Petition to the governments of all Member States and to EU institutions
European Solidarity Now!

European Solidarity Now!

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Joint German-Italian appeal to the governments of all Member States and to EU institutions

European solidarity now, in the interest of all Member States

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. We welcome that the European Commission has decided to create a strategic “rescEU” stockpile of medical equipment. We are aware that Member States have in the past refused to share more competences in the area of health, thereby limiting available options for the Commission. 

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 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 good functioning of our societies and move 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 and the EIB, 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.

First Signatory

Gian-Paolo Accardo, VoxEuropa

Dr. Maria Alexopoulou, Universität Mannheim

Sudan Igiaba Ali Oma Scego, Autorin

Prof. (em) Dr. Aleida Assmann, Universität Konstanz

Dr. Giovanna Badalassi, Ladynomics

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

Massimo Bray, Publisher, Former Minister

Prof. Dr. Tobias Broer, Institute for International Economic Studies

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

Florian Hoffmann, Founder Do School

Prof. Dr. Michael Hüther, Direktor, Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft, Köln

Prof. Dr. Andrea Ichino, European University Institute

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

Rossella Muroni, MP, Italy, former President of environmental organization Legambiente

René Obermann

Prof. (em) Dr. Claus Offe, Hertie School of Governance

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. Stefanie Schüler-Springorum, Director, Center for Research on Antisemitism

Prof. Dr. Moritz Schularick, Bonn Graduate School of Economics

Prof. Dr. Gesine Schwan, Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform

Michael Schwarz, Mercator Stiftung

Peter Schwarzenbauer

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

Mario Tozzi, Geologist

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

Benedetto della Vedova, More Europe

Prof. Dr. Beatrice Werder di Mauro, CEPR, Präsidentin

Dr. Juliane Wetzel, Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung

Cino Zucchi, Architekt

1. April 2020


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