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 Full text 
Thursday, 26 March 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

European coordinated response to the COVID-19 outbreak (debate)

  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), in writing. – Today, we are voting on three measures - the start of the EU’s response to the pandemic. But we can do more. European solidarity will be essential. The EU can play a vital role to maintain supply chains for medical equipment and food. We heard terrible stories from colleagues from Italy and Spain, the worst affected countries. We must stand with our partners.

Finally, we need to consider if the EU is fully equipped to deal with global crises like this. On animal health, the EU has stronger powers which means there is more coordinated EU action on disease outbreaks like African Swine Fever. This isn’t the case for human health. Our strength on animal disease was only developed after the BSE crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis we cannot afford to waste. It requires us to acknowledge the need for more coordinated EU action on health - more Europe, not less. I want a Europe that acts before a crisis hits, a Europe well-prepared to handle future crises, a Europe that leads globally and helps locally. We can do it. Perhaps it is this shock to the system which will make us act - better late than never.

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