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European Greens response to COVID-19 crisis

PRESS RELEASE

Brussels
25 March 2020

While many European states still lack the will to coordinate and cooperate, Party Leaders of Green parties across Europe, the co-chairs of the European Green Party, and the co-presidents of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament stand together with a united position. A statement outlining the core values which must lead our common reaction to the COVID-19 crisis was jointly prepared.

The European Green family expresses solidarity to everyone affected by this unprecedented crisis, from family and friends, to loved ones and healthcare workers. We thank all medical personnel saving lives as well as all the frontline workers that allow essential services to continue, risking their own health every day.

We recognise the unprecedented magnitude of the crisis which is impacting an increasing number of citizens at an alarming speed. It has become clear that only by working together at EU level can we combat the enormity of this challenge. Solidarity and ambitious cooperation, not nationalism or egoism, will ensure we come out of this crisis stronger and wiser. We must leave no one behind and face this together with open hearts.  

Evelyne Huytebroeck, co-chair of the European Green Party, comments:  

"Our duty now is to leave no one behind, we need to stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable, no matter if we talk about elderly people, low income families or refugees stranded on our borders!  

If the EU wants to demonstrate to all citizens its relevance during a time of crisis, it must act according to its fundamental values. Solidarity is one such value that must be expressed the most urgently not only because it is right, but also because it is the most efficient response to the crisis. 

Even in exceptional times, the European Union must protect the fundamental rights of its citizens. Member states' legal measures potentially limiting fundamental freedoms must be proportionate and limited. Under no circumstances must media freedom or democratic checks and balances be watered down.

We are convinced that once this crisis is overcome, there can be no going back to business as usual, as it profoundly questions the way our societies are organized, the way we live on this planet. And we believe it can open ways for more just, more sustainable and more democratic societies.”

Thomas Waitz, co-chair of the European Green Party, adds:  

“The European Union has to do its utmost to foster cooperation and solidarity among member states to stem the crisis.  

The learning has to be that economic cooperation can not replace a joint effort on social and health issues. Well funded public healthcare systems with EU wide coordination or an EU unemployment insurance can be the next steps towards a stronger social union.” 


END


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