Governor Talk - Ireland: Euro Area Recovery from Covid-19—Economic Policy Reflections and Challenges



Paschal Donohoe

Minister for Finance of Ireland and President of the Eurogroup


Paschal Donohoe TD is the Minister for Finance. He was re-appointed to this role in June 2020, having served in this role since June 2017.

Minister Donohoe was elected President of the Eurogroup on 9 July 2020. His two and a half year term began on 13 July 2020.

From May 2016 - June 2020, he served as the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, and from July 2014 - May 2016, as the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. He also held the position of Minister for European Affairs at the Department of An Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs from July 2013 - July 2014.

Minister Donohue was first elected as a TD in February 2011 for the Dublin Cnetral constituency. Prior to this he was a member of Seanad Éireann, from 2007 - 2011. He also served as member of Dublin City Council from 2004 - 2007.


Alfred Kammer

Director European Department, IMF


Alfred Kammer is the Director of the European Department at the International Monetary Fund since August 2020. In this capacity, he oversees the IMF’s work with Europe.

Mr. Kammer was previously the Chief of Staff of the Office of the Managing Director, advising the Managing Director on strategic and operational issues and overseeing operations for the senior management team; Deputy Director of the Strategy, Policy and Review Department, overseeing the work on Fund strategy and surveillance policy; Deputy Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department, overseeing regional economic developments and financial sector issues; Director of the Office of Technical Assistance Management, advising management on technical assistance operations and overseeing fundraising and global partnerships for capacity building; and Advisor to the Deputy Managing Director. Mr. Kammer also served as resident representative of the IMF in Russia. Since joining the IMF, Mr. Kammer worked with countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and on a wide range of policy and strategic issues.


Key Points:

  • Focus. While the outlook is subject to a substantial uncertainty, the EU shows signs of recovery underpinned by rising vaccination rates and the easing of containment measures. The buffer against the COVID-19 shock provided by automatic stabilizers and supportive policies has helped the EU recovery to gain momentum. Nevertheless, there are challenges ahead, including from the asymmetric impact of the pandemic across sectors. The discussion on the fiscal framework within the EU and the banking union are part of a workplan aimed at enhancing coordination.
  • Conclusions. Going forward, fiscal policy will play a key role in supporting the recovery and mitigating the risk of a multi-speed recovery. Reaching agreement on the long-term agenda would help enhance policy coordination and resilience among EU member countries.


There's a deep responsibility to do as much as we can to deliver vaccines because this (COVID-19) virus respects no borders.Paschal Donohoe

We are building economic momentum and acknowledging existing risks. With the recovery fund, we've the best possible tool for dealing with the risk of a multi-speed recovery.Paschal Donohoe

Policymakers are working hard to achieve efficient national policies and international policy coordination to facilitate the recovery from the pandemic.Alfred Kammer

Contributor: Daniela Alcantara, IMF, Secretary’s Department