Greece and Another 12 EU States Express Concern over Democratic Nature of COVID-19 Measures


The Foreign Affairs Ministry in Athens. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yiorgos Kontarinis)

ATHENS - Thirteen EU member states including Greece issued a joint statement on Wednesday urging European governments to monitor the measures they have imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure these are democratic, humane and do not contravene national and EU laws and regulations.

Besides Greece, the statement was signed by Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, and posted on the Greek Foreign Ministry's site.

It reads as follows:

"In this unprecedented situation, it is legitimate that Member States adopt extraordinary measures to protect their citizens and overcome the crisis.

We are however deeply concerned about the risk of violations of the principles of rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights arising from the adoption of certain emergency measures.

Emergency measures should be limited to what is strictly necessary, should be proportionate and temporary in nature, subject to regular scrutiny, and respect the aforementioned principles and international law obligations. They should not restrict the freedom of expression or the freedom of the press.

We therefore support the European Commission initiative to monitor the application of emergency measures to ensure the fundamental values of the Union are upheld, and invite the General Affairs Council to take up the matter when appropriate."