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Europe Wasn't Well-prepared: Acknowledges German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (Photo Credit: AP)

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (Photo Credit: AP)

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that initially most countries were focused on coping with the outbreak at home.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas says Europe must acknowledge that it "wasn't well-prepared" for the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement marking Europe Day, Maas said that initially most countries, including Germany, were focused on coping with the outbreak at home.

While defending the national response as "necessary, in order to safeguard our ability to act and then also help other," Maas said the European Union had "grown in the crisis." The EU's sluggish response has given way to cross-border medical aid, a massive financial support package and coordinated scientific research programs.

Maas called the solidarity provided by EU member states "unique in the world," adding that Germany wants the bloc to emerge from the crisis stronger. Berlin takes over the six-month rotating presidency of the 27-nation EU on July 1.