Morality and Law
COVID-19: Why a European Health Community Should Be Open to Russian Participation

The search for solutions to deal with the COVID-19 epidemic can draw lessons from past experiences. 

The COVID-19 epidemic has taken the world by surprise. In fact, other epidemics have developed in recent years; the novelty was the rapid spread and the fact that the epidemic developed in the more industrialised countries, which were considered more immune than the less developed countries.

The surprise meant that emergency, prompt activation measures were preferred, postponing the adoption of long-term measures. Ultimately, each state defended its territory, closing and postponing the adoption of adequate international cooperation measures to the future.

This short-sighted strategy is showing its limits. Similar epidemics are bound to repeat themselves; globalisation will contribute to their planetary spread; the economic and social impact requires rethinking the development model, the welfare state, the international cooperation.

There are analogies with the reaction to the crisis of the international monetary system of 1968. Even then the defence of national interests was affirmed as the first reaction. The birth of the euro to rebalance the world monetary order took decades. The rules of the European Central Bank were established after a long and difficult debate.

The health crisis today needs to be addressed more quickly with effective solutions, capable of addressing the nature of the problem, not only of protecting the interests affected. Such a project has multiple dimensions. It must have an adequate social and economic strategy:
  • the European Economic Union is needed, with a new public - private relationship; 
  • a social strategy that redesigns welfare by strengthening solidarity and rebalancing the welfare itself with the evolution of European society; 
  • these are crucial issues that the constituent conference on the future of Europe, which European Parliament has proposed to launch on 9 May, is called to address.
Coronavirus Ethics: Is There a Difference Between the First and Third Worlds?
Oleg Barabanov
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has apparently spread from China to Europe in recent days. Italy was the first European country where the number of infected people reached the hundreds. The number of people infected in France and other countries is also growing; every day, the coronavirus distribution map adds new countries. And, worst of all, the increase in the number of infected people is accompanied by a growing death toll, including increasing death tolls in Europe.

An adequate health strategy also requires the launch of a European Health Community, based on the structured cooperation: an increase in the European budget is difficult to achieve, as demonstrated by the opposition to an increase of a few decimals that emerged in recent weeks. Each state must be left free to choose between the illusion of being able to manage the problem on its own, on the one hand, and, on the other, the awareness that the scale of the problem requires a European response.
Since the beginning of European integration, the ECSC was launched by only two states, France and Germany; subsequently four others joined.

The Monetary Union has been launched by a few countries, others have gradually joined to form the current euro area; the Monetary Union remains open to future membership.

The organisation of a health strategy based on the creation of a European Health Community opens up the possibility of having the accession, in appropriate forms, of countries not members of the European Union, Russia in the first place.

Several reasons are in favour of Russia's accession to the European Health Community:
  • Russia has wide borders in common with the European Union. Common health emergencies in the two areas are foreseeable; 
  • Russia is a European country that has started its development since the time of Peter the Great by opening up to cooperation with the European countries in its west; 
  • Russia's accession to the European Health Community would make it easier for the Community to expand to the United States. It is the design of F.D. Roosevelt who saw post-war cooperation between the U.S., Europe and Russia as the basis for a peaceful and evolutionary world order. The protectionist policy that has characterized the United States in recent years must be overcome, to find continuity of the international role that has always been played by the great American democracy; 
  • healthcare can be the field in which to urgently start a new course between the U.S., Europe and Russia, open to the rest of the world, to build a balanced world order. 
It is a matter of identifying the competences of the European Health Community.

The cardinal constitutional principle of the European Union, subsidiarity, must shape the new European Health Community. Some competences must be attributed to the Community, others remain with the acceding States. First of all, these are competences that are not dared by the acceding States: 
  • the creation of strategic reserves of medicines and equipment in anticipation of possible health emergencies; 
  • the maintenance of operational capabilities that can be activated in a short time; 
  • the availability of medical and paramedical staff who can be mobilised to deal with emergencies; 
  • investment in research; 
  • coordination and collaboration between member countries. 
The success of the initiative would guarantee the gradual adhesion of European countries initially skeptical or fearful of losing sovereignty.

The creation of a European Health Community would be strengthened by the broader prospects it would open.

The logic that leads to propose the creation of a European Health Community is destined to be repeated in other sectors, with similar reasons. Think of the energy, environment, defence, networks and other sectors.

Nationalism was defeated with the Second World War. The attempt to revive it is doomed to failure. Freedom and solidarity are the future we must build, starting with the protection of life.
Bad News and Bad Intedependence: Life, Death, Love and Development During the Time of the Coronavirus
Andrey Bystritskiy
There is no doubt now that a global pandemic has erupted. There is also no doubt that sooner or later, it will end. But the main question is, what kind of humanity will survive on the ruins of the coronavirus and what it ruined?
Message from the Chairman
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.