Tag: COVID

EU Bloc Gets Flake Over Less Vaccine Procurement Numbers
Europe

EU Bloc Gets Flake Over Less Vaccine Procurement Numbers

EU Bloc Gets Flake: As well-oiled world economies comes in terms with failed administrative decisions, European Union is also facing similar music. The bloc is now being criticized for mismanagement of procurement of the Covid-19 vaccine candidate, a part of which was developed in Germany itself. 

EU bloc is falling short of the approved Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine candidate that provides 97percent efficacy. However, there has been fresh scare over the newly mutating virus. The Covid-19 virus is mutating and new strains have started to enter some parts of Europe. UK claims it has been able to control the spread; but the virus has started to find its way into other countries outside Europe too. 

Attacking the European Commission for a slow vaccine procurement process is Markus Söder, the leader of Germany’s Christian Social Union. Making a public statement he said, “The time factor is crucial. If Israel, the U.S. or the U.K. are far ahead of us in vaccination, they will also benefit economically. The question of how we get through corona economically is closely related to how quickly we get through with vaccination.”

Söder’s statement could win him brownie points as he runs the race for the chancellor job in national elections scheduled for next September. But he has a valid point as he points out that “It is difficult to explain that a very good vaccine is developed in Germany but is vaccinated more quickly elsewhere.”

EU bloc took extensively long to give approvals to the vaccine candidate. This could have just been a step of caution misunderstood. Undeniably, the pandemic has the political and leadership capabilities of many nations to test. Many countries were not prepared to handle a pandemic like situation that devoured most of the year 2020. Many are still learning from their mistakes; EU is not going to be an exception to this process of evolution. 

But lack of vaccines and a new strain of mutation could mean lockdown in Europe again, that is going to hit non-essential businesses and extend till end of January 2021. 

The UK is testing a new drug that can prevent coronavirus
Europe

The UK is testing a new drug that can prevent coronavirus

The UK is testing a new drug: A drug to prevent a person from being infected with the coronavirus and developing the disease is the goal of a trial launched in the United Kingdom. Antibody therapy could provide 6-12 months of immunity against the disease. And it could be given as emergency treatment to hospitalized patients and nursing home guests. In this way, contagions of vulnerable subjects can be avoided. The drug could also be dispensed to people living in families where someone has contracted the coronavirus.

Professor Catherine Houlihan, a virologist at University College London Hospitals NHS Trust (UCLH), explains that if this treatment works, we can prevent people exposed to the virus from developing the disease linked to Covid-19. “It would add another element to the arsenal of weapons developed to fight this terrible virus.” The virologist added. According to The Guardian, the drug has been developed by UCLH and AstraZeneca. The pharmaceutical company – together with the University of Oxford – has also created one of the vaccines against the coronavirus.

The goal of the study is to show that the antibody cocktail protects against Covid for a period of between six and twelve months. The subjects involved in the trial receive two doses, one after the other. If it were to be approved, it reads, the treatment will be offered to someone who has been exposed to Covid-19 in the previous eight days. The drug could be available from March or April if the go-ahead from the national regulatory body arrives. “To date, we have administered the drug” to 10 participating subjects – staff, students and others – who have been exposed to the virus at home, in a healthcare setting or student classrooms,” Houlihan said.

The immediate protection that the drug promises could play a vital role in reducing the virus impact until everyone is immune. The vaccination campaign is undertaken using the Pfizer/BioNTech blow and is supposed to take until next summer. NHS England expedited the vaccine administration this week following criticism from hospitals management, GP leaders, and the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt that it was taking too long. 

The drug includes a long-acting antibody aggregate known as AZD7442, which has been produced by AstraZeneca. Rather than immunoglobulins provided by the body to help fight contamination, AZD7442 utilizes monoclonal antibodies created in a laboratory. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if these trials are efficacy. Scientists worldwide agree that any new therapies must be researched, examined, and tested safe before Governments consider introducing them.

After the UK scare, coronavirus lands in Antarctica
Geopolitics

After the UK scare, coronavirus lands in Antarctica

Coronavirus lands in Antarctica: The first passengers to arrive from the United Kingdom landed in Calais, France, after the French Minister of Transport Jean-Baptiste Djebbari announced last night that air, sea, and rail connections would resume this morning. To travellers over 11 years old is required to show, upon arrival, a negative Covid-19 test. The first ferry to leave Dover, the ‘Cotes des Flandres’ arrived in Calais at around 3.30 am local time, followed shortly after by another ferry. Arrivals from the UK to France were suspended from Sunday, following the new British variant of the coronavirus discovery, which generated panic and concerns among other nations.

The coronavirus pandemic is not under control in France. A new blockade must remain an option, Karine Lacombe, head of the infectious disease unit at Saint-Antoine hospital in Paris, said Wednesday. “On the epidemiological front, the epidemic is not at all under control,” Lacombe told BfmFm TV. Medical experts expressed concern that holiday season could lead to a resurgence of cases in France and Europe. Data released Tuesday showed that France reported an additional 802 related deaths in the past 24 hours and 11,800 new cases.

In addition to France, Belgium and the Netherlands also partially reopen their borders with the UK. The decision arrived to allow their compatriots to return and unblock the traffic of goods. Germany extended the closure of the borders, with both Great Britain and South Africa, the two countries where outbreaks of the new most contagious coronavirus strain have developed, until 6 January. Spain, as well, suspended inbound flights until January 5 and Ireland until the end of the year. Germany recorded over 24,000 cases of coronavirus, and 962 deaths, in the last 24 hours. According to the Robert Koch Institute, whose president Lothar Wieler urged the Germans to give up traveling on holidays to stem the infections.

Singapore authorities have also blocked the arrivals or transit of passengers from the UK following the new variant of the coronavirus’ discovery. The Singapore Ministry of Health has specified that passengers who have been in the UK in the past 14 days will not be allowed to enter the country until further notice. The decision will have consequences, especially for people bound for Australia who stopover in Singapore.

While the White House emergency officer announced her resignation, the virus has landed in Antarctica, the only continent that has so far had no case. The presence of the virus has been recorded on all seven continents. The Chilean military has reported 36 cases of Covid-19 at its Bernardo O’Higgins research station in the Antarctic Peninsula. The infected, including 26 military and ten maintenance workers, were moved back to Chile. The news comes a few days after the Chilean navy confirmed three coronavirus contagions on a ship that had brought supplies and personnel to the research station. The Sargento Aldea ship arrived at the station on 27 November and returned to Chile on 10 December. Three crew members had tested positive on their return to the Talcahuano base. Chile is the sixth most affected country in Latin America, with over 585,000 COVID-19 confirmed cases.

COVID-19 new variant out of control, Europe isolates the UK
Geopolitics

COVID-19 new variant out of control, Europe isolates the UK

Europe isolates the UK: The United Kingdom has informed the World Health Organization (WHO) that the new variant of the coronavirus tracked in the south-east of the country can circulate faster, specifying that it is not yet clear whether it is more lethal. According to the Ministry of Health, the variant is already out of control. The new mutation has been also tracked in Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Australia. Several EU countries today suspended flights with London.

According to the Independent, in the meantime, in the United Kingdom, the cases of Covid-19 have increased by more than 50%. In the last 24 hours, there was a peak of new infections in the country (+35,928), with another 326 victims. To avoid unpleasant surprises, however, the European chancelleries decided to isolate the United Kingdom.  Italy has suspended all flights with Great Britain. No flights from the Kingdom also to the Netherlands that closed its air traffic with the UK until January 1st following the discovery of a Dutch case. Stop also for France and Belgium.

The patient with the British variant of COVID-19 was found for the first time in Italy as well. According to health sources, the patient is in isolation, with her partner returned from the UK a few days ago. And she has a strong viral load. The woman, in the Rome area, had a swab in recent days, probably in a drive-through. Other family members and their close contacts are also in isolation.

The World Health Organization affirmed today that it is in “close contact” with the British authorities from the variant of the virus’ discovery. That would have a higher transmissibility, quantified at 70% more by Prime Minister Johnson. In a tweet, the UN agency writes that it is sharing scientific information with London and is committed to providing all updates to other member states and public opinion, “as we learn about the characteristics of this variant of the virus and its implications.”

To coordinate an EU response to the emergency due to the isolated variant the German EU presidency invited member states to an urgent meeting of the IPCR, the political crisis management mechanism, on Monday at 11 am. German presidency spokesman Sebastian Fischer announced on Twitter. London, the East and the South East of England are back in lockdown. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this on Saturday at a press conference, committed to stemming the wave of infections attributed to the variant of Covid-19. “There are no indications that it is more deadly or that it causes a more severe form of the disease” or that it reduces the effectiveness of vaccines, he added.

End-of-year holidays closing for Covid in Europe
Europe

End-of-year holidays closing for Covid in Europe

Covid in Europe: European countries are trying to prevent Christmas and the end of year holidays from turning into the antechamber of the third wave of Covid. For this reason, several nations, not yet out of the second wave, intend to tighten the measures planned for the holidays. In the wake of Germany, which to counter the virus has decided to adopt a total lockdown until January 10.

The Italian government will introduce new blocks for the holidays, despite a downward epidemic curve. The Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed today a total lockdown with a ban on travel between municipalities from 24 to 26 December, as well as from December 30 to 3 January, with the possibility of extending the restrictions until seven if necessary. The decision depends on the progress of the infections. To avoid also travel except for motivated reasons.

On Wednesday, the restrictions announced last weekend by Chancellor Merkel come into force. In addition to bars, restaurants, gyms, cinemas, theatres, museums already closed since November 2nd, all non-essential shops will also close next week in Germany. Except for pharmacies, grocery stores, and banks. Schools will also be closed. Employers are recommended to put their employees into smart working or to stop their activities, an indication not given in the first wave of the pandemic.

Netherlands also closes during holidays. Yesterday Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced a hard lockdown for at least five weeks after noting that the softer measures did not stem the infections. Stop at schools, non-essential shops, museums, theatres, and hairdressers. Bars and restaurants, already closed from mid-October, will remain so. Contact professions, except medical ones, are suspended. The announcement, live on television, sparked some protests under the government building, drastic measures to counter the increase in infections around 10 thousand a day.

The easing of anti-Covid measures in London lasted less than two weeks. The British Minister of Health, Matt Hancock, announced that from yesterday the capital of the United Kingdom returned to semi-lockdown to cope with the increase in infections: London passes to level 3 of restrictions, the highest; it was already at level 2, which provides for a ban on meeting people outside their own family, if not outdoors.

The squeeze provides for a new closure of restaurants, pubs, theatres, and some shops. The crackdown, also extended from Wednesday to the neighboring county of Hertfordshire, will remain in effect until December 23, when all of Great Britain – including London – will be relieved of 5-day Christmas restrictions. Mayor Sadiq Khan called the decision “disappointing” and asked the government to implement compensation measures for all those sectors severely damaged by the new closures.

In France, the first free mass screenings started this week with the Minister of Health, Olivier Vèran, who presented the operation as a new attempt to control the infections given the reopening. In fact, from yesterday, the lockdown ended. The curfew from 20 to 6 will replace it. French can circulate without self-certification throughout the territory, even if the number of daily cases remains far from the authorities’ objective of 5,000 per day.

The mass testing program is sparking controversy in Austria. Started two weeks ago, only 20% of the population participated in the screening. A number very far from the 60% expected by Vienna government. The Social Democrats attack the executive accusing it of an amateur campaign. According to local media, a new round of testing will start on January 8. And the government could offer incentives to the population to take the test.

It will, therefore, be different holidays to close such a difficult year.  Concerns for the many lonely elderly people or to those who cannot reach their family for the Christmas dinner or the end of the year. Many workers will not be able to return to their cities due to the new closures. Perhaps the coronavirus will help many rediscover the true spirit of these holidays, alone.

Is the multilateralism the future of Europe?
Geopolitics

Is the multilateralism the future of Europe?

The future of Europe: Three women at the helm of international organizations like IMF, EU, and ECB, and one in the capacity of Treasury minister of the most powerful Nation in the world, soon led by a president who has not skimped on integrating her staff with prominent female characters in their professional field.

Could the fortunate anomaly, concerning the past, of such a large coexistence of female figures at political and institutional leaders be the harbinger of a significant change of pace in the geopolitical field? There is an urgent need for initiatives marked by the courage and wisdom necessary to face ambitious challenges that the present context of global economic-pandemic crisis will make inevitable shortly. And first of all in the desirable spirit of a renewed multilateralism, to the advantage of rules for a community of states that is made up of men, or rather of social animals naturally reaching out towards a sense of cooperation, incompatible with extreme nationalistic individualism.

But these are challenges for which we are already beginning to equip ourselves. The expectations placed on the recent EU-US dialogue proposals are high, as emerges from the text of their new collaborative agenda for global change. Which includes significant commitments on the main geopolitical issues currently under discussion, starting with the establishment of a Euro-American council dedicated to trade and technologies, a Transatlantic AI Agreement and a joint leadership on reforming the WTO.

While not encouraging indications on long-term economic development are reported by the IMF, which believes that new technologies, specifically connected to robotics and applications of artificial intelligence and automation, risk widening the gap between rich and poor countries, shifting greater investments in advanced economies where automation is already present.

With the negative consequence of threatening to replace, rather than integrate, their growing low-cost workforce, which has traditionally been the advantage on which the development of globalization has rested.

Furthermore, another behavioural paradigm that should be definitively debunked, to facilitate economic recovery on a global basis, is that of so-called shortism. Revealed by how the stock market, particularly the US, has so far encouraged publicly traded companies to prioritize short-term, preferable over long-term, and society-wide profits. With the consequence of a growing rift between stock markets and the real economy, massive growth of intangible assets and above all the growing irrelevance of the labor factor for capital. From this point of view, however, the Next Generation Recovery Fund (NGRF) marks a change of historical step in the measure in which it configures a long-term planning starting from the opening words of its title. And then because it is focused on issues such as: climate, education, transport, etc. All themes, to quote Jeffrey Sachs, foreshadowing a future different combination of prosperity, lower levels of inequality, and environmental sustainability.

In evaluating the implementation methods of the NGRF, the domain of digitization must also be considered. Thanks to this, technology and finance, the current drivers of political capitalism, are consolidating the pre-eminence of immateriality over materiality on the economic level, of platforms over industrial plants. While Covid has put a lot of its own in accelerating the advent of the premier, on a geopolitical level, the strategic value of information and the related algorithmic profiling. And in accelerating at the same time also the confluence of capitalist development under the aegis and the wing of politics, guided by intentions of neo-protectionism, of debt conditioning, but above all of state interventionism imposed / required for the needs of entrepreneurial rescue.

But positive expectations should also be associated with the work of the G20 for 2021, and with its presidency in particular, which now belongs to our country. Broad is the agenda of the issues to be submitted but, given the peculiarity of the Debt / GDP ratio that will characterize our country a few years from now, the focus of the geopolitical debate pinned on financial stability and sustainability in supporting resilience to emergencies will be very appropriate. global. A debate that is inseparable from that on the sources of taxation with which to repay the state debt. Largely hindered by Trump’s positions on the possibilities / methods of applying the Webtax, by the apathy of EU member countries towards the application of a minimum corporate tax rate, or limits on the deduction of interest expense for tax purposes. But also hampered by the matter of countervailing duties (Boeing-Airbus) now made potentially more harmful for EU countries by the possible application of these duties to the import of aircraft produced in the US by Great Britain in Brexit. A phenomenon, the latter, which however gives Italy the opportunity for a more incisive and proactive role of internal diplomacy, on proposals that can see us as a strategic balance between the two drivers: France and Germany.

The ECB already declared that it wants to expand its QE at least until March 2021. That suggests a lower use could only occur if the markets buy the debt at convenient conditions. From this point of view, the approval of the NGRF may itself constitute one of the conditions suitable to push the markets to buy with further lowering of country spreads, even if significant risks are still visible on the horizon. Brexit without a deal represents, in fact, a financial unknown still unfathomable a few days from the end. And, again, the risk of delays in the much-desired departure of the NGRF program, following a response not in line with the expectations, by the EU Court, on the legislative text which, definitely turning a blind eye to the rule of law in Poland and Hungary, however, made it possible to unlock the negotiations.

Regarding the ESM future, it is reasonable to expect that the reform demanded to examine will produce a text of a mechanism that does not lend itself to the tangle of interpretations that have affected the current system. Among those, some argue that it would not be adequate to the needs of a country like Italy. Those who still consider the positivity of its optionality. Who thinks the latter is detrimental on a reputational level due to the stigma associated with its potential use. And who believes that the mere fact that the ESM exists would discourage possible pressures in the financial markets. And a similar difference in assessment can be applied to the health MES, between those who consider it conditionally limited to the use of resources for health expenditure, and those with a completely different opinion.

If in the years to come, interest rates were to rise significantly, in compliance with a principle of solidarity it should also be possible to grant use to countries that request it, finding themselves in conditions of debt sustainability and full access to markets, but at a high cost. Also, providing that these countries pay additional interest to the ESM. The measure should be equal to half the difference between the EU rate and that which the requesting nation would obtain by sourcing on the market at the spread commensurate with its country risk level.

Liverpool Mayor arrested for fraud and corruption
Europe

Liverpool Mayor arrested for fraud and corruption

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has been arrested Friday by the city police as part of a fraud and corruption investigation. The Labor Party, of which Anderson has been a lifelong member, immediately suspended him, waiting for the results of the British judicial inquiry. The party refused to comment, as for now, but several sources confirmed that Mr Joe Anderson had been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

A former social worker and then pub manager, the 62-year-old Anderson was a city councillor for two decades before running in 2010 in the first direct elections for the office of Mayor. He has since been re-elected and has remained continuously the head of one of the most important cities in the United Kingdom, famous all over the world as the birthplace of the Beatles and for its football team, reigning Premier League champion. 

The accusations against Mr Anderson, according to “The Guardian,” concern contracts in the real estate sector and city infrastructures. The arrest does not amount to a guilty verdict, nor does it mean that the Mayor will remain in prison: the police, to interrogate a person suspected of a crime, must always arrest him in the UK, to give him the right not to answer and to consult a lawyer, making use of all legal rights.

Five other people have been arrested together with Anderson, of which the authorities did not reveal for the moment the identity, but only the age: a man of 72, one of 46, one of 33, and one of 25. Also, they have to answer for fraud and corruption, as well as conspiracy and attempted intimidation of a witness. In 2017, the Mayor of Liverpool ran as a Member of the Parliament in Westminster but was not elected. 

He got national influence during the Covid-19 health emergency after supervising in Liverpool the country’s first mass testing program, operating closely with the central government in Westminster, the army, and all security departments. Confirmed cases in the city, which in October was one of the major outbreaks of the pandemic in the UK, have dropped more than two-thirds since the plan started on November 6, coinciding with a month-long national lockdown. When lockdown expired on December 2, the urban center has been pushed down into the second tier of limitations, having entered in Tier 3, the highest level.

His older brother died in October of coronavirus, and Anderson himself has spent most of the last year in solitary confinement as a precautionary measure, suffering from other physical sicknesses. His arrest is an embarrassing episode for the Labor party.  The new leader, Keir Starmer, has promised to bring the bloc back to victory, making it a credible government force. Following the hard defeat suffered by his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn in the elections last December, the worst performance at the polls for the Labor in eighty-five years.

Colombia, the Covid-19 doesn’t stop the narcos
Americas

Colombia, the Covid-19 doesn’t stop the narcos

The narcos: The video of the Colombian anti-drug special corps, which immediately went viral in the country, brought to light the latest invention in terms of drug dealing and raised the alarm in the city of Florencia: masks containing cocaine capsules. Commander Oscar Andres Lamprea Pinzon explains after the arrest of a 56-year-old drug dealer linked to important drug cartels in the South American country.

The drug traffickers inserted cocaine eggs inside the protective face masks for COVID-19, trying to evade the controls. The restrictive and protective measures for the coronavirus, which have harmed the world’s economies, in this case, helped the traffickers. But the Colombian authorities managed to uncover the trick and arrested dozens of people. During the pandemic between January and October, the police intercepted over 200 tons of cocaine, about ten percent more than in the same period the previous year. Places of destination for the white powder recorded a similar increase, both in the U.S. ports – plus 8 percent – and in those of the Old Continent, as confirmed by the European anti-drug agency (EMCDDA) and Europol.

It’s not just the coke that is not in quarantine. The drug market at the time of Covid is expanding. And, shortly, it could grow further, warned the UNDC, the UN agency against drugs. It has already happened with the 2008 crash: the illegal economy absorbs the labor expelled from the system.  The recession offers greedy recycling opportunities. This time – the United Nations warns – it could be worse given the proportions of the impending recession. The premises are not encouraging.

 The narco-industry has proved skilled in adapting to the new course, finding alternative routes and strategies to circumvent restrictions on global circulation. Of course, cultivation and packaging have suffered, especially in Peru, where according to the UNDC, the price of the coca leaf fell by 46 percent due to the contraction in demand from criminal groups, unable to take it and export it due to the continent’s most rigid lockdown. In the other two “big producers” – Colombia and Bolivia -, however, the blow was more contained. The narcos everywhere have faced him by resorting to the stocks accumulated for times of crisis, as confirmed by a recent intelligence study in Bogota.

 As for heroin, the pandemic threatened to blow up the harvest season (March-June) in Afghanistan, where 95 percent of opiates come. The closure of the borders with Pakistan at the end of March deprived the poppy fields of the usual labor of immigrant laborers. The inconvenience did not stop the “drug lords.” They have increased wages by a third and en masse recruited the unemployed from Covid, men and women exhausted by the increase in food prices by over 20 percent. While retail has moved to the dark web, international traffic has suffered disruptions.

The closing borders has redesigned the map of drug travels from the places of origin to those of sale, hundreds of thousands of kilometers away. The Latino narcos have strengthened the land route to supply the United States through the porous border between Colombia and Panama, which is slower but also safer.

COVID-19 is changing the global food geopolitics
Geopolitics

COVID-19 is changing the global food geopolitics

Global food geopolitics: Geopolitics is not restricted to states, but a complex web of state and non-state actors are involved in food security governance. Food security has historically been recognized as the remit of development practitioners, who in turn have tended to focus on the technical and micro-foundations of global hunger. However, broader international attention to the issue began to emerge after the global food crises of 2007–2008 and 2011–12. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is the risk of a global food crisis, even with abundant crops in the fields and large reserves of food available. During the health emergency for the new coronavirus, thousands of animals culled due to the collapse in sales. Thousands of people lined up at the assistance centers to have at least one meal a day. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic, some countries’ accelerated isolationist and unilateral tendencies, with the governments of some countries putting greater importance on national-level risk management rather than global coordination. Indeed, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2019 notes how heightened international tensions increase the risk of ‘geopolitically motivated food-supply disruptions. Geopolitical competition as among Russia and the US, or China and the US, in addition to affecting food security itself, also hinders efforts to improve dialogue and coordination, if not cooperation, among various actors on achieving the goal of eradicating hunger for all people.

The virus has changed food supply and demand, and in times of emergency, protectionist restrictions by the various countries, disruptions to transport and shipments have prevailed. Meanwhile, the prices of some foods have skyrocketed in Europe and the United States, as well as Asia. The climate and environmental change, underway for some time and potentially much more destructive, also looms over all this. The global fight for agricultural resources highlights the inherent asymmetries in natural resource provisions and limitations, which are closely associated with the food security of states and their populations. Following the global food crises, concerns about resource instability became prominent among countries with deficits of fertile land, water, and nutrients. The governments of middle- and high-income states, such as the oil-producing states of the Gulf and East Asian nations, have subsequently engaged in the strategic acquisition of investment in agricultural resources abroad.

A threat so strong that it has to call the entire company to new commitments, to the overall rethinking of development models, which have already proved insufficient and risky in the face of the coronavirus lockdown. COVID-19, the lockdowns of entire countries and continents, have slowed globalization and accelerated sovereign forces, including in the agricultural and food sectors, with devastating effects. Elements that have changed the geopolitical framework, which must find a completely new and more sustainable development model. A change that also concerns the Mediterranean. Where Russia, Turkey, and China are establishing themselves as new superpowers, with massive investments or military interventions in conflict areas such as Libya for the game on hydrocarbons.

EU Bloc Might Take Diversion Route Around Hungary Poland Resistance To Covid-19 Recovery Package
Europe

EU Bloc Might Take Diversion Route Around Hungary Poland Resistance To Covid-19 Recovery Package

EU Bloc Might Take Diversion: European leaders might have no choice but to bypass the disgruntled countries Hungary and Poland. Their efforts to get going with the urgent post Covid-19 recovery funds. 

Strangely, both these nations are the biggest beneficiaries of the European subsidies. Yet they are holding the rest of the 25 EU nations to ransom, over an argument that the rule of the law must not be applicable on them anymore. 

The EU bloc has created an autonomous system of judging good governance through the rule of the law, something that the whole bloc has adhered to. However, Hungary and Poland have their reasons to revolt against it. They have indulged in unfair and discriminatory actions against certain ethnic groups in their country. There has been systematic violation of human rights too; something the EU bloc has been vehemently opposed to. 

There has been war of words against the rule of law going on for decades, but to the dismay of both these overtly conservative dictatorial leaders, EU bloc has never succumbed to their political pressure. 

As the situation stands now, there are three more value creating ‘bypass’ routes being discussed. The former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has suggested one. He is a leading liberal in the European Parliament. According to Verhofstadt, the EU bloc could think of launching the recovery fund as a so-called enhanced cooperation among a group of only ‘willing states’ under the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.

Going outside the treaty signed with Hungary and Poland. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has suggested a more radical approach of “re-establishing the EU without Hungary and Poland” or implementing the entire recovery package outside the existing treaties via an agreement among the 25 other governments. Nevertheless, any of the suggested deviations will come with legal ramifications.

It is being advised that the 25 European nations that are in tandem with the €1.8 trillion long-term budget and coronavirus recovery fund, should keep their safety net spread out- start the legal drafting work to establish the recovery fund outside the EU framework. But this should be treated as the last resort.

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