the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli
the President of the European Council Charles Michel
the President of the European Commission Ursula van der Leyen
and all politicians of good will
Therefore, we call on you to take political responsibility and to take the initiative. This is what was patently lacking in the EU response to the 2008 financial crisis—a mistake whose grave consequences we are still suffering.
We call on you to allocate financial resources which will provide:
workers: with a real possibility to earn their own living during the quarantine and the crisis,
enterprises: with a chance to survive the economic crisis,
public services (healthcare in particular): with precipitous funding,
all of us: with effective research on COVID-19 medication and on a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.
It is not only thousands of Europeans infected with the coronavirus that need to be saved today. There is another patient at risk of death—European values, such as the recognition of the intrinsic value of human life, of democracy, of solidarity, of community, of the dignity of work and of the worker. These values must now manifest in practical terms, in the concrete decisions we now face. Europe must show that:
The life of every single person, including the elderly, is an absolute value in itself and not a burden on the State Budget or the economy. To consider the death of a substantial part of society an external cost—to deliberately sacrifice human life for the sake of a rapid return to the path of GDP—is nothing but barbaric (as well as additionally being economically ineffective).
One of the great achievements of European civilization is the introduction of universal pension plans—a move which made the state responsible for the solidarity of the whole society towards the elderly. We must not leave in solitude those people who devoted their whole lives to work for our common welfare—they deserve our gratitude and have the right to care as well as the right to have their lives protected.
There is no free market without the freedom of the people who participate in it—in any situation of extreme imbalance, such narrowly understood freedom cannot but turn out to have been a mere delusion. When workers become hostages forced to put their own lives and health at risk in order to earn their livings, the system of the free exchange of goods and services transforms into a ruthless economic regime.
Therefore, we propose:
1. Unconditional support for all
Unconditional basic income should be paid out for at least three months both to those who are currently employed and the unemployed, directly into their bank accounts. We must remember that bureaucracy is the enemy of the vulnerable. If financial support is dependent on long and complex procedures, it will fail to promptly reach those who are in imminent danger of falling into spiraling debt and poverty.
We have no time for income verification—it may be a standard labour market procedure at times of peace, but not when we are at war.
Appropriate verification and taxation of additional basic income paid into the accounts of the wealthiest should be carried out at the end of the tax year.
The economy cannot wait for demand stimulus and boost in consumption. We urgently need to buy ourselves the time required to undergo the necessary quarantine. We cannot wait for bail-out money transferred to the big players to trickle down to the market, consumers and citizens. This did not happen during times of peace and will not happen during a period of crisis or war. We must not irresponsibly force employees who have lost financial stability to discontinue the necessary quarantine.
For that reason, we need the immediate, direct and universal transfer of funds from the European Union to its citizens, funded directly from the EU budget. We also require the issuance of money by the European Central Bank.
2. Subsidising enterprises for employment retention and income socialisation
It is of the utmost importance to provide European enterprises, especially SMEs, with the means to maintain their production potential and a stable economic environment through the provision of liquidity, as well as tax deferrals. Monetary policy must go hand in hand with fiscal policy in this matter, as the previous crisis in the European Union was extremely long and acutely impactful on the poorest, because the governments were afraid to admit that quantitative easing did not boost economic growth. This is why we hereby request the subsidizing of the anti-crisis efforts by the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The advantage of Europe over authoritarian systems must come from the power of its institutions and the ability to react to critical situations.
At the same time, the structure of subsidized enterprises’ key ownership has to be changed. Resources devoted to retaining jobs should serve employees, not company boards or financial markets. A continued surge of disparity and increase in the privatization of public services cannot be the aftermath of the crisis. Europe must save jobs, not the incomes of boards of directors. For this reason, the aid for enterprises should be combined with responsibility for European taxpayers and their support. We call for the public aid for companies to be subsidized by European funds and for the European Central Bank to acquire shares in the supported enterprises. This solution, implemented during the financial crisis of 2008, will guarantee control over wages and dividends, as well as the unified participation of European communities in the future income of the companies.
3. Public service subsidisation through an appropriate form of European bonds valid throughout the European Union
The crisis we are facing concerns public health. It shows that a society is as safe and as strong as its weakest members.
As a result, societies and the economy cannot afford to be deprived of access to high-quality universal healthcare.
In fact, it was the wrong response to the financial crisis of 2008 that led to the degradation of public services in the name of an alleged economic rationality, which is now generating additional costs and making it more difficult to effectively combat the pandemic.
Today, by releasing additional financial aid for the member states allowing them radically increase their healthcare expenditure, especially the ones most impacted by the pandemic, through the use of an adequate type of European bonds valid throughout the EU, the Union would show that the life and death of European citizens are the highest priorities, and that European solidarity is a real and not illusive ideal. It would also allow for the implementation of the controlled mobilization of production resources in Europe for the common good: healthcare.
4. European research on medicine and the vaccine
It is necessary to fund research on medicine for COVID-19 and a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 from European public resources. The medicine and vaccine discovered thanks to these funds should be patent-free, according to the principles of universal solidarity.
United Europe emerged as an answer to the spiritual and material devastation of World War II rooted in the crisis and unemployment of the 1930s. Crisis is a time for making choices. On the one hand, it may lead us to the fall of the European Union and slipping into chaos and authoritarianism. On the other, however, it can be a chance to renew the social agreement between Europe and its citizens. It can be an opportunity to change the management model to one that is more solidary and balanced.
The belief that European nations which have found themselves in a difficult economic situation will cope with the pandemic on their own is deceptive. If we want to both defeat the pandemic and ward off the shadow of the upcoming severe economic crisis, to save Europe from descending into chaos that will last for decades, we need to act according to the rule: United we stand, divided we fall.
We address our letter to the leaders of EU institutions, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament and the MEPs of all the political groups of the European Parliament. We represent different ideological backgrounds. We are convinced that today, liberals, who acknowledge the inherent value of each individual, conservatives, who believe in intergenerational solidarity, and people of the left, who call for us to respect the dignity of labour, need to act together.
The real division line does not run between the liberals, the left and the conservatives. The demarcation line emerges between those who are ready to sacrifice their co-citizens for short-term profits, supposedly protecting the GDP, and those who oppose such logic.
Mateusz Piotrowski, ecological activist
Maciej Grodzicki, economist, Jagiellonian University
Marta Olesik, philosopher, Polish Academy of Sciences
Aleksander Temkin, philosopher, activist, Komitet Kryzysowy Humanistyki Polskiej
Zofia Sajdek, editor, social activist
Filip Konopczyński, lawyer, Kalecki Foundation
Jan Zygmuntowski, economist, chairman at Instrat Foundation
Adam Ostolski, sociologist, journalist, translator, University of Warsaw
Olga Tokarczuk, Polish writer, Nobel Prize Winner in Literature for 2019
Luigino Bruni, economist, Scientific Director of Economy of Francesco Papal Program
Aleksander Kwaśniewski, former President of Poland
Jan Zielonka, political scientist, Professor of Oxford University
Agnieszka Holland, director and screenwriter
Ladislau Dowbor, chief economic advisor to former President of Brasil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Carlo Ginzburg, Italian historian
Ulrike Guerot, German political thinker and founder and director of the European Democracy Lab
Alessandra Smerilli, State Councilor of Vatican City
Fernando Savater, Spanish philosopher, essayist
Mieke Bal, Dutch artist, cultural theorist
Rocco Buttiglione, Italian Union of Christian and Centre Democrats politician and an academic
Dorota Gardias, president of Forum Związków Zawodowych, one of three major Polish trade unions
Aleksander Smolar, Polish political adviser, president of the Stefan Batory Foundation
Stefano Zamagni, president of Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences
Vera Zamagni, professor of economic history, University of Bologna
Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, Polish politician and MP
Krzysztof Pomian, Polish philosopher, historian and essayist
John Milbank, English Anglican theologian
Reinhard Bütikofer, one of the Co-Chairs of EGP, and MEP for the German Green party Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen. Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with China.
Małgorzata Omilanowska, former Minister of Culture and National Heritage in Polish government
Michał Boni, Polish politician, former Minister of Digitalisation
Michał Kołodziejczak, Polish agrarian activist, president of Agrounia movement.
Robert Biedroń, Polish politician, group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
Claus Offe, German political sociologist, Political Sociology at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.
Stefano Quintarelli, member of the: Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations and High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence of the European Commission
Tomaso Montanari, art historian and opinion maker, professor of University of Siena
Claus Leggewie, German professor of Political Science and director of the Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut (KWI) in Essen
Kira Peter-Hansen, Danish politician, Socialist People's Party Member of the European Parliament
Gianfranco Poggi, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia and European University Institute
Lluís Torrens Mèlich, Director of Social Innovacion of Barcelona City Council, member of Basic Income Network / Red Renta Básica
Andrzej Leder, Polish philosopher, professor in Polish Academy od Sciences
Sergi Raventós, sociologist and social worker, member of Basic Income Network / Red Renta Básica
Andrzej Nowak, Polish historian
Adrian Zandberg, Polish politician an MP, member of the Board of the Razem party
Jan Śpiewak, Polish social activist and politician
Tomasz Terlikowski, Polish journalist
Bogdan Zdrojewski, Polish politician, the Mayor of Wrocław, former Minister of Culture and National Heritage,
Paweł Szypulski, Program Director of Greenpeace Poland
Gérard Rabinovitch, French philosopher and sociologist. Researcher at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), member of the Center for Research on Sense, Ethic, Society (CERSES)
Dominik Zgódka, Program Director of Greenpeace Poland
Jutta Paulus, German pharmacist and politician, MEP for Alliance 90/The Greens
Monika Vana, Austrian politician of The Greens-The Green Alternative, part of the European Green Party, MEP
Benoît Biteau, French politician, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens, European Free Alliance
Katarzyna Batko-Tołuć, Vice President and Program Director of the Civic Network Watchdog Poland
Marta Petrusewicz, Professor of Economic History, City University of New York, teaches modern history on Università della Calabria.
Damien Carême, French politician, MEP serving on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
David Cormand, French politician, MEP
Mounir Satouri, French politician, MEP for Group of the Greens, European Free Alliance
Tilly Metz, Luxembourgish teacher and politician, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens, European Free Alliance
Mareike Dittmer, director of The Art Stations Foundations CH, Museum Susch
Monika Kostera, Polish economist, professor of management and organization theoretist
Piotr Graczyk, Polish philosopher
Kacper Pobłocki, Polish social anthropologist
Przemysław Czapliński, Polish historian of literature, essayist, literary critic
Andrzej Friszke, Polish historian
Ryszard Nycz, Polish historian of literature
Maciej Szlinder, President of the Polish Basic Income Network
Anda Rottenberg, Polish art historian, art critic, writer, former director of the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw and member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA).
Karol Tarnowski, Professor of humanities, phenomenologist,
Adam Leszczyński, historian, sociologist, journalist and publicist, member of the Krytyka Polityczna team and co-founder of OKO.press
Marcin Wicha, graphic artist, draftsman (creator of satirical drawings), columnist, author of books for adults and children
Adam Chmielewski, professor of humanities, philosopher of science and politics, editor-in-chief of the magazine "Studia Philosophica Wratislaviensia", head of the Wrocław office for the European Capital of Culture
Emanuele Ferragina, sociologist, interested in exclusion from the labor market
Aleksandra Przegalińska, Polish philosopher, futurologist, publicist
Remigiusz Okraska, Polish sociologist, social activist, publicist of ecological and socio-political press
Sławomir Sierakowski, the head of Krytyka Polityczna (Political Critique, a movement of left-wing intellectuals, artists and activists), director of Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw
Dariusz Stola, professor of history at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Przemysław Sadura, sociologist and publicist, academic teacher at The University of Warsaw
Sławomir Wittkowicz, member of the Presidium of The Trade Union Forum (leader of the Science, Education and Culture)
Michał Łuczewski, Polish sociologist specializing in sociology of the nation and memory, assistant professor at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Warsaw
Rafał Woś, Polish publicist and economic journalist
Bartosz Bartosik, member of the editorial board of "Więź", secretary of the think tank Laboratorium Więź" and member of the Social Dialogue Committee Team at the Polish National Chamber of Commerce
Anna Dziewit Meller, writer, columnist and journalist
Zygmunt Miłoszewski, award-winning Polish writer, previously a journalist and editor for the Polish edition of Newsweek, an author of novels, features and short stories
Marta Miłoszewska, Polish director, academic teacher, social activist
Miłosława Stępień, member of The Polish Green Party
Agata Urbanik, facilitator, trainer and social researcher, one of the founders of the Pole Dialogu Foundation
Dariusz Piórkowski SJ, publicist, pastor, spiritual director
Jędrzej Malko, journalist, researcher of the history of economic discourses, analyst at the Kalecki Foundation
Weronika Paszewska, co-founder and director of AkcjaDemokracja, trainer, psychologist, activist
Joanna Kos-Krauze, Polish film director and screenwriter
Krystyna Zachwatowicz-Wajda, Polish scenographer, costume designer and actress, member of the Polish Film Academy, co-founder (with A. Wajda) of Centre of Japanese Art and Technology "Manggha" in Kraków
Henryk Wujec, Polish politician, physicist, opposition activist in the times of the Polish People's Republic
Mateusz Wojcieszak, member of the board at Fundacja Pole Dialogu
Jacek Kucharczyk, President of the Institute of Public Affairs, author of books, articles, reports and policy papers on democracy, good governance, and European integration
Łukasz Domagała, Chairman of National Federation of Polish NGOs, president of board of Fundacja dla Polski
Michał Pałasz, Academic Teacher at the Jagiellonian University, Arts, Culture & Social Media Manager, and Social Activist
Andrzej Mencwel, Polish literary historian and critic of Polish literature and culture, cultural anthropologist, essayist, publicist, professor of humanities
Bogdan de Barbaro, Polish psychiatrist and therapist, professor of medical sciences, professor at the Jagiellonian University
Bartosz Rydliński, PhD of political science, co-founder of DaszynskiCentre, assistant professor at The Institute of Political Science of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University
Jean-Yves Potel ,French historian, political scientist, writer, university teacher, diplomat, a specialist in the political history of Central Europe, especially Poland
Jarema Piekutowski, Polish sociologist, journalist, commentator (“Więź”, “Tygodnik Powszechny”), lead expert on social issues in “Nowa Konfederacja” Thinkzine, collaborator of Fundacja Pole Dialogu and Social Challenges Unit of University of Warsaw
Jean-François Chanlat, affiliated professor of management at HEC Universite de Montreal, sociologist of organizations
Mateusz Bednarkiewicz, film and theatre artist, director and screenwriter
Paweł Krupa OP, PhD in theology, historian of ideas, medievalist, preacher, writer
Marek Naczyk, Professor of Comparative Social Policy, Oxford University
Jurgen De Wispelaere, political theorist and policy scholar, University of Bath
Evamaria Langer-Dombrady - Feltétel Nélküli Alapjövedelem (Hungarian Basic Income Association)
Paola Guglielmotti, Professor of Medieval History, University of Genova
Luca Meldolesi, Italian economist, professor of Economics and Financial Policy, University of Naples
Lina Scalisi, Professor of Modern History, University of Catania
Marcelina Zawisza, Polish social activist and politician
Maria Teresa Iannelli, Director of National Archaeological Museum "Vito Capialbi", Director of the Monasterace Archeological Museum, Councilor for Culture and to the Cultural Heritage of the Municipality of Locri.
Battista Sangineto, Italian archaeologist, educator
Tomasz Karoń, Polish political strategist
Tamar Pitch, Professor of Legal Philosophy and Sociology of Law, University of Perugia
Paulina Matysiak, Polish political activist
Romano Luperini, Italian literary critic, writer and politician.
Claudia Stancatti, Professor of Philosophy of Language, University of Calabria
Paul Corner, Professor of European History, University of Siena
Piero Bevilacqua, Italian historian, writer and essayist
Lucyna Gebert, Professor, Department of European, American, and Intercultural Studies, Sapienza University of Rome
Maria Adele Teti, Italian professor of urban planning, Mediterranea University of Regio Calabria
Giuseppe Buondonno, regional secretary of The Italian Left (Sinistra Italiana)
Massimo Veltri, Italian politician
Renate Siebert, sociologist, University of Calabria
Rudi Assuntino, Italian musicologist, singer, songwriter, tv director and script writer
Salvatore Adorno, Italian professor of contemporary history, University of Catania
Wojciech Kubalewski, Polish politician, IT specialist and entrepreneur, co-chairman of The Polish Green Party
Marek Kossakowski, Polish journalist and politician, democratic opposition activist in the People's Republic of Poland, one of the two presidents of The Polish Green Party (2016–2020)
Ida Dominjanni, Italian philosopher, political theorist, essayist and journalist, Genoa School of Humanities
Lucina Speciale, historian, University of Salento
Marie Toussaint, French jurist, social activist and politician, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens, European Free Alliance
Salima Yenbou, French school administration, teacher and politician,MEP, Group of the Greens, European Free Alliance
Tonino Perna, Italian economist and sociologist, professor of Economic Sociology at the University of Messina
Michał Rusinek, Polish literature theorist, Jagiellonian University
Dorota Kozicka, Polish historian and literature theorist, Jagiellonian University
Tomasz Majewski, president Polish Cultural Studies Association, Jagiellonian University
Oxana Pachlovska, researcher, European, American and International Studies, Sapienza University of Rome
Eva Catizone, Italian politician
Filippo Veltri, Italian journalist
Tomasz Anisko, Polish politician, landscape architect and university teacher,
Hanna Gil-Piątek, Polish politician and urban activist
Nicoletta Stame, sociologist, Sapienza University of Rome
Enzo Scandurra, cultural anthropologist, environmental scientist, Sapienza University of Rome
Luziana Polliotti, journalist, cultural historian
Alfonso Gianni, Italian politician
Giulia Mafai, costumography designer
Alberto Ziparo, urban studies, University of Florence
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, French politician Europe Ecologie Les Verts, MEP
Karima Delli, French politician and MOP Parliament elected in the 2009 European election, 2014 European elections and in the 2019 European elections for the Île-de-France constituency.
Maria Rosaria Stabili, political scientist, Roma TRE University
Maria Luisa Boccia, Italian politician, writer
Laura Guidi, gender historian, University of Naples
Carmelo Caravella, historian of labor
Chiara Giunti, educational technology, University of Florence
Vittorio Cappelli, historian, University of Calabria
Daria Gosek-Popiołek, Polish social activist and MP
Anna Foa, historian, Sapienza University of Rome
Amalia Collisani, philosopher of music, University of Palermo
Ignacy Dudkiewicz, philosopher, bioethicist, publicist and journalist, member of board of Warsaw’s chapter of Club of Catholic Intelligentsia, editor in chief of “Magazyn Kontakt”
Leszek Koczanowicz, Professor of Philosophy and Political Science, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities
Krzysztof Podemski, Polish sociologist, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań
Piotr Trzaskowski, activist, political scientist
Claude Gruffat, French entrepreneur and politician, MEP Group of the Greens, European Free Alliance
Yannick Jadot, French environmentalist and Member of the European Parliament elected in the 2009 European election for the West France constituency. Jadot co-ordinated Greenpeace actions in France between 2002 and 2008.
Andrzej Gniazdowski, Polish philosopher, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Ryszard Szarfenberg, Polish politologist, Professor of University of Warsaw, Institute of Social Policy
Małgorzata Kowalska, professor of humanities, philosopher, translator
Zbigniew Mikołejko, professor of humanities, philosopher and religion historian, essayist
Marcin Miłkowski, analytical philosopher
Anna Cieplak, culture animator, urban activist, writer, winner of Conrad Award
Grzegorz Uzdański, philosopher, writer, poet
Jakub Majmurek, film critic, publicist
Marta Dziewańska, curator, Museum of Fine Arts Bern
Aleksandra Andrzejewska, activist, “Rozkwit” Association
Franciszek Sterczewski, MP in the Sejm of the 9th term, urban activist
Tomasz Stawiszyński, philosopher, publicist, essayist, editor of Radio TOK FM
Mikołaj Grynberg, photographer, writer, reporter
Lucinia Speciale, History of Medieval Art Professor, University of Salento
Magdalena Kicińska, journalist, writer, poet
Elżbieta Korolczuk, sociologist, cultural expert, activist for women's rights
Bolesław Rok, CSR expert
Mikołaj Trzaska, saxophonist, bass clarinetist, film music composer
Wiesław Łukaszewski, professor of humanities, psychologist
Miguel Pina e Cunha, professor of organization studies
Katrin Langensiepen, German politician, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens, European Free Alliance
Tineke Strik, Dutch civil servant, academic teacher and politician, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Greens, European Free Alliance
Alexia Panayiotou, scientist, specialist in management and organization studies
Marianna Fotaki, Professor of Business Ethics
Michał Sutowski, political scientist, publicist, translator
Maciej Wereszczyński, climate activist
Zoi Michailova, performer artist and DJ
Olga Stefan, Independent researcher and curator based in Zurich
Mihai Burcea, doctor of history, Historic Advisory Center, Romania
Yegór Osipov-Gipsh, Ducth journalist and researcher
Paul Zawadzki, anthropologist, political scientist, L’École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris Sciences et Lettres University
Emanuele Trevi, writer
Anita Prażmowska, Professor of International History, The London School of Economics and Political Science
Prof. Mohinder Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru University, social scientist
Jan Toporowski, Professor of Economics and Finance, SOAS University of London
Ferdinando Laghi, Specialist in Internal Medicine and Hematology, President of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE)
* Signatories support the letter as individual citizens, not as representatives of institutions
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