Donald Tusk discusses the state of Europe during Luxembourg visit
3 March 2020
On Monday 2 March, the former President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, visited the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Luxembourg on a joint invitation from the Bank, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Court of Auditors.
Welcomed by EIB President Werner Hoyer, the President of the Court of Auditors, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, and the Managing Director of the ESM, Klaus Regling, the outspoken Polish politician gave a speech to EIB staff and invitees from the other Luxembourg-based institutions on the state of European affairs, also touching upon shared values and the safeguarding of the European project.
Mr Tusk addressed current themes and the difficult situations that a united Europe faces, ranging from Brexit, the crisis of the EU enlargement idea, the anti-European turn in US politics, the issue of big data and IA … to the Coronavirus. Although Europe faces a multitude of challenges, Mr Tusk was positive, saying “I believe that things become irreversible only when people start to believe that they are irreversible. In other words, everything is still in our hands.”
The EIB Group has stepped up its level of precaution at its headquarters in Luxembourg and in its external offices. All staff will telework as of 16 March. A small number of staff whose physical presence on EIB premises is indispensable will continue to be present on the EIB campus. The decision aims to protect the health of employees and ensure the continuity of the EIB Group’s activity.
On Wednesday the EIB identified its first case of one staff member who tested positive for corona virus.
As a precautionary measure, the EIB decided not to hold the meeting of its Board of Directors planned for Thursday 12 March in person. Decisions on the Board’s agenda will be taken by written procedure. The Bank has put in place measures to prevent disruption to its governance or operation approval schedule.
This high profile conference was opened with an official welcome by the Honourable Ignacio Méndez Fernández, Vice-minister for the promotion of SMEs in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MICM) and his Excellency Gianluca Grippa, Ambassador of the European Union to the Dominican Republic. EIB Regional representative in the Caribbean, Yves Ferreira outlined how the bank is helping to support sustainable private sector growth in the region.