Council of EU says physical meetings at absolute minimum

NEWS 26.10.2020 15:04
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Source: Pixabay (ilustracija)

The German Presidency of the Council of the EU on Monday decided to bring all physical meetings at expert level to an absolute minimum due to an extremely high rate of coronavirus infections in Brussels, and to discuss only priority issues at online meetings.

Brussels has an extremely high rate of coronavirus infections, one of the highest in Europe. The authorities of the Belgian capital, where EU institutions are located, have introduced a number of new measures to slow down the galloping spread of the virus.

A curfew is in force as of Monday, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., and sports halls, swimming pools, gyms, cinemas, theatres and museums have been closed.

Gatherings of more than four people are not allowed, weddings are held only in the presence of the couple, marriage witnesses, registrar or priest, and funerals are held with a maximum 15 people present and observing a compulsory 1.5 metre distance.

All meetings that are necessary for the functioning of the EU or to coordinate the response to the coronavirus crisis will continue to be held physically on the condition social distancing and sanitary rules can be observed.

These rules will be in force as long as the situation demands it.

Among the meetings for which physical presence is necessary are those that refer to negotiations about the next seven-year budget and recovery package. At least three such meetings are planned for this week.

It is practically impossible to reach agreement between EU member states and the European Parliament without direct talks and meetings, the German EU Presidency said.