European solidarity now, in the interest of all – VoxEurop (English)

As the coronavirus crisis spreads across Europe, there are increasing calls for greater coordination and solidarity at the European level. Here is the latest one, already signed by several European personalities. We support it, and invite you to sign it.

We are experiencing an unprecedented challenge for all of us in Europe with the Corona Virus epidemic. It restricts our freedom of movement, puts tremendous strain on our health systems and causes enormous economic damage. Many citizens in Europe are worried about their health, their loved ones as well as their economic future. Italy was the first European country to be hit hard and has paid a very high price in terms of human lives. Doctors and nurses are working under unprecedented conditions in modern health systems, saving lives but risking their own. All Italians are enduring a long quarantine with huge personal sacrifices and facing the worst economic crisis since World War II. At the same time, Italy is helping other countries prevent similar suffering by raising awareness about the gravity of the threat.

Especially in the beginning of the crisis, national export restrictions on desperately needed medical equipment and unilateral border closures have fragmented the European response to the Corona crisis. These national reflexes harm the reputation of the European project at just the time when European cooperation is most needed. But there are also important, inspiring examples of European solidarity when Italian lives are saved in hospitals in Saxony, Cologne or Berlin. Europe means getting fresh food from neighbouring countries despite closed borders. Europe means international research teams searching for a vaccine across national borders.

But we need more European solidarity now. This is a crucial moment for cooperation in Europe. We have to prove that we are a community of values with a common destiny, working for each other in a turbulent, global world. It is time to make courageous joint steps to overcome fear. It is time for European unity, not national division. We therefore call on our governments to overcome the old patterns of division in Europe and in the Eurozone.

We must provide emergency medical aid by treating patients from countries that are particularly affected and overburdened. If we pool our medical capacity on a European scale, we can save more lives.

We must coordinate at European level the production and distribution of protective items such as masks, clothing and disinfectants, as well as respirators, pharmaceuticals and tests, so that they can be used where they are most urgently needed. Many companies in Europe are converting their production. We need to go beyond this and ensure that Europe is reasonably self sufficient when it comes to critical medical equipment and medicines.

We need strong European decisions for public health and for economic and financial stability for all EU member states. All EU institutions, each acting within their respective mandates, as well as the Member States, need to join in an urgent and convergent effort, consisting of four key actions:

  1. The ECB has enacted important initial measures. We have to send clear signals to the financial markets that speculation against individual member states is pointless. We need a comprehensive financial protection shield for Europe and the Euro area.

  2. This is not only the role of the monetary policy of the ECB but belongs also to democratic decisions in fiscal policy. All member states of the Eurozone must get reliable and long term access to the low interest rate funding made possible by the ECB. Therefore, we support the immediate opening of a Health credit line in the ESM, with focused conditions to ensure that credits are used for well-defined categories of Health-related programmes, without any additional conditionality.

  3. But we also need burden-sharing as the crisis hits all countries simultaneously and no single country is in this crisis because of bad economic or fiscal policy choices of the past, but because of a terrible pandemic. As we have entered this crisis together, we will only exit it well together. We need burden-sharing because some countries might otherwise run the risk of not being able to spend enough on health projects and a swift restart of economic activities. This would not only hurt the concerned country, but put the entire internal market at risk. We therefore call for the issuing of European Health Bonds, 1000 billion Euro have been proposed by seven German economists, with a clear and defined common objective and subject to jointly agreed guidelines. This would allow shouldering the burden together, in a democratic way.

  4. The urgency is presently on fighting the Coronavirus pandemic and its immediate consequences. We should however start to prepare the measures necessary to get back to a normal functioning of our societies and economies and to sustainable economic development, integrating inter alia the green transition and the digital transformation, and drawing all lessons from the crisis. This will require a coordinated exit strategy, a comprehensive recovery plan and unprecedented investment. We invite the President of the Commission and the President of the European Council, in cooperation with the European Parliament and in consultation with other institutions, especially the ECB, to start work on an Action Plan to this end.

This is not the time to let ourselves be divided. This is the time to stand united and fight for a common, better future. Sign the call here

First Signatories:

Gian-Paolo Accardo, Voxeurop, Brussels; Dr. Maria Alexopoulou, Universität Mannheim; Sudan Igiaba Ali Oma Scego, Autorin; Prof. (em) Dr. Aleida Assmann, Universität Konstanz; Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Barca, Ökonom, Minister a.D.; Prof. Dr. Michael Bauer, Universität Hamburg; Dr. Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Senior Fellow LUISS School of Political Economy, Rome; Prof. Dr. Tito Boeri, Bocconi Universität, INPS-Präsident a.d.; Prof. Dr. Peter Bofinger, Universität Würzburg; Angelo Bonelli , Europa Verde; Emma Bonino, Ministerin a.D., EU Kommissarin a.D.; Dr. Franziska Brantner, MdB; Elmar Brok, MdEP a.D.; Prof. Dr. Massimo Cacciari, Universität Vita-Salute San Raffaele; Prof. Dr. Carlo Alberto Carnevale Maffé, Bocconi Universität; Max Casacci, Subsonica; Prof. Dr. Lars Castellucci, MdB Mario Catania, Landwirtschaftsminister a.D.; Francesca Cavallo, Autorin; Lella Costa, Schauspielerin; Prof. Dr. Carlo Cottarelli , Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund Board a.D.; Giulia Maria Crespi, Umweltschutzverband Fondo Ambiente Italiano; Giuliano da Empoli, Autor; Martine Dennewald, Künstlerische Leiterin, Festival Theaterformen, Staatstheater Braunschweig; Amelie Deuflhard, Intendantin, Kampnagel – Internationales Zentrum für Schönere Künste; Prof. Dr. Jonas Dovern, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg; Prof. Dr. Sebastian Dullien, Forschungsdirektor, Institut für Makroökonomie und Konjunkturforschung (IMK); Hans Eichel, Bundesfinanzminister a.D., Kassel; Dr. Carolin Emcke, Publizistin; Prof. Dr. Bernhard Emunds, Nell-Breuning-Institut der Phil.-Theol. Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt am Main; Piero Fassino, Vizepräsident Auswärtiger Ausschuss, Minister a.D.; Prof. Dr. Gabriel Felbermayr, Institut für Weltwirtschaft, Kiel; Carlo Feltrinelli, Präsident Stiftung Giangiacomo Feltrinelli; Franco Frattini, Außenminister a.D.; Prof. Dr. Marcel Fratzscher, Präsident, Deutsches Institut der Wirtschaft, Berlin; Dr. Jeannette zu Fürstenberg, Unternehmerin; Alexandra Geese, MdEP; Sven Giegold, MdEP; Prof. Dr. Enrico Giovannini, Direktor a.D., Istat (Nationales Statistikinstitut), Minister a.D.; Prof. Dr. Stefan Gosepath, Freie Universität Berlin; Elena Grandi , Europa Verde; Prof. Dr. Ulrike Guérot, European Ideas Lab; Prof. Dr. Luigi Guiso, Einaudi Institut für Economics and Finance, Rom; Prof. Dr. Sabine Hark, Technische Universität, Berlin; Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Hengsbach SJ, Nell-Breuning-Institut der Phil.-Theol. Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt am Main; Dr. Kirsten Heinsohn, stlv. Direktorin, Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte, Hamburg; Prof. Dr. Costanza Hermanin, College of Europe, John Cabot University; Prof. Dr. Michael Hüther, Direktor, Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft, Köln; Helena Janeczek, Autorin; Gad Lerner, Journalist; Prof Dr. Enrico Letta, Ministerpräsident a.D.; Igor Levit, Pianist; Matthias Lilienthal, Direktor, Münchner Kammerspiele; Angelina Maccarone, Autorin und Regisseurin, Berlin; Jagoda Marinic, Autorin; Francesca Melandri, Autorin; Prof. Dr. Mario Monti, Präsident, Bocconi Universität, Premierminister Italien a.D.; EU Kommissar a.D.; Prof. Dr. Massimo Morelli, Bocconi Universität und CEPR; René Obermann; Leoluca Orlando, Bürgermeister Palermo; Lisa Paus, MdB; Dr. Giuliano Pisapia, MdEP; Ruprecht Polenz, MdB a.D.; Prof. Dr. Lucrezia Reichlin, London Business School; Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa, Universität Jena; Regina Schilling, Dokumentarfilmerin, Programm lit.COLOGNE, Köln; Prof. Dr. Moritz Schularick, Bonn Graduate School of Economics; Michael Schwarz, Mercator Stiftung; Prof. Dr. Detlef Siegfried, Universität Kopenhagen; Prof. Dr. Marco Simoni, Präsident, Humane Technopole; Giovanni Soldini, Extremsegler; Prof. Dr. Jens Südekum, Institut für Wettbewerbsökonomie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf; Prof. Dr. Guido Tabellini, Bocconi Universität, Rektor a.D.; Dr. Nathalie Tocci, Universität Tübingen; Prof. Dr. Christoph Trebesch, Institut für Weltwirtschaft, Kiel; Prof. Dr. Achim Truger, Universität Duisburg-Essen; Prof. Dr. Paula-Irene Villa Braslavsky, LMU München; Pier Virgilio Dastoli, Europäische Bewegung Italien; Prof. Dr. Della Vedova , +Europa; Prof. Dr. Beatrice Werder di Mauro, CEPR, Präsidentin; Dr. Juliane Wetzel, Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung; Cino Zucchi, Architekt

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