Joint German-Italian appeal to the governments: European solidarity demands common bonds
Today a joint appeal was published by German and Italian personalities from politics, business, science, sports and culture. The appeal includes four demands to the EU institutions and the member states for overcoming the corona crisis (including joint bonds). Among the first signatories are Mario Monti and Enrico Letta (former Prime Ministers of Italy), Hans Eichel (former Finance Minister of Germany) and a long list of top economists from Italy and Germany. The appeal “We are together in this together” was initiated by the Green politicians Sven Giegold MEP, Franziska Brantner MP and Alexandra Geese MEP.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“Europe is in a critical situation. The solidarity of the European community is being tested. The Corona crisis was not caused by any country alone. European solidarity must be the answer to this common challenge. 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 response to this common challenge. The German government deepens the divisions in Europe. European solidarity means joint political and financial responsibility. By refusing common bonds, the German government is refusing the necessary European solidarity. Germany’s position for the ESM programme is for good reasons understood in Italy as a refusal of solidarity. The German government is committing a historic mistake which puts the European community at risk. Political responsibility means a common fiscal policy for the euro zone. Governments must not shift their responsibility onto the monetary policy of the ECB. At next week’s meeting of euro finance ministers there should be a commitment to a common fiscal policy. Our appeal shows that a broad German-Italian alliance will not accept the division of Europe. Europe must stand together in these difficult times. We are together in this crisis.”
Joint German-Italian appeal to the governments of all Member States and to EU institutions
European solidarity now, in the interest of all Member States
We are experiencing an unprecedented challenge for all of us in Europe with the Corona Virus epidemic. It restricts our freedom of movement, puts tremendous strain on our health systems and causes enormous economic damage. Many citizens in Europe are worried about their health, their loved ones as well as their economic future. Italy was the first European country to be hit hard and has paid a very high price in terms of human lives. Doctors and nurses are working under unprecedented conditions in modern health systems, saving lives but risking their own. All Italians are enduring a long quarantine with huge personal sacrifices and facing the worst economic crisis since World War II. At the same time, Italy is helping other countries prevent similar suffering by raising awareness about the gravity of the threat.
Especially in the beginning of the crisis, national export restrictions on desperately needed medical equipment and unilateral border closures have fragmented the European response to the Corona crisis. These national reflexes harm the reputation of the European project at just the time when European cooperation is most needed. But there are also important, inspiring examples of European solidarity when Italian lives are saved in hospitals in Saxony, Cologne or Berlin. Europe means getting fresh food from neighbouring countries despite closed borders. Europe means international research teams searching for a vaccine across national borders.
But we need more European solidarity now. This is a crucial moment for cooperation in Europe. We have to prove that we are a community of values with a common destiny, working for each other in a turbulent, global world. It is time to make courageous joint steps to overcome fear. It is time for European unity, not national division. We therefore call on our governments to overcome the old patterns of division in Europe and in the Eurozone.
We must provide emergency medical aid by treating patients from countries that are particularly affected and overburdened. If we pool our medical capacity on a European scale, we can save more lives.
We must coordinate at European level the production and distribution of protective items such as masks, clothing and disinfectants, as well as respirators, pharmaceuticals and tests, so that they can be used where they are most urgently needed. Many companies in Europe are converting their production. We need to go beyond this and ensure that Europe is reasonably self sufficient when it comes to critical medical equipment and medicines.
We need strong European decisions for public health and for economic and financial stability for all EU member states. All EU institutions, each acting within their respective mandates, as well as the Member States, need to join in an urgent and convergent effort, consisting of four key actions:
- The ECB has enacted important initial measures. We have to send clear signals to the financial markets that speculation against individual member states is pointless. We need a comprehensive financial protection shield for Europe and the Euro area.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 is not the time to let ourselves be divided. This is the time to stand united and fight for a common, better future.
Even Bild-Zeitung, normally a fierce critic of Italy, is on side: We are with you, its headline says (in German and Italian: siamo con voi)
Gian-Paolo Accardo, VoxEuropa
Dr. Maria Alexopoulou, Universität Mannheim
Sudan Igiaba Ali Oma Scego, Autorin
Prof. (em) Dr. Aleida Assmann, Universität Konstanz
Prof. Dr. Fabrizio Barca, Ökonom, Minister a.D.
Prof. Dr. Michael Bauer, Universität Hamburg
Dr. Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Senior Fellow LUISS School of Political Economy, Rome
Prof. Dr. Tito Boeri, Bocconi Universität, INPS-Präsident a.d.
Prof. Dr. Peter Bofinger, Universität Würzburg
Angelo Bonelli , Europa Verde
Emma Bonino, Ministerin a.D., EU Kommissarin a.D.
Dr. Franziska Brantner, MdB
Elmar Brok, MdEP a.D.
Prof. Dr. Massimo Cacciari, Universität Vita-Salute San Raffaele
Prof. Dr. Carlo Alberto Carnevale Maffé, Bocconi Universität
Max Casacci, Subsonica
Prof. Dr. Lars Castellucci, MdB
Mario Catania, Landwirtschaftsminister a.D.
Francesca Cavallo, Autorin
Lella Costa, Schauspielerin
Prof. Dr. Carlo Cottarelli , Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund Board a.D.
Giulia Maria Crespi, Umweltschutzverband Fondo Ambiente Italiano
Giuliano da Empoli, Autor
Martine Dennewald, Künstlerische Leiterin, Festival Theaterformen, Staatstheater Braunschweig
Amelie Deuflhard, Intendantin, Kampnagel – Internationales Zentrum für Schönere Künste
Prof. Dr. Jonas Dovern, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Dullien, Forschungsdirektor, Institut für Makroökonomie und Konjunkturforschung (IMK)
Hans Eichel, Bundesfinanzminister a.D., Kassel
Dr. Carolin Emcke, Publizistin
Prof. Dr. Bernhard Emunds, Nell-Breuning-Institut der Phil.-Theol. Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt am Main
Piero Fassino, Vizepräsident Auswärtiger Ausschuss, Minister a.D.
Prof. Dr. Gabriel Felbermayr, Institut für Weltwirtschaft, Kiel
Carlo Feltrinelli, Präsident Stiftung Giangiacomo Feltrinelli
Franco Frattini, Außenminister a.D.
Prof. Dr. Marcel Fratzscher, Präsident, Deutsches Institut der Wirtschaft, Berlin
Dr. Jeannette zu Fürstenberg, Unternehmerin
Alexandra Geese, MdEP
Sven Giegold, MdEP
Prof. Dr. Enrico Giovannini, Direktor a.D., Istat (Nationales Statistikinstitut), Minister a.D.
Prof. Dr. Stefan Gosepath, Freie Universität Berlin
Elena Grandi , Europa Verde
Prof. Dr. Ulrike Guérot, European Ideas Lab
Prof. Dr. Luigi Guiso, Einaudi Institut für Economics and Finance, Rom
Prof. Dr. Sabine Hark, Technische Universität, Berlin
Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Hengsbach SJ, Nell-Breuning-Institut der Phil.-Theol. Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt am Main
Dr. Kirsten Heinsohn, stlv. Direktorin, Forschungsstelle für Zeitgeschichte, Hamburg
Prof. Dr. Costanza Hermanin, College of Europe, John Cabot University
Prof. Dr. Michael Hüther, Direktor, Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft, Köln
Helena Janeczek, Autorin
Gad Lerner, Journalist
Prof Dr. Enrico Letta, Ministerpräsident a.D.
Igor Levit, Pianist
Matthias Lilienthal, Direktor, Münchner Kammerspiele
Angelina Maccarone, Autorin und Regisseurin, Berlin
Jagoda Marinic, Autorin
Francesca Melandri, Autorin
Prof. Dr. Mario Monti, Präsident, Bocconi Universität, Premierminister Italien a.D.; EU Kommissar a.D.
Prof. Dr. Massimo Morelli, Bocconi Universität und CEPR
Leoluca Orlando, Bürgermeister Palermo
Lisa Paus, MdB
Dr. Giuliano Pisapia, MdEP
Ruprecht Polenz, MdB a.D.
Prof. Dr. Lucrezia Reichlin, London Business School
Prof. Dr. Hartmut Rosa, Universität Jena
Regina Schilling, Dokumentarfilmerin, Programm lit.COLOGNE, Köln
Prof. Dr. Moritz Schularick, Bonn Graduate School of Economics
Michael Schwarz, Mercator Stiftung
Prof. Dr. Detlef Siegfried, Universität Kopenhagen
Prof. Dr. Marco Simoni, Präsident, Humane Technopole
Giovanni Soldini, Extremsegler
Prof. Dr. Jens Südekum, Institut für Wettbewerbsökonomie, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf
Prof. Dr. Guido Tabellini, Bocconi Universität, Rektor a.D.
Dr. Nathalie Tocci, Universität Tübingen
Prof. Dr. Christoph Trebesch, Institut für Weltwirtschaft, Kiel
Prof. Dr. Achim Truger, Universität Duisburg-Essen
Prof. Dr. Paula-Irene Villa Braslavsky, LMU München
Pier Virgilio Dastoli, Europäische Bewegung Italien
Prof. Dr. Della Vedova , More Europe
Prof. Dr. Beatrice Werder di Mauro, CEPR, Präsidentin
Dr. Juliane Wetzel, Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung
Cino Zucchi, Architekt