V4, French economy ministers discuss pandemic, strengthening Europe’s economy in Krakow

The economy ministers of the four Visegrad Group countries and France discussed the experiences of the coronavirus pandemic and ways of strengthening Europe's economy in the post-pandemic period in Krakow on Monday, Hungary's innovation and technology minister told MTI by phone.

The ministers discussed in detail the economic, health care and social impact of the pandemic, Laszlo Palkovics said.

They established that Europe had faced a shortage of essential medical supplies and production capacities it would have needed to tackle the pandemic, Palkovics said, noting that Hungary had responded to the challenge by enhancing its domestic production capacities in ventilators, face masks and other medical supplies.

Discussing the economic aspect and the restarting of Europe’s economy, Palkovics said that global supply chains had posed a challenge but the industrial sector had recovered in a relatively short period of time. “There is, however, still a shortage of some raw materials which must be tackled,” he said.

The five ministers also touched upon the issue of energy independence and agreed that the option of using nuclear energy and natural gas must be maintained.

The ministers signed a declaration on future cooperation in adjusting supply chains, ensuring financial schemes to European producers, developing the health-care sector and enhancing energy independency.

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