Our freedoms have been restricted because of COVID-19. True, government measures introduced to curb the coronavirus pandemic were necessary in order to save lives. Lockdowns had to be put in place to protect the most vulnerable members of society.

Nevertheless, fundamental freedoms (such as freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, and the freedom to conduct a business) have been curtailed or suspended in a manner unseen outside of wartime. Large numbers of Europeans were told they could not leave their homes, borders were closed, and track and trace systems have been introduced to monitor our movements. By and large, European citizens have accepted all of this has been necessary to protect public health. However, when will we get our freedoms back?

Restrictive measures are being eased across Europe. People are being allowed to move more and more freely, demonstrations are possible again (under certain conditions) and internal European borders are opening again. A ‘new normal’ is emerging for most of us. However, concerns that some governments will abuse the situation is not completely without foundation. For example, the European Commission is monitoring the emergency measures in some EU member states, and the European Parliament has already warned Hungary not to unnecessarily curtail freedom of expression and information.

Can our freedoms survive coronavirus? Which rights and freedoms may be temporarily restricted to protect public health, and which should not? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

Foto: Bigstock © palinchak


16 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    EU Reform-Proactive

    Can it?

    True, first & foremost governments probably shielded & protected their vulnerable & inadequate public health preparedness from an unexpected Covid-19 tsunami which nobody could foresee.

    A more plausible reason was to disguise the event by venting serious concerns for the most vulnerable of society to save face, political lives and last but not least also commoners lives.

    To curtail freedoms of movement, assembly & business was the first attempt to “flatten the curve” & ruin the economy. Let’s look at the interim results of Sweden’s approach vs the global rest- instead of using Hungary as a proverbial EU punch bag. Belgium is leading the EU with 863 Covid-19 death per million per country- not Sweden or Hungary.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104709/coronavirus-deaths-worldwide-per-million-inhabitants/

    What are the differences in curtailments of freedom of expression by singling out a country (Hungary) vs harmless DE debates- such as locking up my comment in the previous DE theme?

    Isn’t that equally an abuse of our freedom of expression & information without foundation? Could that be seen as double standards?

    • avatar
      Catherine Benning

      @ EU Reform proactive:

      Mine likewise. Try as I might. Take care.

    • avatar
      EU Reform-Proactive

      Took the DE some days of soul searching- or?

      Since my comments were eventually “liberated” (coincidence?), my belief in a reasonable fair moderation process has been resurrected. Thank you, moderators & robots!

  2. avatar
    jthk

    People are exaggerating their freedom. In modern society, people do not enjoy the freedom to harm others and the society if they want to be protected by the society. There is no such thing as fundamental freedoms such freedom would cost life of community members. This is how civilized modern society working. In extreme cases like war and this pandemic, it is not only about the survival of individuals, it is about the society, the whole world and can even be the whole human species. In this global era war would not exist only in military conflict, biochemical war is one. This is why the WHO need to investigate how this pandemic comes about. All 5 members of the Security Council of the United Nations ought to lead the whole world in this investigation. This is not to find out the origin outbreak spot/country and punish the country. The place of origin outbreak is a victim. It is to find out whether it is a biological warfare, mistake of biochemical laboratory, or just happened naturally. All need to be dealt with very carefully and seriously so as to avoid the recurrence. This is the very reason the United Nations is established.

    • avatar
      Catherine Benning

      @ JF

      The UN is a self perpetuating agency with an agenda that cons the world population, whilst robbing it of its ability to advance society through creative civilisation. The UN may have begun on a world wide benevolent footing. It is no longer of that ilk. It has become an organisation backing silent coup d’etat. Many scholars consider a coup d’état successful when the usurpers seize and hold power for at least seven days.[1]

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/10/un-failing-league-of-nations-isis-boko-haram

  3. avatar
    UknownWarrior

    @Debating Europe why are we even discussing this?? Has Europe turned its back on Bulgaria? We have huge protests and civil disorder. Why do not we discuss that? Please make a topic for the rebellion and protests in Bulgaria now!
    Thank you!!!

  4. avatar
    Miguel

    Yes, get people who love their countries into government. Get the ones with their tails stuck out so that countries dont have their leaders blackmailed.

    • avatar
      Miguel

      Blackmailed leaders should act instead of taking their countries down with them.

    • avatar
      Alessandro

      you are joking right?

  5. avatar
    Martin

    nothing justifies restrictions against personal freedoms. I prefer to live (and eventually die) in more free conditions, even for price of the risk of some virus. It is the same like the measures against terrorism, criminality…I prefer less controls, less cameras etc. even with higher risk that something bad happens. I do not require from my political representatives the absolute safety, but I do require from the the absolute freedom

    • avatar
      jthk

      If you refuse to wear a mask according to the law, you do not “risk” virus but human lives. This is already a criminality, which is even worse than terrorism for terrorists do not spread and kill people so quickly as virus. In the face of a pandemic, no one has any “absolute freedom” to spread virus and kill others.

  6. avatar
    Vivian

    Our lives have been brought to a standstill due to a flu. Stop the compulsive testing, since there is neither a prevention nor a cure, let doctors deal with patients and let 99.99% of us who are healthy get on with what’s left of our lives.

  7. avatar
    Catherine Benning

    Can our freedoms survive coronavirus?

    History is the only teacher, as long as that history isn’t contaminated by lies. Here is a rundown on how eventually the killers of nature eventually burn themselves out.

    As far as our freedoms are concerned, death is a freedom of sorts. A far worse threat to all freedom is the creeping choking of thought and privacy with its daily denial. Do ‘you’ have to remove your ad blocker to read the newspapers? Think about the so called cookies placed under your skin with impunity and no way to find justification for it. That is a plague. What do you think it will lead to?

    https://www.history.com/news/pandemics-end-plague-cholera-black-death-smallpox

  8. avatar
    UknownWarrior

    There is a political crisis in Bulgaria. EU, please pay attention and support us!

    • avatar
      Catherine Benning

      @ UknownWarrior

      Belarus:

      I can sympathise with your plight. Even better, I do empathise with it. However, I warn you and your countrymen to be careful what you wish for. Don’t believe in the political advertisement you see and read or the stories of another political concept, until you have researched into it as deeply as possible The pictures of a wonderful healthy political structure in another part of the globe is so very often a pretence of the highest kind.

      Instead, look at the society closely. Read what the ordinary people are saying about the running of their state. What is being hidden by the massive censorship they are under, do they feel free and contented men? Look at pictures of their parliaments and how their citizen is affected by laws they do not tell you they have passed or joined up for. And study closely how that will affect you and your family should you be part of them. Take into account what the saviour of your country wants as a pay back when they think you are at your weakest. Is it worth the price? The UK did not thrive being part of the EU. Their price got higher as the years passed, in fact a lot was unbearable to us.

      As an example, here is a picture of the UK House of Commons and what it has become. Who it tells us has been truly and fairly elected, yet, when you look at the men or women selected you know those individuals could not be speaking for our best interests. The objectives are far from what they give out. The real agenda is well concealed over much of what you see and read. As it is with almost all government agendas world wide. The importance is, how happy are the indigenous population with what they have had to live with, since their current administration has been in office. Have they followed the politics the people voted for? Or, did their promised change once in position of power remain as far off beam, as it has with decades of consecutive governments in the UK. Not one of them for the last fifty years giving the nation what was voted for or what they knew the people wanted for their future well being.

      https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mps/

      These are our current Members of Parliament. Do they look as if they have our best will at heart? Is this what you would want to be represented by? And we haven’t got to the Lords yet. They are unelected and the same, if not worse a criteria, than those you see..

      Take note and be careful what you see as the way forward for you.

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