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 Full text 
Tuesday, 10 March 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

Coronavirus outbreak, state of play and ensuring a coordinated European response to the health, economic and social impact (debate)

  Alfred Sant (S&D), in writing. – Beyond expressions of solidarity with each other on the coronavirus epidemic, we need to be clear about the implications of what has been happening for ordinary citizens, including those not affected by the corona disease. Over the years, we have promoted globalisation. In Europe, we have constructed a single market for goods, services and the free movement of people. Our citizens have grown accustomed to considering these developments as good in and of themselves. Now we understand that they can bring in their wake the swift transmission of new diseases. For this we are unprepared... and not just in Europe. The coronavirus epidemic is scary not simply because it is a ‘new’ disease, but because it has also travelled so quickly. On the medical front, the new and perhaps unforeseen problems that now confront us are apparent. Can medical research be geared up to match the pace of corona’s travels? But there are other fronts where similar developments could occur. Are there any other unforeseen consequences of globalisation, apart from epidemics, that might hit our citizens directly and quickly? These questions might seem to be academic at this point in time. Answers to them, though, will impinge drastically on the quality of life of our citizens.

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