Monday

6th Apr 2020

Letter

Dear EU Leaders, stand up for Europeans, now!

  • 'We appreciate the European Commission's first package of measures to combat Covid-19 - but there is still much to be done, the member states are still acting differently and selfishly' (Photo: Dipartimento Protezione Civile)

Dear EU Leaders, stand up for Europeans, now!

Mankind is facing another major crisis, caused by a silent and invisible enemy that knows no borders and could potentially attack anyone.

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This is a war and Europe must act accordingly to protect itself. Everything is at stake: not only our health but also our way of living, our jobs, our social structure and our economy.

Only with a strong, coordinated and united political approach can we win this battle.

At the moment, Europe clearly lacks a true moral leadership and coordination to deal with this emergency. We, members of Volt Belgium - the Belgian chapter of Volt Europa, the first pan-European party - call on you to stand up and show more solidarity and unity across the EU.

Our party stands against the rise of nationalism that has threatened the EU project in recent years. Now we strongly condemn the rise of 'corona nationalism'.

Let's learn from our past. When we face a global crisis, national measures are not enough. Acting quickly and acting together is the only effective response. This is your chance to show solidarity, coordination and action. This is a test of European unity. This is the moment to show whether we are a real Union or not.

We appreciate the European Commission's first package of measures to combat Covid-19, a first joint step in the right direction.

But there is still much to be done, the member states are still acting differently and selfishly. We want you to be stronger and united! All member states must act with a common coherent plan to save our society.

The EU institutions must ensure an equal distribution of medical equipment and financial support to all.

The Covid-19 outbreak shows how urgent and fundamental it is to have a universal and solidarity-based public health system. Solidarity must be strengthened and each member state must take the same measures to combat and contain the spread of Covid-19.

This exceptional situation calls for exceptional measures. We call on you for a stronger policy coordination and a coherent approach with the creation of a "European Covid-19 coordination body" to ensure the smooth working of our Single Market.

Moreover, all EU institutions and governments must be able to take the necessary measures, regardless of their current level of indebtedness, to support the weaker families, companies in maintaining current jobs, and workers who have already lost their jobs.

Heads of state and government must finally act to adopt an ambitious multi-annual budget adapted to this unprecedented systemic crisis.

Finally, according to some studies, Covid-19 is spreading more easily in the most polluted regions, which is why the implementation of the European Green Deal must continue to be one of the priorities for a necessary economic, social and environmental transition after this crisis has passed.

If you do not show unity and if you will not do whatever it takes, citizens will not forget. And it might lead to the end of the European Union.

Author bio

The authors are members of the Belgian section of Volt Europa, the pan-European political movement.

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

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