This is the final draft of the Petition discussed during the 1st Meeting of the Council on Participatory Democracy on 19th and 20th of March 2020. It will be sumbitted on the 24th of March before the Plenary Session of the European Parliament. If you want to add your name to the list of supporters, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We call on the European Parliament to promote a systemic response of the European Union to the Covid-19 crisis, pledging to provide a comprehensive and structural long term strategy on the current health and economic crisis and the prevention of future epidemics and pandemics.
The EU strategy should be based on five pillars:
- activating coordinated emergency measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic;
- reforming the EU healthcare and civic protection instruments to respond to outbreaks;
- providing a structural and radical financial plan to face the economic crisis;
- turning the initial stage of the Conference on the Future of Europe into a public online assembly;
- contributing to a global mechanism to prevent and face epidemics and pandemics;
The proposals in detail:
- EMERGENCY MEASURES AND RULE OF LAW
The EU should harmonize criteria for the measurement and classification of cases and fully activate the EU Mechanism of Civil Protection for the supply of the necessary medical equipment and its distribution to the countries and regions most in need. The EU should also provide guidelines for respect of fundamental guarantees of the Rule of Law and civil liberties under restriction policies implemented by Member States during the emergency.
- FEDERAL COMPETENCES ON HEALTHCARE AND CIVIC PROTECTION
The European Parliament should activate its prerogatives under Article 48 of the Treaty on EU, and submit to the Council a proposal for the amendment of the Treaties based on redrafting the competences on healthcare and civic protection. As proposed in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe approved by EP in 1984, healthcare and civic protection should become shared competences between the EU and Member States, subject to the ordinary legislative procedure, and provide the Commission with extraordinary powers to coordinate the response to epidemics. Rather than merely sustain or coordinate the action of Member States under particular circumstances, the EU should frame a harmonic legislation in these strategic fields.
3) FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS AND REFORM
The European Parliament should call on the European Commission to implement a coordinated financial intervention to face the current economic depression and its aftermath. The following financial measures should be proposed by the EP, where necessary amending the Treaties in accordance with the procedure laid down in article 48 TEU:
- triggering and increasing the budget of the European Globalization Adjustment Fund to provide financial help for European workers made redundant due to the emergency. This funding should be also addressed to homeless people, in order to ensure the right to housing;
- withdrawing the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) scheduled to start on 1 January 2021 and proposing a new MFF, providing means to transform the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a tool for sustainable growth, and funding for European investment;
- introducing loans and mortgages (EUROBOND or «European Health Bonds»), to finance the immediate strengthening of the European and national health systems to cope with the pandemic, which threatens the lives of European citizens, as well as the whole economic and financial stability of the EU;
- moving fiscal issues to the ordinary legislative procedure and provide the EU with fiscal powers to adopt new own resources – such as a carbon tax (and carbon tariffs) – to finance the EU budget (or the Euro-area Budgetary Instrument, if the decision could be reached only at the Euro-area level).
4) A CONSTITUTIONAL DEBATE TO RELAUNCH THE CONFERENCE FOR THE FUTURE OF EUROPE
The social and political context of the Conference for the Future of Europe, scheduled for the beginning of May 2020, has been disrupted by the pandemic.
The European Parliament should propose a new framing, starting with the current health crisis and the economy.
The Conference on the Future of Europe should be confirmed and evolved in its initial stage into a public web conference accessible to all european citizens, with a portion of Participants in the Conference randomly selected from the the entire EU population, in order to obtain a highly diverse cross-section of European society in terms of geography, gender, age, socio-economic background and/or level of education.
The main goals and topic discussed by the the assembly should be:
- involving European citizens in the debate on the public policies needed to tackle the crisis and the post-crisis recovery;
- drafting proposals for a new Constitutional Pact among EU citizens and Member States, with the aim of empowering and democratizing European Institutions.
5 EUROPEAN CONTRIBUTION TO GLOBAL MEASURES
The European Parliament should urge the European Union to contribute to:
- increase financial aid for low and middle-income countries (LMICs) to strengthen and prepare their healthcare systems for new epidemics;
- ratify international human rights instruments (the additional protocol to the ICESCR) to protect and promote the “right to science”;
- ensure global access to essential medicines as listed by the WHO;
- urge the correct reporting of the implementation of health and science-related rights along the lines of the General Comment on Science adopted in March 2020 at the UN and promote the establishment of a Special rapporteur on the subject to monitor the enjoyment of the benefits of science;
- promote international collaboration on data sharing and foster the production of open data with all the necessary measures to ensure individual privacy including disease surveillance, creating databases of cases that are immediately and easily accessible to relevant organizations, providing rules requiring countries to share the information produced free of charge;
- reach consensus on research priorities and trial protocols, in order to allow vaccines and antiviral candidates to move quickly through planned decision-making processes strengthening coordination and platform sharing so that regulatory reviews can take place quickly, based on evidence and medical-scientific needs, enabling suppliers to produce low-cost doses on a large scale in a simple way;
- strengthen the coordination and sharing of lists including local and international trained teams that can be quickly mobilized;
- ensure adequate funding, in partnership with the private sector, to enable existing structures to be rapidly reorganised for production during a pandemic, including through proper emergency funds to finance the procurement and distribution of vaccines to populations in need wherever they are.
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