Most of the world's leaders have been pushed to take exceptional measures, bringing the economy, social life and, incidentally, our freedoms to a standstill.
On the European continent, this was done in the usual way: each State wanted to decide for itself, but in the end the decisions were broadly along the same lines, with one exception, however, the closure of borders. The result was profound disorder, the realization that the virus had no nationality and totally pointless differences: this is what we call the "Europe of nations"!
The second phase was more generous. The Central Bank set the tone and the European Commission was there. The European safety nets allowed an unprecedented mobilisation of impressive financial resources. All the resources of the common institutions were called upon, their programmes, funds and procedures. In all, the Union and its Member States have potentially already mobilised more than €3 500 billion.
It still has to decide how to express genuine solidarity between its members when it has to adopt its budget for the next seven years. Some have been more affected than others by the pandemic and their fragility due to the virus risks dragging Europe and the euro down. France and Germany suggest that the common institutions should go into debt to help them.
Seventy years later, it is indeed the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950 that still shows us the way: "(...) Europe will be made by concrete achievements creating a de facto solidarity". This is what the two nations behind the construction of Europe are proposing today.
Solidarity in the euro and in the Union already exists. To weaken it is to weaken ourselves. Let those who hesitate not forget what they owe to the internal market, to European rules, to common expenditure, to the solidarity of the allies after the Second World War... And let the European Commission rise to the challenge, because this is about nothing less than rebuilding an economy devastated by its brutal halt.
In the aftermath of the war, the European States survived only thanks to these long-woven solidarities. The same will be true today in building the economy of the future.