The EU’s reaction to the Corona virus crisis has drawn criticism from many areas, and resulted in the Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, offering Italy a ‘heartfelt apology’ for the EU not being there when it was needed (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52311263).
However, in advance of the next EU council on 23rd April, an Oxford-based academic has gone one step further and penned an open letter to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
In the letter he has asked that Germany places it financial support behind measures that can help to address the crisis now and prevent the countries of Europe descending into recession or even worse.
Andrea Pisauro, a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, together with his friend Nina, came up with the idea of making the direct appeal. In it they ask the Chancellor to support the issuing of European bonds, describing them as “the necessary guarantee and fulfilment of the efforts made by the European Central Bank and individual nations…to tackle an emergency that could otherwise turn into a eurozone crisis and, ultimately, into a social and economic tragedy.”
They draw comparisons with the steps made by previous German leaders, such as Willi Brandt and Helmut Kohl, who did so much to support the building of a Europe of cooperating states and conclude by saying:
“It is of paramount importance to act now and show the people of Europe that we are actually doing so in an extraordinary way. We ask you to lead this action in the European Council, 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 in fact strengthen it in the face of hardship.”
Initial reaction to the letter has been overwhelming, with early signatories including two Nobel Laureates, the General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation, as well as MEPs from France, Spain, Italy and Germany.
If you would like to add your name, this full text of the letter and opportunity to do so can be found at: https://openlettertomerkel.com/.