Luke ’Ming’ Flanagan appeared on screen sitting on a bed, from which he was taking part remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Independent MEP on screen at committee meeting dressed in a shirt but little else

Josep Borrell: ‘I cannot imagine something more easy to produce than a mask, a piece of textile. And suddenly it became a critical thing.’ Photograph: Pool/Getty

Veteran Spanish Socialist Josep Borrell argues the EU27 need to become self-sufficient

European high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president of the European Commission Josep Borrell: China is  “a competitor, a partner, an ally, a rival, everything at the same time”. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq

EU stops short of action as Beijing tightens power grip over city to US condemnation

EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, right, and economy commissioner Paolo Gentiloni at a media conference on the  InvestEU programme. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/pool/AFP via Getty

Investment will focus on healthcare, space, defence, digital and green technologies

European Council president Charles Michel  during following an EU-Japan videoconference summit at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, on Tuesday. Photograph:  Francisco Seco/AFP via Getty Images

Europe Letter: Joint statement by Brussels and Tokyo reveals pressure on international order

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Q&A: What are the main stumbling blocks, and how will the plan affect Ireland?

European Parliament president David Sassoli: “Now is not the time for rigid thinking but for reconstruction.”  Photograph:  Getty Images

Its president says it will block the fund proposed to stem the economic damage of coronavirus unless it is sufficiently ‘ambitious(...)

 Demonstrators stage a protest against climate change at the coal-fired power plant in Datteln, Germany. Photograph: EPA/Friedemann Vogel

European Commission’s trillion-euro recovery plan will seek to address climate crisis at same time

From January 1st smugglers could avail of a 5 per cent profit margin on copper alloy tubes from China if they can order them into Britain and then move them through the North into the Republic.

London paper on cross-water commerce neglects checks, origins and smuggling

A sign advising visitors to social distance at a shopping centre in Stockholm, Sweden. Photograph: by Henrik Montgomery/AFP via Getty

Imagined tales of the exotic have blinded rational responses to the virus

The targets are not yet legally-binding. File photograph: Getty

Reducing use of fertiliser and antibiotics also on agenda in bid to safeguard environment

The European Commission says  Ireland’s “housing affordability is a problem for many households, and inflation in the rental sector is persistently high”. Photograph: PA Wire

EU says investment is needed to counter downturn expected to be worst in a century

 French president Emmanuel Macron: Germany and France have proposed a €500 billion fund for European economies hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Francois Mori

Paris and Berlin move will bolster bloc weakened by division and rule of law issues

French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire participates in an Ecofin video conference with other European finance ministers on Tuesday. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Commission tables mix of grants and loans as member states urged to forge consensus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, who attends via video link, at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/AFP via Getty Images

Under joint proposal European Commission would borrow money on financial markets

Felisa Gonzalez looks at her mother, Maria Maillo, through the window during a visit to a nursing home in Barcelona, Spain. Photograph:  David Ramos/Getty Images

Wherever the virus spread uncontrolled, elderly care homes were left unprotected

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “When Europe sets policies they often become the standards around the world.” Photograph:  Getty Images

Founder of social media giant makes the call in online discussion with European internal market commissioner Thierry Breton

European commissioner for health Stella Kyriakides as she prepared to address a media conference on tourism in Brussels. Photograph: AP

European Union health chief warns against ‘lowering guard’ while adapting to new reality

 File image of Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. File photograph: Ronen Zvulun/AFP via Getty Images

Europe plots its response amid fears new Israeli government may annex areas in West Bank

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: “I’m still determined but I’m not optimistic, given the incomprehension on the British side of the conditions of access to our market.” Photograph: Francois Lenoir/EPA

Both sides say little progress made in this week’s talks with crunch time approaching


Nicolas Schmit backs calls for minimum income as continent faces deep recession

Cabinet office minister Michael Gove has expressed concerns about  ‘limited progress’ in the implementation of parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement by EU member states. File photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Gove letter echoes past criticism by EU’s Michel Barnier as week of talks concludes

The chairman of the German constitutional court Andreas Vosskuhle  gives out the court’s ruling that the ECB must clarify a key bond-buying scheme, in Karlsruhe. Photograph: Sebastian Gollnow/AFP via Getty Images

Europe Letter: Constitutional court’s ECB ruling is perilous for the bloc in several respects

 EU Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager outlines EU guidelines on tourism and transport in 2020. Photograph: EPA

Face masks, contact tracing apps, hand hygiene and distancing in the airport: the EU's guide to opening borders

A letter will be sent to all EU states to “ensure respect of passenger rights”, and to outline suggestions to make vouchers more attractive if airlines want more passengers to accept them instead of refunds. Photograph: Getty Images

Commission threatens to move against states for not implementing law if they fail to enforce passenger rights

Air France aeroplanes parked on the tarmac at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Photograph: Bertrand Guay/AFP via Getty Images

Push by some member states to water down passengers’ rights rejected by European Commission

EU foreign policy chief Joseph Borrell: he  said  Israel  would be the “most important item on the agenda” when EU foreign ministers meet  this week. Photograph: Getty Images

The annexation plan is included in the coalition deal agreed between Netanyahu and his former rival Gantz

Monument Valley is home to the Navajo Nation, who have been badly affected by coronavirus. Photograph: Eric Baradat/AFP

Many left comments saying they donated in remembrance of aid to Ireland during Famine

 Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: “We are negotiating on behalf of the entire EU. There must be a proper balance of rights and obligations.” Photograph: Olivier Matthys

German industry warns of ‘catastrophe’ on top of Covid-19 if EU finds no accord with UK

ECB president Christine Lagarde: ‘Can we respond to the economic threat which as we know is unprecedented in peacetime?’ Photograph: Daniel Roland/AFP via Getty

Leaders evoke spirit of early years of integration to overcome pandemic challenges

Italian foreign minister Luigi Di Maio had called for a “structural” response.

European finance ministers give green light to plan for 10-year credit lines

Vendors wearing masks in Xihua farmers market in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, last Monday. Since the Covid-19 outbreak China has brought in new regulations for the trade and consumption of wild animals. Photograph: Alex Plavevski/EPA

Reference to Covid-19 originating in China removed in letter from EU ambassadors

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban during a plenary session in Budapest. Photograph: Tamas Kovacs/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Belgian MEP accuses European Commission of ‘sitting on its hands’ after Freedom House report

The  EU’s request for an  office in Northern Ireland is a technical issue unnecessarily politicised by Britain. Photograph: John Thys

Europe Letter: Row over Northern Ireland office eats at EU’s trust as it grapples with coronavirus

 EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan warned that signs were not good for the prospect of a trade deal with Britain

EU’s trade commissioner warn prospects not good of trade deal with UK by October

“Europe is experiencing an economic shock without precedent since the Great Depression,” said the European commissioner for the economy Paolo Gentiloni.  Photograph: iStock

Spring economic forecast is ‘clouded by a higher than usual degree of uncertainty’

Monument Valley is home to the Navajo Nation, who have been badly affected by coronavirus. Photograph: Eric Baradat/AFP

Donations flood in to help Navajo Nation fight outbreak in remembrance of 1847 support

The EU commissioner for  crisis management Janez Lenarcic.  “We warned about this virus at the end of January, and called on member states to prepare for all scenarios. Photograph: Getty Images

Member states did not listen to EU warnings about Covid-19, says crisis management commissioner Janez Lenarcic

Mário Centeno:  he expects  economies to look different on the other side of the crisis. Photograph: Getty Images

He believes a mix of grants and loans contingent on reforms are key to a solution that will win approval

An intensive care patient is moved from an air ambulance at the University Medical Center in Groningen, the Netherlands. Photograph: Robin Utrecht/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty

Starkly different outcomes in some regions of Europe indicate how better to fight the virus

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: the commission told member states that the Northern Ireland protocol was the biggest challenge in implementing the withdrawal agreement. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/Pool via Reuters

EU Commision warns time is running out after first committee meeting on NI protocol

Governments now have the choice of whether to try to preserve what we had – which may not be coming back – or decide it’s time for change. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Europe Letter: Governments have a brief window of opportunity to shape a new world

A man and his son  at a deserted  La Mar Bella beach  in Barcelona. Coronavirus restrictions  threaten to wipe out the summer season of travel that accounts for a significant proportion of the economy in several countries including Spain. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty

Ministers meet to co-ordinate help for sector as pandemic shutdown crushes travel plans

Nuria Bravo  holds to her newborn son Jesus next to her husband Francisco Pimentel,  and their children Cristina and Daniel  as they greet to the neighbours from the balcony of their house after she gave birth during a lockdown amid the coronavirus disease, in Ronda. Photograph: Jon Nazca/Reuters

Fierce debate as governments balance controlling the virus and restoring everyday life

European Council president Charles Michel. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/Pool via Reuters

No consensus on recovery fund or eurobonds as crisis exposes deep philosophical gaps

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels. An EU official said Mr Barnier was concerned about the prospect of not reaching agreement ahead of June extension deadline. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

EU negotiator accuses British side of failing to engage seriously in week-long video discussions

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel after the video-conferenced EU summit. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/Reuters

Leaders differ over how to pay for a recovery fund and the form it should take

President of the European Council Charles Michel. Sources say Mr Michel will issue a declaration of progress at the end of the conference instead of a joint statement. Photograph: John Thys/EPA

Deep divisions on financing response puts conference agreement in question

The Italian government, led by  prime minister Giuseppe Conte, has been adamant in demanding the EU agree to issue jointly guaranteed debt. Photograph: Palazzo Chigi press office/AFP via Getty Images

Video conference aimed at bridging divisions over bloc’s financial response to pandemic

People pass by an outdoor restaurant in central Stockholm on Monday. Official guidance in Sweden says citizens can still go out for a meal as long as they stay ‘at arm’s length’ from each other. Photograph: Anders Wiklund/EPA

Pubs, gyms and some schools stay open in strategy that relies on personal responsibility

 Emmanuel Macron: “We are at a moment of truth, which is to decide whether the European Union is a political project or just a market project.” Photograph: Yoan Valat/EPA

Debate provoked by coronavirus crisis goes beyond how to fund spending

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen: “It is also true that too many were not there on time when Italy needed a helping hand at the very beginning.” Photograph: John Thys/Pool via Reuters

Ursula von der Leyen says Europe was slow to respond when pandemic hit Italy

Talks were thrown off course as negotiators have been unable to meet in person since early March. File photograph: Getty

‘Extending would simply prolong negotiations ... it is not in the UK’s interest to extend’

Ursula Von der Leyen: ”Some regions will bounce back, and others will have a harder time. And therefore cohesion and convergence will be more important than ever before.”  Photograph: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Ursula von der Leyen calls for end to divisions ahead of talks on post-pandemic recovery

Singapore’s contact-tracing smartphone app, TraceTogether. Photograph: Catherine Lai/AFP via Getty

Europe Letter: EU co-ordination is essential for tech to track infections to be effective

President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen: next European budget must be “the European answer to the corona crisis”. Photograph: John Thys

European Commission publishes recommendations on how to lift restrictions

Lead negotiators Michel Barnier (above) and David Frost held their first official meeting over video on Wednesday. Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP Photo

Specialised committee on Ireland and Northern Ireland due to meet soon

President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen holds a news conference on the European Union response to the coronavirus  crisis at the EU headquarters in Brussels. Photograph: .John Thys/Reuters

Commission keen to avoid a repeat of the chaotic scenes that ensued last month

A customer  in a  book store  after the Austrian government loosened its lockdown restrictions. Photograph: Reuters

EU to announce guidelines, including recommendations for states sharing borders

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. Photograph: François Lenoir/Reuters

UK reaffirms desire to leave transition period at end of year despite severe obstacles

A coachwoman in Vienna hands a mask on a horse carriage transporting food packages in front of the InterContinental Hotel. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger

Analysis: EU backs US policy to advise public wearing of face masks to halt Covid-19

The eurobonds issue has been escalated up the chain of command to be dealt with directly by EU national leaders rather than by finance ministers.

Naomi O’Leary: It’s apparent that the most contentious issue has been kicked down the road

The 19 euro zone finance ministers were due to convene over a video conference to try to find a compromise on a rescue package for states struggling to manage the economic impact of the pandemic

“The response contains bold and ambitious proposals that would have been unthinkable just a few weeks ago,” Portuguese finance min(...)

Eurogroup president Mario Centeno (centre) giving a press briefing at the end of a video meeting in Lisbon, Portugal. Photograph: Patricia de Melo Moreira/European Council/EPA

Merkel and Macron intervene to secure accord between Italy and Netherlands

Dutch prime minister   attends a debate in the House of Representatives on the developments surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic   in The Hague, the Netherlands. Photograph: Bart Maat/EPA

Dutch rejection of financial plans is incomprehensible to outsiders

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte: “We are not demanding that Germany and Holland should pay our debts.” Photograph: EPA

The two poles of disagreement over how to finance the response to Covid-19 are represented by Italy and the Netherlands

Queuing outside a shop in Sceaux, south of Paris, on the 23rd day of a strict lockdown in France. Photograph: Thomas Coex / AFP

Prof Mauro Ferrari slams EU’s response to the coronavirus pandemic as he quits role

French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire checks his phone during a break in a videoconference meeting of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers

Feud between Italy and the Netherlands over conditions for credit facilities is reportedly blocking progress

 Dutch Minister Wopke Hoekstra during a video conference with the EU finance ministers, on what means should be used to absorb the economic blow of the corona crisis

Meeting aims to resolve differences over financing of programme

Taoiseach rejoined medical register in March and is set to work one shift a week with HSE

Migrants and refugees, some wearing face masks for protective measures, queue in a makeshift camp next to the Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. Photograph: Getty

Greek authorities isolate Ritsona camp as 23 migrants test positive close to capital, Athens

Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond:  “One of the stated aims of this commission is the maintenance of the rule of law.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

European Court of Justice rules Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic broke EU law by refusing refugees

Hungarian parliament votes through a law granting the government special powers ostensibly to combat coronavirus crisis. Photograph: MTI Zoltan Mathe/Pool via Reuters

East-west split in European Parliament could again scupper sanctions against Orban

A woman walks past a portrait of Chinese president Xi Jinping in Shanghai. Photograph: Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters

Europe Letter: With the West in decline and China rising, old certainties are crumbling

Italian fashion company Miroglio has a new item on its production line: face masks. Photograph: Miroglio

Increasing number of European countries making public wearing of masks compulsory

Farming, food production and distribution industries in the EU are heavily reliant on cross-border labour. File photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

European Commission president appeals to EU member countries to ease restrictions

Wopke Hoekstra sits behind Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte. Mr Hoekstra wrote that issuing joint debt via bonds risked undermining ‘incentives for sensible policy’. Photograph: EPA

Portugese PM describes Dutch finance minister’s dismissal of eurobonds as ‘repugnant’

This handout picture released  by the Groningen Museum shows Vincent van Gogh’s 1884 painting Lentetuin, or Spring Garden. Photograph: Marten de Leeuw/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Dutch master’s 1884 work Spring Garden taken from museum near Amsterdam

Web Summit chief executive Paddy Cosgrave. File photograph: Antonio Cotrim/EPA

Post violated social media platorms’s ban on promoted political content

FFP2 face masks advertised at a closed shop in Berlin. The Netherlands found flaws in a shipment from China that prevented the masks acting as effective barriers against coronavirus. Photograph: David Gannon/AFP via Getty Images

Netherlands recalls hundreds of thousands of face masks after Spain returned testing kits

A patient with Covid-19 wears a transparent plastic helmet filled with oxygen at a hospital in Bergamo, Italy. Photograph: Fabio Bucciarelli/The New York Times

Supplier cites recent Italian law that domestic need take precedence over exports

Members of the medical staff in protective suits treat a patient suffering from coronavirus  in an intensive care unit at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, Italy. Photograph:  Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters

Authorities warn country yet to reach outbreak peak as Spain reports surge in deaths

 A quiet Wicklow Street in Dublin city centre on Thursday, closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

World leaders wrestle to contain pandemic’s economic fallout

A nurse dressed in personal protective equipment  prepares to give a coronavirus swab test at a drive-through testing station  in Stamford, Connecticut. Criminals across Europe are exploiting shortages of masks, respirators, and other essential medical equipment for illicit profit. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Dutch police arrest two after attempt to defraud hospitals while Interpol warns of fake shops and websites

People wear face masks as  they walk past shops in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

EU warning comes as two more patients with Covid-19 die, and 235 new cases reported

Freight lorries queue at the Port of Dover on March 20th as EU leaders agreed to restrict most travel into the continent. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Freight truckers are increasingly the only people who can travel across Europe

The finance ministers said the “major economic shock” caused by Covid-19 justified the triggering of the “general escape clause” from EU budget rules

Finance ministers agree to suspend restrictions on borrowing and spending to deal with Covid-19

Police and military checks at central station during the coronavirus emergency lockdown, in Milan, Italy. Photograph: EPA

In Italy death toll rises 627 over 24 hours while virus fatalities crest 1,000 in Spain

The sudden imposition of identity checks on Poland’s border with Germany caused a traffic jam of 60km along one of Europe’s major trade arteries.  Photograph: Rolf Schulten/Bloomberg

Covid-19 threatens to undermine the very foundations of the EU – freedom of movement and free movement of goods

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who has tested positive the Covid-19 coronavirus. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

EU chief Brexit negotiator tweets that he is ‘doing well and in good spirits’

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and the British prime minister’s Europe adviser David Frost in Brussels on March 2nd. Photograph: Oliver Hoslet/Reuters

Document on future EU-UK relationship crosses several British red lines

 Italian foreign minister Luigi Di Maio  holding a press conference with a limited number  of reporters  at the Farnesina Palace in Rome. Photograph:  EPA/Ettore Ferrari

Europe Letter: Italian ambassador to the EU sees the crisis as a test of the union’s cohesiveness and solidarity

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel: “We have to be very careful with our single market,” says Ms von der Leyen. “In the economy it’s the most precious instrument we have.” Photograph: Olivier Matthys

Free trade and movement between member states hampered by closures and traffic jams

A coronavirus  warning notice  at the European Council, in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Sides examining possibility of negotiating via video-conferencing or conference calls

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen holds a news conference on Monday. The commission has proposed barring travel from the rest of the world to the EU for at least 30 days. Photograph: Johanna Geron/Reuters

European countries close borders to each other and rest of world as Macron declares total lockdown

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte during a televised address on the outbreak of coronavirus. Photograph:  Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/ANP/AFP via Getty

Prime minister Mark Rutte says ‘large part’ of population will be infected

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen speaking in Brussels on Monday. Photograph: Johanna Geron/Reuters

Ban on all non-essential travel into bloc proposed by European Commission

A healthcare worker at  Shamrock Rovers’ Tallaght Stadium in Dublin which is being used as a testing centre for Covid-19 (Coronavirus). Photograph: Collins

Rise in cases cannot be stopped’ as restrictions set to be extended beyond March 29th

French police officers carry out checks at the border between Italy and France in Menton, southern France, on Sunday. Photograph: Sebastien Nogier/EPA

France, Spain and Netherlands shut down all but essential services

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