A call from Circolo Esperia to EPP Members of the European Parliament.
COVID-19 caught us unprepared. Europe's response was initially uncertain and ambiguous, fuelling a strong anti-European sentiment in the most affected countries, which is now risking to become irreversible. In response to the economic and social crises that will inevitably follow the health crisis, Europe must be able to put in place new, ambitious, unprecedented economic policies.
This will not exclude the responsibility of the Member States in pursuing sensible social and economic policies to respond to the current emergency and implement the necessary reforms to strengthen the competitiveness of our economic systems. It is clear to all that we are at a crossroads in European history; we now have the responsibility to bring Europe back in the wake of the values of our Founding Fathers. Freedom, Equality, Solidarity, Justice must not remain words written in our documents but must define what Europe is today and what Europe will be tomorrow. We now have a duty to awaken their dream, looking at our common roots and to the future awaiting us in a global and often hostile world. It is evident to all that only united can we ensure the common good of our communities.
This unprecedented crisis has put pressure on our health systems and their ability to deliver the necessary care to all affected men and women. At the same time, Member States' response has not always been consistent, appropriate and timely. Now it is necessary to put in place a coordinated response - for example on restrictive measures, test strategies, on initiatives to ensure transit corridors for goods and people, for the appropriate use of Big Data, for procurement essential goods, medicines and protective equipment - also taking into account the trend of the different contagion curves in the Member States. The European Commission is already working on many of these issues, including numerous research initiatives.
But an equally urgent response is needed to face the economic and social crisis that will follow the pandemic and which is already showing its first effects in the most affected Member States and which will manifest itself symmetrically in all the other countries, none excluded. It is time to put in place a set of different financial instruments, even of an unconventional nature, which have sufficient long-term capacity and which reflect the solidarity between the member states,such as the EU Recovery Bonds. It is also urgent to review the tools that we already have available, as well as the role and function of some of our institutions (including the EIB, the European Central Bank and the ESM fund), to reverse the effects of the economic shock and guarantee resources sufficient for the reconstruction of the European economic system. At the same time, we must put in place a plan to enable us to respond effectively to crises such as these that may arise in the future, adapting our strategic infrastructures, industrial plans and national health systems.
It is clear to everyone that at this precise moment we are at a crucial stage in our European journey. We therefore call on the representatives of our political family in the European People's Party to make a strong and firm decision in the next few hours. When history calls, it is not the moment of prudence, nor that of compromises but it is the moment of courage to fight for the very existence of our Europe.