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Four Priorities for a Global Pandemic Strategy

The world initially met the COVID-19 crisis in an uncoordinated fashion, with too many countries ignoring the warning signs and going it alone. It is now clear that the only way out of it is together.

BRUSSELS – The contrast between the silence of Europe’s streets and squares and the tumultuous, painful reality in many of its hospitals is heartbreaking. COVID-19 has not only Europe but the entire global community in its grip. It is already clear that the pandemic will reshape our world. But precisely how will depend on the choices that we make today.

The coronavirus should be seen as the world’s common enemy. Though this is not a war, we nevertheless need a “war-like” mobilization of resources.

But in times of crisis, our instinct is to turn inward, to fend for ourselves. This reaction, though understandable, is self-defeating. Going it alone all but guarantees that the fight will last longer, and that the human and economic costs will be far higher. Although the enemy has triggered nationalist reflexes, we can defeat it only with cross-border coordination – in Europe and beyond.

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