Robles insists before his European counterparts on reinforcing the idea of ​​"The Europe that protects" against the COVID-19 crisis

In her speech, Margarita Robles stressed that "the pandemic has made us aware of the urgent need to improve our cooperation mechanisms." Until now we have developed instruments to project our values ​​abroad, but now we also need those values ​​to provide effective support to our own citizens within Europe.

"The current crisis shows us that security is comprehensive and global, and requires solidarity and close cooperation within the Union," said the minister, stressing that "this is a time to stay together." Given the nature of this pandemic, "the European Union is the best forum to discuss all its dimensions and coordinate all measures to combat it, including the contribution of the Defense to mitigate its effects."

He also assured that "the state of alarm declared in Spain has kept the Armed Forces fully involved in the largest military operation carried out in our country in time of peace." And he stressed that "Operation Balmis" has mobilized more than 57,000 troops to provide essential assistance to our population. "

Our troops have carried out multiple tasks within the framework of the comprehensive effort of all state resources. These tasks include: disinfection of transport infrastructure, hospitals and nursing homes; conversion of civilian facilities into large capacity temporary hospitals, and installation of field hospitals both on land and on Navy ships, installation of shelters for the homeless; production of key drugs, such as Tylenol or Ribarivin, as well as disinfecting gels; food distribution and medical equipment; strategic transportation of medical supplies; medicalized evacuation of the sick, and transportation of the deceased; surveillance of nuclear power plants and other critical facilities.

"Our Military Emergency Unit, the Armies and the Navy have shown our citizens the reasons why they can trust their Armed Forces in times of adversity," said the minister.

In this sense, he also pointed out that perhaps "one of the most important consequences of the deployment has been the injection of morale that they have provided to the population, which has had the opportunity to see how thousands of men and women were quickly mobilized and put to your service".

Regarding our Common Security and Defense Policy, he has expressed two fundamental ideas to his European counterparts:

  • The first is that we remain committed to the missions and operations of the European Union; and prepared to undertake the pandemic mitigation measures, or any other extraordinary measure that we jointly decide.
  • Second, that this crisis shows the importance of having essential military and civilian capabilities. Right now the absolute priority is to close the crisis as soon as possible, but we must learn some lessons for the future.

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