COVID-19 crisis: The role of the EU and left answers
Time & Location
About the Event
- Judith Benda, political scientist with EU focus, member of the LINKE Executive Board and European Left, co-speaker of LAG Internationals
- Dimitra Kyrillou, Greek activist in LAG Internationals, with background and activism in anti-capitalist, anti-racist and anti-fascist groups
The International Monetary Fund believes the coronavirus pandemic will trigger the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930s. As member states debate how to deal with this historic challenge, the existence of the European Union (EU) is called into question.
Countries in the south like Spain and Italy, with weaker economies, fear they will be made to pay a disproportionate price for the crisis. In Greece, cuts to health spending required by the EU in return for a bailout after the 2008 crash are being felt like never before.
The crisis shows the failure of the EU’s integration process, which promised to bring economic activity and living standards in the poorer states in line with the richest. Instead, EU policy has led to health systems becoming market-oriented and run according to economic criteria instead of according to human need. This neoliberal restructuring of health and other care systems is now hindering effective pandemic control today.
Meanwhile, the EU Commission’s emergency coordination center has put on 200 flights to bring around 45,000 stranded EU citizens back home, but thousands of refugees are still stuck in inhumane conditions in camps like Moria on Lesbos.
Neglecting these desperately vulnerable people is a shame on Europe. The much-vaunted “European values” are once again being given nothing more than lip service during the crisis.
Overcoming the crisis cannot mean a return to the previous status quo. The normal state of affairs is part of the problem.
During this event Judith Benda will talk about the EU’s role in the Covid-19 crisis; its response, which came late and is mostly insufficient and unsound; how left forces should analyse the situation; and what demands regarding the EU and the crisis we should put forward.
Dimitra Kyrillou will speak about the situation of refugees in the Covid-19 crisis; and the impacts and consequences of austerity policies for Greece today.
To take part, please register by pressing the RSVP button. We will send instructions for joining the meeting by email.