The EU facing the coronavirus: a political urgency to embody European solidarity

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Series Details Number 250
Publication Date April 2020
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The extent of the health crisis and the severe economic recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic calls for a collection response from European leaders, with solidarity as the rallying force. Solidarity is not just a slogan, but a foundation of the European construction which, in support of its health and budgetary implications, requires a political embodiment commensurate with these historical circumstances that must be overcome. As Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged, “the European Union is facing its greatest test since its creation.”

This solidarity requires (1) an official activation, (2) a Franco-German initiative, (3) a European representative providing a face to the common struggle and counterbalancing the current lack of European leadership at the level of the European Council, (4) and a geopolitical strategy including global solidarity measures and a more systematic communication strategy (5). Such political initiatives are necessary to tackle a crisis that has already given rise to significant “EU-bashing,” ultimately putting the future of the European project in danger.

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