Our 11 recommendations for a coordinated global response to COVID-19

15 April 2020

As a pandemic, COVID-19 is a truly global problem which knows no borders. As such, the European Union recently presented its “global response” to coronavirus. Together with its partners, PLATFORMA is making 11 recommendations to ensure a genuinely global and coordinated approach.

Last week, the European Commission and EU development ministers agreed on the Union’s global plan against coronavirus. This mobilises €20 billion in support for partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and eastern Europe to fight the pandemic.

While the pandemic is global, towns and regions have been at the forefront of the crisis, managing lockdowns, health services and waste. As such, it is crucial that local and regional governments collaborate and learn from each other, especially through decentralised cooperation. Below is an overview of our 11 recommendations.

  1. Coherence of responses will be crucial to ensure that measures taken in Europe do not have a negative impact on partner countries’ social structures and economies.
  2. The new “Team Europe” coordination mechanism should involve representative associations of local and regional governments and civil society organisations.
  3. Any international action should be coordinated with the local governance system in place in partner countries, as well as the EU delegations.
  4. The EU support must target and be based on local need assessment and context, and must target the territory where the consequences are felt most strongly: the local level.
  5. The EU must devote part of its financial support to decentralised cooperation between EU and partner countries’ municipalities and regions, because local and regional governments work closely with their peers on a daily basis.
  6. EU budget support at local level, twinning and technical assistance should help find more locally-led solutions.
  7. The EU must ensure space for coordination and support the multi-level approach in its dialogue with partner countries, notably by reaching out to national associations of local and regional governments.
  8. In the longerterm, there is a need to build resilient societies and avoid the territorial divide with the 2030 Agenda as the backbone.
  9. Sustainable development must include massive investments in public services, including quality healthcare which is accessible and affordable for all.
  10. We must raise awareness, reach out to citizens and promote solidarity between people and generations to foster active citizenship.
  11. Targeted support measures can be taken to address the digital gap between people and territories. This can include innovative public policies, reaching out to citizens through new technologies or providing e-learning support to municipalities.

If you want to learn more about the EU global response to COVID-19 and local governments’ international action, sign up for our webinar: Friday 17 April, 9:00 to 10:15.

Read the full reaction.

Check also what towns, regions and their associations are doing to fight against COVID19 all around the world.

(Photo by Gelani Banks on Unsplash)

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