• MEP Jordi Cañas: “we need a Pan-European Corps to immediately tackle the challenges that Member States may experience” in the face of emergencies such as the coronavirus

Jordi Cañas, Ciudadanos’ (Citizens) MEP, has proposed the creation of a European Emergency Corps at the disposal of Member States to react to crises that require a pan-European response.

The MEP stated that “the unprecedented state of pandemics caused by COVID-19 must make us consider the importance of having a Corps at European level that can act in an emergency situation”, and therefore called on the European Liberal group, Renew Europe, to support the proposal of the Ciudadanos’ (Citizens) Delegation with the aim of presenting it to the European institutions.

The European Emergency Corps (EEC) would be composed of staff from the armed forces of the Member States, as well as non-military support personnel, and would be under the direction of a rotatory presidency every 6 months of one of the participating Member States.

In terms of its ‘modus operandi’, it would be deployed at the request of a Member State to any region within the territory of the European Union requiring health care and/or medical infrastructure.

Although the EEC would not have a strictly limited scope of action, it could be used to combat health emergencies such as epidemics or pandemics, natural disasters, chemical or nuclear disasters, terrorist attacks or even situations arising from environmental pollution.

The Ciudadanos (Citizens) Delegation in the European Parliament thus asked Renew Europe to include the creation of this Corps in the framework of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) initiative, by defining its operational aspects, always considering its fit with the European Medical Corps and the European Civil Protection Mechanism, and by establishing the coordination and participation of the participating Member States.

“The coronavirus crisis has caught us with our guards down, without any protocol for action at a European level that could deal with it”, he stressed, “we must be prepared for the next crisis, and the extremely serious situation we are experiencing must turn into an opportunity to consolidate our common project because we are convinced that more Europe is the solution”.