I hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and well.
We are all living a terrible moment. We are all engaged against a terrible threat. We want to learn from such an experience and contribute towards making our future better and healthier.
Therefore, on the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration (9 May 2020), I am launching an appeal for an international conference on "The European Union after coronavirus: lessons learned".
My proposal sets out why I believe such a conference is urgently needed and the themes which should be the priority focus for such an event.
By far the most important of these is the over-arching issue of a European health reform.
We have seen that a lack of coordination and integration in Europe in the face of the current epidemic has produced a near collapse of our health care systems in some areas, and the shutting down of borders and our economies.
In many states, it has also provoked a power grab by autocratic leaders seeking to exploit the crisis to further undermine democracy and civil liberties.
After the Second World War, Robert Schuman and the other Founding Fathers understood that, in order to bring lasting peace to Europe, it was necessary to take the bold step of integrating the EU's coal and steel industries.
Today, as we approach the 70th anniversary, the European Union must show a similar boldness and vision if we are to protect our citizens not just from the scourge of war but also from the terrible destructive power of future pandemics.
I hope you will find my paper interesting and I look forward very much to hearing your reactions to it.
It only remains for me to warmly thank my colleagues, who have helped me to put this paper together and made comments on previous drafts: (in alphabetical order) Francesco Albertoni, Roger Casale, Maria Laura Franciosi, Charlotte Gath, Povl Christian Henningsen and Claudio Leone.
Wishing you all the very best and looking forward to seeing you on 9 May.