Our citizens are dying and our hospitals overwhelmed. Either we respond with unwavering solidarity or our union fails, writes the Spanish prime minister
April 5, 2020
Europe is enduring its worst crisis since the second world war. Our citizens are dying, or fighting for their lives in hospitals that are overwhelmed by a pandemic which represents the greatest threat to public health since the 1918 flu pandemic.
The European Union is facing a different war from those we have successfully averted over the past 70 years: a war against an invisible enemy that is putting the future of the European project to the test.
The circumstances are exceptional and call for unwavering positions: either we rise to this challenge or we will fail as a union. We have reached a critical juncture at which even the most fervently pro-European countries and governments, as is Spain’s case, need real proof of commitment. We need unwavering solidarity.
Solidarity between Europeans is a key principle of the EU treaties. And it is shown at times like this. Without solidarity there can be no cohesion, without cohesion there will be disaffection and the credibility of the European project will be severely damaged.
We welcome a number of significant measures that have been announced over the past few weeks, including the European Central Bank’s new temporary emergency purchase programme and the European commission’s SURE plan for those who have lost their jobs. But these measures are not enough on their own. We must go further.