The EU’s most senior scientist has resigned with a passionate denunciation of the bloc’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, claiming he has been blocked from funding treatments and vaccines, Daniel Boffey, the Guardian’s Brussels bureau chief, reports.
Mauro Ferrari, the president of the European Research Council, said he had been “deeply disappointed and disturbed” by the EU’s efforts in reaction to what he described as “a tragedy of possibly unprecedented proportions”.
“In time of emergencies people, and institutions, revert to their deepest nature and reveal their true character,” Ferrari wrote in a damning statement announcing his resignation.
Ferrari, a leading research scientist, who told the Guardian in January that his passion for funding breakthrough-science had been fuelled by the death of his first wife from cancer, had served three months of his four-year term before handing in his letter of resignation to the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, on Tuesday.
In the letter, Ferrari writes:
I have been extremely disappointed by the European response to Covid-19, for what pertains to the complete absence of coordination of health care policies among member states, the recurrent opposition to cohesive financial support initiatives, the pervasive one-sided border closures, and the marginal scale of synergistic scientific initiatives.
I have lost faith in the system itself. And now the times require decisive, focused, and committed actions – a call to responsibility for all those that have an aspiration to make a difference against this devastating tragedy.
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