Coronavirus shock: EU’s fatal flaw that leaves them ‘hamstrung’ over pandemic revealed

As the World Health Organisation has declared Europe as the "epicentre" of the coronavirus pandemic, questions over the EU’s action in responding to the outbreak have arisen. Prominent officials such as Ursula von der Leyen are attempting to combat the spread by launching preventative measures. However, as BBC Brussels Correspondent Adam Fleming revealed, the bloc will have to work harder to “collaborate” on fighting the virus because of a fatal flaw in the institution.

He told Politics Live: “They are hamstrung because the EU treaties do not give the EU institutions lots of control over health policy.

“The member states have kept that for themselves, which is why you have to see lots of meetings of health ministers.

“They’re meeting every day on the phone, trying to collaborate that way.”

Mrs von der Leyen, the European Commission president, has announced a whole load of measures to try and combat the pandemic.

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This includes relaxing the Stability and Growth Pact, which are the rules for national finances of member states, relaxing the state aid rules, so how much governments can intervene to help particular sectors

Mr Fleming added: “The main thing is that Usual von der Leyen has said, in multiple languages, the EU will do what it takes to help member states deal with this crisis.

“Christine Lagarde, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), at a press conference yesterday did not say those words.

“For the last 24 hours, the ECB has been trying to clear up a lot of mess on the bond markets and in the financial markets to show that the ECB and the other EU institutions will do what it takes.”

Denmark has closed its borders, stopping anyone from entering or exiting the country as it hits 801 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Borders will be closed to foreigners with no meaningful purpose in the country and all citizens are advised against travel.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said: “If you do not have a worthy purpose for entering Denmark you will be rejected and sent out of the country.

"From 12pm tomorrow the Danish borders will close. All tourists and foreigners and all travels and holidays will be rejected on the Danish borders.”

Borders will remain closed for one month until April 13.

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