Many lessons can be drawn from the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Europe in particular should focus on one of them, which is the enormous significance of the speed of reaction.

Time is of the essence.

Countries which reacted in a timely manner, including Greece and Germany, managed to contain the spread of the virus.

Countries which delayed – such as France, Italy, and Spain – paid dearly for it.

The same principle applies to the economy. Time counts.

If European leaders act in a timely fashion the damage to the European economy will be limited.

If the reaction is delayed the cost will be huge.

One must not forget that in the management of the economic crisis of the previous decade much time was lost before ECB chief Mario Draghi’s decision to guarantee the viability of the common currency and to take measures to bolster it.

The errors committed in that crisis should not be repeated in this one and its lessons must not be forgotten.

The EU summit on 23 April should demonstrate that not only has Europe learned from the mistakes of the past but also that the Union knows how to act swiftly and with the sense of responsibility mandated by circumstances.

There is no time to lose.