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Overcoming the virus

For international cooperation and solidarity

The unilateral decision made by the American president, in the wake of others in Europe, shows that the greatest harm a virus can do is to the brain...

Believing that closing borders will stem the pandemic is absurd; the list of exceptions to his decision, which only concerns the States in the Schengen area, demonstrates its political nature.

The supporters of borders are mistaken about the century and the world; but most seriously, they are systematically destroying the idea of international cooperation, which is the only way to really put an end to this epidemic.

This decline in the spirit of cooperation was witnessed first in Europe. Once again, the Member States have preferred their national constituencies and customs to the European dimension, which should have seen real solidarity in action. This was essential for Italy, which was the first to be affected. It will soon be the case for all of the others. The same applies to the United States. Who can believe that Covid-19 will be defeated on just one continent?

International cooperation is indispensable in the field of health to overcome an evil that is striking the global village. The harmonisation of containment measures, the pooling of research efforts and free sharing of results, the exchange of experience and permanent consultation are essential for the definitive eradication of the virus. As long as it is circulating somewhere, no State will be safe from contamination

In economic terms, global cooperation is perhaps even more necessary.

Europeans could have set an example rather than rushing to take national measures which will not, in any case, be equal to the challenge. There is no doubt that all Member States are now being affected. They must therefore respond together to the looming economic disaster, not aggravate the movement of goods and people to the point of embolism, and release exceptional and significant budgetary resources to enable the European economy to overcome this enormous but temporary obstacle.

However, the American stance is making the crisis even worse. First and foremost it involves the stock market, and will tomorrow be economic and social, probably on a scale without precedent in this century. Instead of consulting each other, States are closing in on themselves; instead of rising to the challenges facing humanity, they are shrinking to the height of their mediocrity. The US President has announced that $50 billion will be made available to the US economy to mobilize more than $200 billion in liquidity. But this will not be enough if the European economy does not have the same means and if the Asian economies are not in tune with these stimuli. Disordered responses will be, at best, ineffective, and at worst, inappropriate and even aggravating.

The Coronavirus will perhaps be more convincing than all the pleas for multilateralism, cooperation and openness! But at what price!