Schauble and ferrand: eu must learn from the corona crisis

Schauble and ferrand: eu must learn from the corona crisis

As a consequence of the corona crisis, europe must become "more solidary, more reactive and more sovereign" according to the parliamentary presidents of germany and france.

There is a particular need for action in the three areas of digitalization, research and development, and international supply chains, according to a joint declaration by the presidents of the german bundestag and the french national assembly, wolfgang schauble and richard ferrand.

Schauble and ferrand call for a kind of new schuman plan in the paper published on tuesday. "We must now embark on a decade of investment in strengthening our resilience along the themes of public health, sustainability and climate, as well as the comprehensive security of the continent."

In may 1950, then french auben minister robert schuman had proposed the merger of the coal and steel industries of former wartime adversaries france and germany. The so-called montan union is considered the root of the eu.

The declaration was drafted for the meeting of the franco-german parliamentary assembly this thursday in berlin. Both parliamentary presidents expressly support the initiative of german chancellor angela merkel and president emmanuel macron for a 500 billion reconstruction program for the EU. This provides for non-repayable grants for corona crisis states such as italy and spain.

"Germany and france should learn from the crisis and use it together as an opportunity for new dynamism within the european union," write schauble and ferrand. "A dynamic that makes europe more technology-friendly and thus more competitive and future-oriented, and that at the same time makes the differences in europe smaller rather than greater."In doing so, "the mistakes and exaggerations of globalization that contributed to the dramatic impact of the pandemic must not be allowed to continue".

Both politicians also call for "an open debate on necessary treaty changes in all fundamental questions of stronger political integration.

As a lesson from the crisis, schauble and ferrand call for the expansion of the digital infrastructure in europe with modern data networks. In the health sector, germany and france should strengthen their cooperation in the development of vaccines, treatment methods, diagnostic tests and medical systems.

Both countries should take the corona-related economic crisis as an opportunity to constructively review today’s economic models. The pandemic highlights the vulnerability of the globally networked economy and supply chains, schauble and ferrand said. "There is no way around giving europe greater sovereignty and strategic autonomy, especially in the critical and vital parts of the production and supply chain."

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