Coronavirus: A bitter defeat of the EU social welfare system. Could it also be an opportunity?
For several years the EU was counting for the vast part (I tend to believe it was often more than 50%) of the world’s social spending. What is happening now with the coronavirus pandemic and the evident inability of the member states to protect their citizens is nothing but a bitter defeat of this model.
Let me clarify: I am not referring to the need of this model for a very strong social state; quite the contrary. I am referring to its very weak implementation.
To give an analogy, with the US military spending being in proportional notoriously high levels, it’s like Mexico attacks the US and takes over Texas and California in a matter of hours and then Washington begs for a ceasefire. Could this ever happen? No, it absolutely could not.
But the analogous of that fictional scenario is what actually happened and is still happening in Europe with the coronavirus pandemic. I mean, for God’s sake, how can it be and G7 countries like Germany, UK and Italy have so few intensive care unit beds for every 100,000 inhabitants? Calling this outrageous is an understatement.
Let’s hope and wish that Europe will go through this heath crisis with the least possible consequences. Once this is over, we, the people of Europe, have to think very seriously and make some bold decisions.
We need a European State which will be able to leverage its superpower-scale resources for effectively protect its 500 million citizens from any kind of threat. Pandemics included.
The point I am making is that, from a European perspective, we do pay the money but we don’t get the service. Why is that? Because of the fragmentation of resources. Because of the unnecessary replication of 27 different, overlapping infrastructures.
In other words: Many of the Europeans who die during this crisis, they are losing their lives because of the nation-state obsession.
It is exactly that; the nation-state obsession which feeds populism and pushes Europe to be shooting its own feet. We deserve better than what we are currently experiencing. In order to do better, we need to pool our resources. How can this be done? With a European Federal Union. A superpower-scale country which will be able to protect its 500 million citizens against any kind of dangers; pandemics included. There’s just no other way forward.
I see this epidemic as a warning signal; as a call for immediate action. If we ignore this clear signal, consequences will be terrible.
The time to make the European Federal Union happen is now and young Europeans have to be at the forefront of this effort.