs, the strategy provides for the use of the full flexibility of the Stability and
Growth Pact and of a more flexible temporary framework for state aid measures. In
parallel, the Commission has deployed all its existing instruments and mobilised
available resources in the European budget (such as enabling support from the European
structural funds) to provide liquidity support, in addition to national measures.
I would also like to highlight the efforts made regarding the openness of the internal
market. This is a crucial element of the necessary solidarity between Member States. The
Commission has done its utmost to keep national borders open, export bans lifted and
make sure products can circulate freely within Europe. Everyone benefits from the Single
Market, it is our common responsibility to make sure it functions at its full potential.
In addition to the urgent measures needed to counter the immediate consequences of the
pandemic, coordination of the national exit strategies is of outmost importance.
On 15 April 2020, the Commission, in cooperation with the President of the European
Commission européenne/Europese Commissie, 1049 Bruxelles/Brussel, BELGIQUE/BELGIË - Tel. +32 22991111
Office: BREY 14/110 - Tel. direct line +32 229-51225
Council, put forward a European roadmap to phase-out the containment measures and
ensure a gradual and coordinated exit across the EU. We provided solid foundations to
balance the interests of public health protection with those of the functioning of our
The current crisis is unprecedented. Our latest response to it is historical. On 27 May
2020, the European Commission has presented a major Recovery Plan for Europe to
repair and prepare for the next generation. It has European solidarity at its core and will
allow for a fair recovery in all Member States. It will use the full potential of a revised
European long-term budget 2021-2027 along with the setting-up of a recovery
instrument. The Commission wishes to encourage the most efficient recovery but also to
further strengthen our economies by making them greener, more digital and more
resilient. The package complements safety nets already agreed, including the ambitious
SURE programme allowing Member States to finance reduced-time work schemes.
Preserving jobs and communities is of utmost importance.
The situation is evolving fast and when this letter reaches you, additional initiatives at
EU or Member State level may have already supplemented some of the latest known
measures. For real time information, the Commission has created a dedicated website
that covers the different work strands1.
Electronically signed on 10/06/2020 22:29 (UTC+02) in accordance with article 4.2 (Validity of electronic documents) of Commission Decision 2004/563