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Leaving lockdown: What does the EU want, what are the concerns and how does this affect Ireland?

Return to normal life will be slow and extremely cautious, writes John Downing

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Moves: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a conference on the Covid-19 outbreak. Photo: AP

Moves: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a conference on the Covid-19 outbreak. Photo: AP

AP

Moves: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at a conference on the Covid-19 outbreak. Photo: AP

The EU's response to the coronavirus crisis was a mess. Now, Commission president Ursula von der Leyen is determined to guide a successful wind-down of the Europe-wide lockdown. JOHN DOWNING answers all of your questions.

What is the EU's role in this?

It has more responsibility than power on public health matters as member governments have the major role. But new Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was refreshingly candid in admitting the EU had come near to "tearing itself apart" in the early days of the pandemic.