My attempt to condense in 200 words the needed European answer to COVID-19
European countries have, now for more than 6 decades, embarked into an unprecedented endeavour, full of risks and opportunities. At every crisis the union came out stronger. Now the challenge is without precedent. Unitary entities, like China or the US, are pulling their forces together to surpass the crisis. We should do the same, lest we risk losing what we have built so far, either in a sharp fall or in a long, debilitating decay.
While the shock hitting us is not the fault of any European country, the ability to address it depends on the policies different countries followed in the past. In particular, the burden on public finance needed to deal with the crisis is difficult to bear for the countries, like Italy, that ran imprudent policies for far too long. These countries must recognize this obvious fact as a necessary component of a common, European reaction to the consequences of the pandemic. Equally necessary, however, is the recognition that we have gone much too far in putting together our economies and societies to harbour the illusion that we can deal with the problem one by one. The ruin of one will be the ruin of all, the protection of one will be the protection of all.