In a joint statement issued today, Luxembourg and thirteen other European Union (EU) Member States have confirmed their support for the European Commission's initiative to monitor the emergency measures being implemented in the Member States in relation to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and thus ensure that democratic values are being upheld.
In this statement, jointly issued by the Benelux countries, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Spain and Sweden, the respective countries maintained that although extraordinary measures may be required to protect citizens during this unprecedented situation, such measures should respect the principles of rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, as well as international law obligations.
Consequently, the aforementioned Member States have argued that "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". Indeed, such measures "should not restrict the freedom of expression or the freedom of the press".
The Member States went on to express the need to "jointly overcome this crisis and to jointly uphold our European principles and values on this path". The statement concluded with the fourteen Member States in question expressing their support for the European Commission's initiative to monitor the emergency measures and their application to ensure the fundamental values of the EU are upheld and invited the General Affairs Council to take up the matter when appropriate.