On 7-8 October at the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in the Vatican ahead of the Rome G20 meeting, European decision makers will meet with leading experts in public health, economics and climate science to propose integral solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic and climate crisis, with a special focus on Europe. The event will be attended by leaders in politics, business, science, and faith. Among the attendees:
- President of the European Parliament David Sassoli
- State Secretary of the German Ministry of Finance Wolfgang Schmidt
- Co-Chair of the European Greens Philippe Lamberts
- Italian Minister of Sustainable Infrastructure and Mobility, Enrico Giovannini
- Former EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Integration László Andor
- Interim secretary of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (equivalent to Ministry of Social Affairs) Sister Alessandra Smerilli
- Secretary for Relations with States (equivalent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Archbishop Paul Gallagher
- President of the European Climate Foundation Laurence Tubiana
- Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, Richard Horton
- Economists Mariana Mazzucato and Jeffrey Sachs
- Vice President of the European Trade Union Confederation Esther Lynch
- Antonio Spilimbergo of the International Monetary Fund
The event is organised by Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, chief Vatican scientific institution, Europe, a Patient Association, a Paneuropean non-partisan initiative for a solidaristic response to the crisis, and the Centre for the Thought of John Paul II.
At the outbreak of the first wave of the pandemic Pope Francis warned that we must avoid a viral genocide caused by putting the supposed good of the economy before human’s lives. As research shows, the countries that put protection of lives of their citizens at the centre of their policies now have best results not only in terms of public health, but also of economic growth and civil liberties.
There are different working solutions on the table by leading scientists. But introducing them takes political will, says Aleksander Temkin, member of the Board of Europe a Patient Association. ‘A Europe which normalises the crisis and abandons the most vulnerable abandons both the ethics of the Gospel and legacy of the Enlightenment. With this meeting we want to show that Europe must and can win against a pandemic.” Temkin says.
According to Dr. Mateusz Piotrowski, President of “Europe a Patient” the UE holds responsibility for showing the way to the rest of the world by effectively eliminating the virus, introducing adequate policies to stop climate breakdown and financially supporting its citizens, workers and small businesses struggling with crisis and the transition. “If Europe fails to eliminate the virus the present chaos will prove itself to be just a training ahead of the chaos coming from climate breakdown.” – Dr. Piotrowski adds.
“Europe is sick. Europe is sick with COVID-19. Europe is sick because it has lost the bond of solidarity between its member states and with the rest of humanity. Patient Europe calls some of the best doctors to come to the bedside of a European patient to diagnose and offer treatment.” – concludes Rocco Buttiglione, former Italian Minister for European Affairs and member of the Pontifical Academy.
The official conclusions and recommendations of the event signed by the organisers will be passed to the participants of the Rome G20 meeting, hosted by the Italian Prime Minister and member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, Mario Draghi.