16 April 2020

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Open Letter to EU Health Ministers

by The Good Lobby

Alongside our pan-European partners, The Good Lobby has addressed a letter to the Health Ministers of the 27 EU Member States, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety and the European Commissioner for Crisis Management. Together, we demand that EU Member States’ Health Ministers accept and follow the guidelines published by the EU Commission to ensure a strategic, coordinated response to this pandemic and Europe’s subsequent recovery. We believe that EU Member States are stronger when they work together. You will find a copy of the letter below. Support our initiative by signing our petition.


To the Ministers of Health of the Member States of the European Union, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakidou, the European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič,

We recognize you have been shouldering enormous responsibilities during these past weeks. Millions of citizens are watching you with immense expectations regarding how to solve this emergency and start anew after this unprecedented tragedy.

Little is known about COVID-19, though we know it does not respect borders and does not discriminate. The contagion has spread rapidly everywhere, and no State, even the most powerful and organised, can emerge victorious from this emergency without assistance.

Millions of citizens all over Europe expect that the European Union – despite its limited competences in public health matters – will coordinate with Member States in this delicate transitory phase from the current state of quasi-total lockdown – as enacted in a majority of states – to less severe measures.

Thousands of citizens have signed the campaign launched by The Good Lobby and its partners. Thousands more signatures have been gathered via other petitions, conveying the message that the European Union needs to address this collectively. EU Member States are stronger when they work together.

We cannot wait any longer: You and your colleagues, the Ministers of Health of the 27 Member States, must act  – under the lead of the EU Commission in full  coordination when deciding and implementing the policies regarding containment, all the more so now, as each Member State continuously adjusts its own measures to tackle “phase II.”

Shared and objective criteria must be not only established – as the EU Commission just did – but also be respected to decide if, and under which circumstances, the Member States could proceed to a loosening or tightening of the social-distancing measures (the so called strategy of “suppress and lift” that will characterise the near future). 

Due to the unprecedented level of socio-economic interdependence present within the Union, only the European Commission can, and must, guarantee continuous and effective coordination of policies between Ministries of Health of Member States.

In spite of encouraging data providing glimmers of hope, we know that COVID-19 will linger for many months to come. Lack of coordination in managing the progressive lifting of lockdown measures will endanger people’s lives. Otherwise, the effort of citizens – be it having “stayed at home” or closed their businesses – will have been in vain.

A united front while lifting lockdown measures will save lives. Failing to do so would mean going back to square one, with further waves of contagion threatening to endanger the lives of many.

On behalf of millions of European citizens who are worried for their safety – but are also confused by the lack of solidarity – which should be embodied by the European Union – we invite you, Your Excellency, and your colleagues across other Member States, to accept the European Commission leadership in coordinating your efforts.

The duty to protect the right to life, health, wellbeing, education, work, of citizens calls for an extraordinary effort to bring everyone out of this crisis and to learn a lesson for the future crises that may affect Europe. Therefore, we ask you to consider strengthening the European governance mechanism for health crises.

Thank you for your time. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

With best wishes,

The Good Lobby

European Alternatives

New Europeans,

OBESSU,

& signatories of the petition: Covid-19: Europe Can Fight It