COVID-19 crisis: We need a strong Europe

23 CEOs and Presidents of major EU companies and industry federations call on the EU to spur solidarity across the bloc. This cross-industry statement comes as the EU Heads of State and Government prepare for a video conference on 23 April 2020 that will focus on recovery post-COVID-19.

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.

Yours sincerely,

  • Claude Alber, Vice President Europe, Collins Aerospace
  • Guillaume Alvarez, Senior Vice-President, Europe, Middle-East & Africa, Steelcase
  • Maurici Lucena Betriu, CEO AENA Spanish Airports
  • Markus Borchert, CEO of Nokia Shanghai and President of Nokia Greater China / President DIGITALEUROPE
  • Emilio Braghi, Senior Vice President and President, Novelis Europe / Chairman European Aluminium
  • Martin Brudermüller, CEO BASF
  • Armando Brunini, CEO SEA Milan Airports
  • Neil Carr, President Dow Europe, Middle East, Africa and India
  • Régis Degelcke, Former Chairman Auchan Retail / President EuroCommerce
  • Chris Delaney, President Goodyear Europe, Middle East and Africa
  • Daniele Ferrari, CEO Versalis / President Cefic
  • Pierre Gattaz, Chairman of Executive Board Radiall / President BusinessEurope
  • Mark Green, President, AES Eurasia
  • Lars Hanseid, President EMEA, 3M
  • Ilham Kadri, CEO Solvay
  • Jost Lammers, CEO Munich Airport / President ACI EUROPE
  • Michael Manley, CEO Fiat Chrysler Automobiles / President ACEA
  • Silviu Popovici, President Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa PepsiCo
  • Niels Pörksen, CEO Südzucker AG
  • Ignasi Ricou, CEO GBFoods
  • Lou Rivieccio, President, UPS Europe
  • Malcolm Sheil, President and CEO Europe Kerry Group
  • Jean-Christophe Tellier, CEO UCB / President EFPIA

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