Europe and the day after

A message about the COVID-19 crisis from Clemente Cappello, the founder of Europe.one

I am not a virologist nor a doctor, but I am familiar with basic mathematics, human psychology and ingenuity, economics and how the Government works.

The growth rate is coming down, and over the coming days, we will be observing a peak in the number of deaths in the countries - such as Italy - that have been affected first.

Human ingenuity is on the job, and be ready to be impressed. There are currently thousands (possibly millions) of engineers, doctors, researchers (and many others) around the world thinking of solutions to alleviate or possibly solve the problem.

Vaccines are still off by at least a year and we are experimenting with existing mixes to reduce some of the COVID-19 symptoms, as well as ICU capacity expansion. The key, however, would be massive regular testing that would be cheap - due to economies of scale - and quick. A system that takes 45mins, for example, has already received regulatory approval in the US, I would expect time and costs to continue to come down. There will be a time lag to mass-produce and somewhat link the data, but I believe this is the most realistic and likely way out.

Once we know who has the virus, we can clearly distinguish and trace the infected from the non-infected, meaning the people that have tested negative (and will be asked to do so regularly) can go back and get on with their lives, while infected will need to be treated individually. Fear comes from fear of dying but also fear of the unknown, testing will help with both.

My concern is the economic impact of a protracted stop in economic activity: this is likely to kill multiples of direct COVID-19 related deaths.  What happens the day after? Things will change. Some are advocating for a major reset: more government intervention, a partial reversal of globalisation, smart working...We will see.

There is one big elephant in the room that has been missing, however: Europe. Where is Europe? Healthcare is usually addressed on a national and local level so the EU is theoretically off the hook however the current set up of having different solutions to the same problem – Sweden going on business a usual, Italy in full lockdown, Germany somewhere in the middle and Hungary simply suspending parliamentary democracy, using the virus as an excuse. Europe has failed and lacked leadership precisely due to its structure.

Having an unelected leadership means Europe has no authority of its own and constantly needs to ask national governments if and how it should do things. The result is that Europe is literally falling apart. Anti-European bots are flooding social media, it is clear that a United Europe would prove to be a strong competitor on the World stage and some foreign actors are afraid of this. There is one way to create a democratic, free and strong Europe: having its president be directly elected by us - 500 million European citizen. A new Europe, accountable to you through a clear and transparent presidential election. The current system is an opaque decision-making process that favours inefficiencies and corruption.  We want a different Europe that protects its citizens and competes globally.

Europe has a unique legacy, ranging from Plato to Van Gogh, from Leonardo da Vinci to Marie Curie, from Copernicus to Beethoven. Human rights, freedom of expression, the right to choose its own way of life, are all European achievements. Europe has brought peace; it now needs democracy. The only way to celebrate our legacy is to build a new one. Our past difference that has caused so much violence is now an advantage, we are simply stronger together.

Democracy means a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Only then will we have a Europe that reflects the great, diverse individuals who live within it. A Sovereign Europe also means choosing our future instead of being bullied by foreign powers.

This is why I have decided to create Europe.one to support the petition for the Direct Election of the President of Europe.

Help me by signing up on Europe.one.

Clemente Cappello

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