Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio on Friday praised the role that the European Union is playing in tackling COVID-19, saying the bloc's response to the pandemic has shown its strength and unity.
"Europe has been able to react firmly to the pandemic and with determination, remaining united and changing its approach to the crisis," Di Maio said.
He was addressing the State of the Union conference organised by the European University Institute in Florence.
Di Maio highlighted the bloc's "considerable ability to react in the face of unexpected adversity, showing ample resilience".
Dealing with the economic, health and social repercussions of the pandemic has made clear the breadth of the EU's role, he said.