Michael Reiterer, the EU Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, said "Although it sounds like a truism: Global cooperation needed to fight a global threat. There is no nationality of a virus and it does not respect borders. Pandemic needs coordination and solidarity - regional answers are part of the global fight. Korea´s testing method innovative and exemplary, the self-control App a means to strengthen personal civil responsibility."
The outbreak of COVID-19, the Corona virus, first detected in China at the end of last year, has developed into a global pandemic. Addressing this global crisis requires cooperation and solidarity at the international level. The EU, both Member States and Institutions, has moved rapidly and assertively to take responsibility – to protect citizens in Europe and around the world, prevent further spread of the virus, and support those in need. It has also taken measures to protect our economies and support workers, families and enterprises. We are acting in full transparency and respect for individual rights and coordinating closely with our partners and the WHO. Cooperation and solidarity are critical to overcome this pandemic.
1. The outbreak of COVID-19, the coronavirus, has been declared a pandemic by the WHO. We all need to work together at a global level. We need to act with determination to protect public health and avoid further spread.
2. Member States are taking clear, tough, measures, based on the best available scientific expertise. We have also stepped up coordination efforts with Member States, to deal with the health aspect of the crisis, which is the most urgent, but also to counter the unprecedented economic fallout from this crisis. The European Union is playing its role and doing everything possible to tackle the crisis and its consequences.
3. In an attempt to slow the transmission of the coronavirus through international travel, the EU has decided to apply a temporary restriction on non-essential travel from third countries to the EU. These restrictions aim at reducing incoming flows in order to slow transmission to third countries upon travellers’ return. EU citizens’ travel outside the EU is also discouraged, in order to prevent further spread of the virus to other countries. These measures are for the protection of all as we need to tackle this pandemic globally. They are not directed at any specific country or group of countries, but apply universally, with duly justified exemptions, that cover third country nationals as well.
4. The EU has mobilised €140 million of public and private funding for research on vaccines, diagnosis and treatment. It is crucial to find a vaccine as quickly as possible, which will be beneficial for the entire world.
5. We are acting in full transparency. You can find consolidated and up-to-date numbers and detailed information on the dedicated European Commission website. Open and accurate information is key at this moment of crisis.
6. Beyond national measures, we must also act collectively at the global level. The virus disregards national borders. Full use should be made of the available multilateral mechanisms – notably the WHO – to share scientific evidence, data, promote best practices, and co-ordinate the global response.
7. Our cooperation and solidarity is being tested. There is no time for "chacun pour soi" or unilateral action.
8. This crisis has highlighted the importance of multilateral institutions and the need for strengthened international cooperation and solidarity. The EU will draw the relevant lessons from this crisis, in order to increase global resilience and reinforce multilateral mechanisms for cooperation in difficult circumstances.
9. The EU is supporting global efforts and those in need. At the onset of the outbreak the EU sent more than 56 tonnes of personal protective equipment to China. Since then, the European Commission has mobilised more than €400 million to boost global preparedness, prevention and containment of the virus. Most of the funds will support countries under particular strain and weaker health systems., It will be delivered through the WHO. The EU is also looking at ways to ensure that its development assistance can be effectively mobilised to support the health response of its partners in the world whenever needed, including in Africa.
10. On the economic front, international cooperation must also be fostered and will bring better results than international competition.