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EU calls for multilateral solutions to tackle coronavirus pandemic

BRUSSELS, March 26 (KUNA) -- The European Union Thursday warned COVID-19 pandemic affects people and societies all over the world and will have a long term impact on global economy and trade, and urged international cooperation to deal with the pandemic.
"The EU commits to international cooperation and multilateral solutions in tackling the pandemic and its consequences. It will do its utmost to assist countries and communities to fight the COVID-19 crisis," said the leaders of the 27-member bloc in a statement after their videoconference Thursday night on the coronavirus.
They stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an unprecedented challenge for Europe and the whole world.
It requires urgent, decisive, and comprehensive action at the EU, national, regional and local levels. "We will do everything that is necessary to protect our citizens and overcome the crisis," said the statement.
The EU leaders said they look forward to a speedy adoption of the proposal by the European Commission for a Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative to provide 37 billion euro (USD 40 billion) to address the consequences of the crisis.
They expressed their determination to resolutely counter disinformation on coronavirus with transparent, timely and fact-based communication.
The EU leaders welcomed the European Commission guidelines on the screening of foreign direct investment and called on the EU Member States to take all necessary measures to protect strategic assets and technology from foreign investments that could threaten legitimate public policy objectives.
Thursdayآ’s videoconference by EU leaders was the third after the 10 and 17 March videoconferences focussed on discussing necessary measures to overcome the crisis.
"We have reinforced the control of our external borders by applying a coordinated temporary restriction of non-essential travel to the EU. We will evaluate the situation in due time and decide whether or not to prolong these measures," said the statement. (end) nk.bs