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EU ENVOY: EU needs to act cohesively to overcome impact of COVID-19

Press Release: May 07, 2020

India´s Ambassador to EU has used an EU-Indian webinar to voice his concerns over a lack of cohesion by the EU as they prepare for readiness for a post COVID-19 international environment.

India Ugo Astuto said in his address that the EU and India have converging interests and shared values and need to work closely together to overcome the impact of COVID-19 by garnering joint research in innovation and formulating a coordinated response to deal with the economic consequences of the crisis.

He said that "We can succeed in overcoming this crisis if we act in a coordinated manner. We have to act together to meet the impact of the virus. We have to foster research in innovation and vaccines and we have to share best practices, we have to ensure that knowledge and expertise are invested and information is transparently shared." Astuto added "We will need a coordinated response in the wake of the crisis and also to face economic consequences of the crisis. We are all in this together and we must together address the situation"

Also speaking at the webinar, Fabian Zuleeg, chief executive of the Brussels-based think tank European Policy Centre, agreed that there are a number of areas where the activities will not return to where they were after the COVID-19 crisis and global cooperation might come under pressure and there could be more challenges for multilateralism.

Shada Islam, Director of Europe and Geopolitics, Friends of Europe think tank, said the coronavirus crisis has shown vulnerability of the global health system. "In the post COVID-19 world, we need to build a massive health system. We need to work together for a vaccine and this crisis has shown the world the importance of migrants and health workers."

Another participant in the webinar, the Director of the Observer Research Foundation, Harsh V Pant, said the crisis has exposed the vulnerability of the global order and taught India to be self-reliant.

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