Friday, March 27, 2020


In the current Corona crisis some major players in the new anti-virus world league overdo it, others under play it, and one is on leave, the EU.

That the EU looks clueless, while some of its member states struggle with the largest number of casualties is hard to  understand. The "virtual" summit this week was not only a fiasco, it became unpleasant and hard to watch. Charles Michel tried his best to bridge the gap between Italy and Spain versus Germany and the Netherlands. This Council's president is better at dealing with cat fights between Belgians than at heavyweight disputes of the likes he has on his plate now.

The EU in all its constituents stays almost silent while the house is on fire. It is hard to find a cause for this guilty is even harder to find an excuse. Even the American president gets it, when some semblance of leadership is required, but in Brussels the Berlaymont looks as desolate as the streets.

The Commission should at least complement the various actions of the member states. One can understand that the steering of life and death policies should be the responsibility of the states first. Nevertheless, there is a need for overview, for making all relevant information available to all, for helping to manage a more open "market" for essentials, that should be attainable rather than hidden from view .

A new Council is set in two weeks. The public should be spared a repeat of the last gathering. If the bickering continues, member states will end up choosing for bilateral or other ad hoc arrangements. The EU is in need of a respirator, too.

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