The health emergency has made it clear that Europe does not have a unified position on public health and safety, and that the Union is unable to take firm decisions even on global problems that seriously affect the economy and social life of all Member States. In spite of the principles of participatory democracy stated by the European institutions, it is clear that it is difficult to put them into practice and that there is a lack of a clear framework defining the decision-making process and the appropriate legal instruments to follow it up. The current emergency, which is being addressed by a series of national measures without any coordination at European level and with serious potentially negative implications, may undermine the whole European project. The economic and social picture shows an unprecedented drama. The initial estimates show a picture of significant GDP decline and millions of unemployed people. Paradoxically, in CNEL's view, the situation that the European States are suddenly facing constitutes an opportunity, a historical necessity, to rethink Europe, preserving the basic spirit of the great unification project, but calling into question its institutional functioning and improving its ability to implement common strategies and effective policies. CNEL believes that the current serious crisis is forcing the Member States to devise a new common European area capable of responding quickly and consistently to the changing scenario that will increasingly characterize the globalized world, from an economic and social as well as health and environmental point of view.