Have you heard of Janez Lenarcic? Neither do I. Until a few months ago, the ambitious 52-year-old head of the Slovenian Permanent Representative Office in Brussels. He joined the ranks of the United Nations in the 1990s and is now Europe's "crisis paramount".
Crisis usually means that it is time to rush. But it wasn't until March 19 that Crisis Commissioner Lenarcic announced "without delay" searching for masks, intensive care equipment, respirators, etc. to respond to a coronavirus outbreak across the EU.
Without delay? At the end of January, the first two Chinese tourists tested positive in Rome. On February 23, the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention near Stockholm announced that COVID-19 was "dynamically evolving."
But disease control experts have assessed the harm to Europe and the United Kingdom as "low to moderate." A few days later, Italy became the worst-hit country in the world outside Asia, killing more than 8,000 people and continuing.
Everyone makes mistakes. Brussels has maintained a solemn calm, without panic about buying medical supplies, not to mention the urgency of distributing to, for example, Italy. At that time, non-experts were busy peeling toilet paper, alcohol wipes, masks, spaghetti and peanut butter from the shelves.
Panic Supremo is now leading a panic store without delay, all of which seems too late.
The mindful will assess the EU's current crisis management between mediocrity and non-existence. Looking back last November, Commissioner Lenarsic told the European Parliament that it was cruel before the European Parliament announced the coronavirus epidemic, and how he saw his new job as a European "superman in crisis".
"This is a lofty mission, this is a way to show the best of Europe in Europe," he told members of the European Parliament five months ago. "Unity is something that people think about when they need it.
Unfortunately, this is a very painful fact for the new commissioner.
Health care is still a national capability, but crisis prevention is here It began slipping into its obvious institutional position in 2017, when RescEU became
and its website proudly proclaimed: "RescEU strengthened European preparations before the disaster." When 27 of the EU member states proved unable to In the event of a disaster, it should help all 27 member states. For example, like Italy, it is facing a pandemic without any measurable support from Brussels.
However, given Brussels or European disease The Center for Prevention and Control has long been silent on radio, and RescEU is not coordinated. All regions except Western Europe were busy, and every EU member state did wise things at the time.
In the early days of the pandemic, some European countries Flight stops from China and other Asian countries, which has led to a total chaos of some serious problems For example, selling masks seems to be in their own national interest. People who check fevers. Italy is the first to completely ban flights from China. This inevitably led Chinese textile workers to fly to Europe via Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland And then boarded a flight to an Italian airport.
With the spread of the infection, some EU member states have implemented control measures at the border. These control measures should be reported to the Commission, but rarely reported. When Austria is on the border with Italy When conducting the inspection, the Italian government was greatly annoyed.
Berlin followed the old principle of who can save . Like France, Germany stopped all exports of medical equipment, which means that it has been regulated by Austria Health Trucks with masks and protective clothing paid by authorities were blocked at the border Locked for weeks.
Hungary prevented Romanians and Bulgarians who wanted assistance from crossing the Hungarian border on their way home. This led to 30 kilometers of traffic jam on key highways. After a large-scale protest, Hungarian border forces allow foreign nationals to pass, but only for a few hours and at night.
I have not found any European Commission guidelines on this matter. During all this time, the plenipotentiary panicked what to do or say What? He didn't even cease the fire by arranging a shameful quarrel between Germany and France over the export of masks. Internal market commissioner Thierry Breton praised the two countries for "exchanging intense dialogue" to approve exports.
Meanwhile, in Italy, where medical services are about to collapse, Rome has called on other European countries to provide important medical supplies. Guess what's going on-last week supplies were only from China, the US and Russia. Austria shipped tons of medical supplies from China to Vienna and then to Italy.
Worried about the poor performance of "Her Europe" in different European economies, Cuban President Ursula von der Leyen announced a new aid plan , Including a 37 billion euro initiative to sustain the livelihoods of small nations. Business and health sectors. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde has announced a € 750 billion plan.
von Leon (Von der Leyen) even broke the taboo of Maastricht, announced the suspension of strict national budget rules, and allowed billions of dollars to ban indefinitely the state aid program and all All "unnecessary travel to the EU" for non-European passport holders, and so on.
But no one is listening. Every European country likes to act alone, even if big powers like Germany, Italy, France and Spain seem to be losing the battle against COVID-19. On March 15, a group of academics, politicians, professionals and others pleaded with EU institutions to urgently resolve the current coronavirus pandemic in Europe and beyond.
"As European citizens, we are worried and frightened by this threat. They wrote:" Our country leaders lack the foresight and pretend they don't know that our interdependence requires a single person, or even more It's because of the harsh, selfish and self-destructive short-term responses of different, uncoordinated national responses. "The organization wrote
I don't know if such a call to fabrication is effective, and Europe has adopted strict containment measures against the epidemic , And then proposed a plan to restart the European economy across the EU. Probably not. On the issue of Brexit, they achieved nothing.
Inspired by this situation, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced A plan was put in place to implement an emergency rule to exclude the Hungarian parliament. With the enjoyment of the Albanian party, Hungary may dissolve the rule in the next few days. In a two-thirds majority seat.
In an endless struggle to stop independent media, Alban also demanded that journalists publishing "fake news" be sentenced to five The following imprisonment.
For all sounding utopians, there is a demand for solidarity to reinvigorate structures such as the early warning and response system established in 1998. However, so far, The possibility of basic cooperation still exists.
Andrea Amon, head of the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the EU's early warning and response system has an "incident management module" where measures can be listed.
Without a direct coordination of European efforts, a good start may be to maintain a good understanding of each other.
At an emergency meeting on March 6, EU health ministers are still asking for information on what other countries are planning to do, And how, when and why. Greek Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias complained: "It is a pity to know each other's policies through newspapers and websites.
Panic syndrome may arrange some time.