Friday, March 13, 2020

No EU Country Responded to Italian Plea for Help with Coronavirus.

Can this be true?
You'd think in their own self-interest, much less European solidarity, that the EU members would have been waiting for the opportunity to stand up and deliver.

From, March 10:
Maurizio Massari is the Italian permanent representative to the European Union.

Italian ambassador to the EU: Italy needs Europe’s help
The coronavirus crisis must be met with European solidarity and quick, effective action.
The coronavirus crisis is not just a national crisis. It’s a European crisis, and it needs to be treated as such.

Surmounting it will require scientific expertise, sound civic management and responsibility on the part of individual citizens — but it will also require political courage, vision and solidarity on the part of European governments and EU institutions.

Italy, the European country struck hardest by the coronavirus, has done everything it can to contain and manage the epidemic. Since the beginning of the crisis, the government has acted swiftly, boldly and with full transparency, putting its citizens’ health first.

After the World Health Organization designated the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on January 30, Rome declared a state of emergency for a period of six months. Italy also stopped all flights from and to China.
"This is a battle in which we are facing two terrible enemies: panic and selfishness."
After the first local case was reported in Lombardy on February 20, the government adopted measures to contain the virus, putting 11 municipalities on lockdown. As the epidemic continued to grow, it introduced unprecedented measures, extending the lockdown to all of Lombardy and then to the rest of the country.

Italian residents have been asked to curtail their movements. Public activities, including school attendance, sports gatherings, even weddings and funerals, have been suspended.

But Rome should not be left to handle this crisis alone. In addition to national measures, this is a crisis that requires a global and — first and foremost — a European response.
We are thankful to the European Commission for its positive engagement and to the president of the European Council for promoting a consultation among European Union leaders in order to discuss further coordination and possible common action.

But it’s time now for the EU to go beyond engagement and consultations, with emergency actions that are quick, concrete and effective.
To begin with, we must ensure, under EU coordination, the supply of the necessary medical equipment and its redistribution among those countries and regions most in need. Today, this means Italy; tomorrow, the need could be elsewhere.

Italy has already asked to activate the European Union Mechanism of Civil Protection for the supply of medical equipment for individual protection. But, unfortunately, not a single EU country responded to the Commission’s call. Only China responded bilaterally. Certainly, this is not a good sign of European solidarity....MORE
That "Since the beginning of the crisis, the government has acted swiftly, boldly and with full transparency, putting its citizens’ health first." line might be a bit much but can it be true none of the other European countries responded to the plea?