Today’s European Council meeting is crucial for the future of the EU and of its citizens. The magnitude of the current crisis will affect each and every one of us for years to come. So too, will the political decisions in response to it. This is why it is important that leaders participating in this historic summit listen to the voices of European citizens.
Since the beginning of the pandemic citizens have organised initiatives ranging from petitions and policy proposals to open letters, urging a strong and united European response. They all expressed a sense of belonging, responsibility and agency of European citizenry in the face of the crisis.
We address you today as EU citizens and promoters of two such initiatives, the “Open letter to Angela Merkel” and the petition “Europe, a patient”, which have won the support of thousands of European citizens, and hundreds of leading thinkers of our time.
Standing together, we ask leaders to show European solidarity and embrace reform, beginning with the implementation of a joint European debt instrument.
European economies are interconnected and no recovery is possible acting in isolation. All member-states had to face the enormous threat of the pandemic. Everywhere across the EU, the efforts to stabilise the situation came at a huge cost, both human and economic. Without economic solidarity, these efforts are severely threatened. This virus is a shared predicament and should be faced as such. The pandemic knows no barriers between North and South, nor should it be permitted to create them.
A society as much as a union is as safe and as strong as its weakest members. In this dire situation the member-states need the EU to act as a united, political entity with a shared sense of responsibility and with common purpose. We can already see authoritarian forces taking advantage of the crisis and a seemingly fragmented Europe. It is only if EU structures inspire confidence that can we prevent this risk from spreading.
For these reasons we ask the European Council to reach an agreement on a joint European debt instrument to fund the economic recovery from the pandemic, thus signalling to the world that Europeans stand together in the face of this crisis and are ready to do whatever it takes to preserve our union and strengthen it in the face of hardship.