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 Full text 
Tuesday, 15 September 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

Covid-19: EU coordination of health assessments and risk classification and the consequences on Schengen and the single market (debate)

  Clare Daly (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, I obviously welcome the fact that some attempt is now being made to coordinate the COVID response, but it’s pretty incredible that we’re six months into the most serious pandemic in living memory, in one of the richest regions in the world, with a massive institutional bureaucracy and we’re only getting around to it now. We cannot even compare COVID statistics because of the different arrangements in place in Member States. So is it any wonder that EU citizens are looking on in disbelief.

This is a single virus so why are there so many different responses? People want to follow the rules, but it’s difficult when the rules change and when they are inconsistent. The ECDC all along advised against border controls, but they were ignored, and the problem, you see, is that what it needed was a politically coordinated response, but it didn’t come. It needed solidarity, but you can’t develop solidarity overnight. There was no solidarity when Irish single mothers paid the price of Munich stockholders in the financial crisis and no solidarity for the thousands of desperate migrants on the Greek island, so it’s no wonder there was no solidarity on COVID. It’s an awful pity we’re coming to this situation now, but I hope we learned the lessons of it.

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