Brussels to the rescue? Ursula von der Leyen pushes for Covid-19 ‘Marshall Plan’ as bloc is far from united
3 Apr, 2020
The head of the European Commission is advocating for measures to drive Europe out of the coronavirus crisis stronger than it was before, but the cracks inside the bloc’s relations may cast a shadow on her bright projects.
Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday that member states had begun discussions about what to do with closed borders, which were shuttered in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“We are in consultation with member states on how to proceed beyond Easter,” she told Europe 1 radio.
Read more at https://www.rt.com/news/484866-leyen-eu-borders-marshall-plan-coronavirus/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Email
Foreign Minister Di Maio on Corona Bonds “Italy Is Expecting a Collective Response to This Pain”
by Frank Hornig in Rome
Mr. Foreign Minister, Italy has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus. Your government is calling for support from its partners in the European Union, including Germany. Is Europe now experiencing an ordeal similar to the one it faced during the euro crisis?
Di Maio: We have never experienced a situation like the one today. There is simply no historical comparison to the huge health and economic consequences of the pandemic. We will not find a solution if we just look back. It does not matter today how the Marshall Plan once worked, what German debts were forgiven after the war or the role Greece played in the euro crisis.
Read more at https://www.spiegel.de
The future of Europe is being decided now
We are going through the gravest European crisis since the integration project began. The divisions which emerged during the European Council on March 26th are unprecedented in the history of the European Union.
Faced with the devastation of the continent’s public health, the 27 heads of government of the EU member states decided not to decide. Pathetically, they asked their finance ministers to come up with a shared position in 15 days. A dramatic, but inevitable, choice—given the division between the northern countries (led by the Netherlands and including Germany) and the southern countries (led by Italy and Spain and including France) over how to deal with the pandemic.
Read more at https://www.socialeurope.eu/the-future-of-europe-is-being-decided-now
Save European citizens, and save the union
The European Council of March 26th showed once again that the divisions among European governments are seriously jeopardising the future of the union. Their communiqué declared: ‘We fully acknowledge the gravity of the socio-economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis and will do everything necessary to meet this challenge in a spirit of solidarity.’ Unfortunately, the opposite is true.
The tensions between the two Europes, north and south, are sparking a new wave of nationalism. Europe’s citizens are asking for help. They are receiving some from their governments, but they await concrete answers from the union.
Read more at https://www.socialeurope.eu/save-european-citizens-and-save-the-union