While for the second year now we have been tracking new numbers of coronavirus-related cases and deaths several times a day, and estimates for the cost of the economic lockdown range between two and four billion CZK a day (for the Czech Republic), another crucial figure has escaped our attention.
At the end of May, the IME wrote that it was high time for a ramp-up of vaccine efforts in Bulgaria. By this, we meant that the vaccination process should be made the first and foremost governmental priority, and that as many tools as possible should be sought and employed to speed up the pace.
The reason was obvious. The country was substantially far behind achieving the set target – vaccinating 70% of the adult population by the end of August.
Measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic have limited a number of fundamental rights to an unprecedented extent. The rights of economic activity, movement, assembly and religious worship have been subjected to the most severe restrictions. Here, however, lies the great danger of the gradual consolidation of a constitutional mithridatism.
The pandemic continues, but the first data-based analyses are starting to emerge – and some conclusions may now be drawn. The most important indicator in assessing the response to the pandemic is the excess mortality – i.e. how many more people died in comparison to the average rate in previous years.
2020 was a special year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The introduction of the restrictive measures had a negative effect on both human rights and the economy – which is true for both Hungary and the Netherlands.
On Consumer Choice Radio, Tanja Porčnik from the 4Liberty.eu Network partner Visio Institute in Slovenia discusses human rights in a pandemic, what the role of government should be, and how we can keep our elected leaders accountable.
In cooperation with the Academy of Liberalism, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom has just released a podcast devoted to the topic of “Baltic Buuble: COVID-19”. The episode focuses on how much COVID-19 has influenced the economy of the Baltic countries and how dark or bright is the future?
It could be argued that the EU is now paying the price for the incomplete settlement of the rule of law dispute during the July summit, when the multi-billion euro Corona recovery package and the seven-year EU financial framework were agreed.
In times when public trust in traditional institutions is in decline in many countries and relations between countries are under strain, open channels of communication and willingness for cooperation across borders are more essential than ever.