Sven Giegold
Member of the European Parliament – Greens/EFA Group

Speaker of the German Green Delegation

Joint German-Italian appeal: European solidarity now!

Sign our call here: www.weareinthistogether.eu

Dear friends,

We are witnessing a decisive moment for Europe. The solidarity of the European community is being tested. The Corona crisis was not the fault of any country alone. European solidarity is the order of the day. The pandemic affects us as Europeans together, and we must therefore tackle it together. Instead of European unity, we are experiencing national divisions among governments. A division of Europe is the worst conceivable response to this common challenge. The Federal Government of Germany promotes the division of Europe.

We, Italians and Germans, call on our governments to overcome the old patterns of division in Europe. We are in this together. With this German-Italian call we want to set an example. Among the first signatories are Mario Monti and Enrico Letta (former Prime Ministers of Italy), Hans Eichel (former Finance Minister of Germany) and the well-known former MEP Elmar Brok (CDU) as well as a long list of top economists from Italy and Germany.

Many Germans do not agree with the course of the German Federal Government and also demand financial solidarity in Europe, also through joint bonds. And many Italians want to keep Europe together and counter the populists. Many prominent Germans and Italians from politics, business, science, culture and sports have already joined our demands.

Please send a signal and sign our German-Italian appeal here: www.weareinthistogether.eu

We demand: All EU institutions as well as the Member States must urgently participate in a joint effort with four key actions:

1. The ECB has enacted important initial measures. We need a comprehensive financial protection shield for Europe and the Euro area.

2. This is not only the role of the monetary policy of the ECB but belongs also to democratic decisions in fiscal policy. All member states of the Eurozone must get reliable and long term access to the low interest rate funding made possible by the ECB. Therefore, we support the immediate opening of a Health credit line in the ESM, with focused conditions to ensure that credits are used for well-defined categories of Health-related programmes, without any additional conditionality.

3. But we also need burden-sharing as the crisis hits all countries simultaneously and no single country is in this crisis because of bad economic or fiscal policy choices of the past, but because of a terrible pandemic. As we have entered this crisis together, we will only exit it well together. We need burden-sharing because some countries might otherwise run the risk of not being able to spend enough on health projects and a swift restart of economic activities. This would not only hurt the concerned country, but put the entire internal market at risk. We therefore call for the issuing of European Health Bonds, 1000 billion Euro have been proposed by seven German economists, with a clear and defined common objective and subject to jointly agreed guidelines. This would allow shouldering the burden together, in a democratic way.

4. The urgency is presently on fighting the Coronavirus pandemic and its immediate consequences. We should however start to prepare the measures necessary to get back to a normal functioning of our societies and economies and to sustainable economic development, integrating inter alia the green transition and the digital transformation, and drawing all lessons from the crisis. This will require a coordinated exit strategy, a comprehensive recovery plan and unprecedented investment.

We invite the President of the Commission and the President of the European Council, in cooperation with the European Parliament and in consultation with other institutions, especially the ECB, to start work on an Action Plan to this end.

This appeal was initiated by Franziska Brantner MEP, Sven Giegold MEP and Alexandra Geese MEP.

The first signatories include Mario Monti, Enrico Letta, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Carolin Emcke, Francesca Melandri, Marcel Fratzscher, Sebastian Dullien, Elmar Brok, Tito Boeri, Michael Hüther, Peter Bofinger, Jens Südekum, Christoph Trebesch, Gabriel Felbermayr, Hans Eichel, René Obermann, Emma Bonino, Ulrike Guérot, Ruprecht Polenz, Jagoda Marinic, Amelie Deuflhard, Matthias Lilienthal, Giuliano Pisapia, Beatrice Weder di Mauro, Leoluca Orlando, Carlo Feltrinelli, Igor Levit, Aleida Assman und Lars Castellucci.

The complete text with all signatories is open for co-signature here: www.weareinthistogether.eu

With hopeful European greetings,
Sven Giegold

PS: For next Wednesday, 8 April at 7:00 pm, I invite you to a “European Corona Conference” with prominent Greens from all over Europe in an online webinar format. Registration is already possible here:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8782037271504747532

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