Head of European Journalists Association criticises EU for late response to pandemic

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While collaborating in New Europe’s COVID-19 Livestream collection, Otmar Lahodynsky, the President of the Association of European Journalists, mentioned the present challenges of the continued pandemic and harshly criticised the EU for being gradual to answer the outbreak.

“We all underestimated the scope of this pandemic. We have experts in Europe and we have this European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. They did not give a real warning. They just published statistics,” mentioned Lahodynsky, who additionally pointed the finger at Janez Lenarcic, the EU commissioner accountable for disaster administration, for the “really poor management”

“I am sorry to say that he is a diplomat and former politician in Slovenia, but it would have been his job to warn all member states – hey there is something coming up, please look at the medical supplies, maybe start productions especially of these respiratory machines which are now in need,” Lahodynsky talked about. “We lost precious time, we lost several weeks,” he added.

The COVID-19 disaster has placed on a highlight on many issues that the EU is having to keep up a way of solidarity and unity inside the bloc.  Lahodynsky talked about that the 27 EU members have acted selfishly when shifting to include the virus and when attempting to deal with the disaster.

“No solidarity, every country did what it thought right to do, so everybody closed its borders, Germany, by the way, stopped medical goods that were paid and ordered by the Austrian government at the border for weeks. This is contrary to all our Europe single markets rules,” he mentioned. He added that from April 1, Austria will request that every one buyers put on masks whereas going to supermarkets.

The concern is given to the function of the EU in fixing the issue. Lahodynsky emphasised that nation-states that independently assumed accountability with out coordination with Brussels will proceed to retain this energy after the disaster, which can increase mistrust of EU establishments, however the EU can use the disaster to return out stronger than earlier than.

“It will be a different European Union, but there is a danger it might dissolve if people think we don’t need it. I think the EU is still needed. The EU has always come out of a crisis stronger than it was before. It is my personal hope that after the pandemic, the EU comes out stronger.”

*You can watch the complete interview under and observe New Europe’s Facebook web page for the most recent perception from world leaders and students on the COVID-19 pandemic.