COVID-19 crisis: 23 CEOs and Presidents call for a strong Europe
Michael Manley, President of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), joined other CEOs and Presidents of major European companies and industry federations to address EU heads of state and government about how to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
“Recovering from the crisis, only European solutions can work, putting the Single Market as the central instrument. More than ever we need a strong Europe, where its governments, businesses and citizens show their solidarity,” the statement reads.
“Dear EU leaders,
In order to overcome the extraordinary challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brings, the European Union must show that it is more than the sum of its members. Pushed by the urgency at hand, Member States have rightfully taken the lead in recent weeks, but this unfortunately leads us to a scattered landscape of measures. Recovering from the crisis, only European solutions can work, putting the Single Market as the central instrument. More than ever we need a strong Europe, where its governments, businesses and citizens show their solidarity.
Examples of solidarity can be seen everywhere across our continent: from volunteers who sew masks at home for the bakery staff around the corner, to companies donating disinfectants and governments that organise joint procurement of medical devices. But the temptation to look inwards is strong. Here, European governments must be at the forefront, showing solidarity among each other, ensuring all Member States have market access to funds needed for their recovery, and also making sure their citizens understand the added value that our common European project brings in these unprecedented and difficult times.
In our daily business operations, we see that the response to the current crisis is not less Europe, but more Europe, and it starts with our common European market. It is vital to ensure transportation of essential goods and flow of services across our borders, such as medical, pharmaceutical, food and energy. The European Commission’s initiatives on ‘Green Lanes’ and on the free movement of workers are highly welcomed to support the functioning of the Single Market. We urge you to do your utmost to ensure that it delivers on the ground without delay.
We take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all those who work relentlessly to reduce the spread of the virus, increasing our ability to cope with its impacts, and in particular to those showing exceptional courage both in treating the sick and in maintaining the vital goods and services upon which we all depend to be able to succeed.”