The EU Response to COVID-19: From Reactive Policies to Strategic Decision-Making

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Series Details Volume 59, Number S1, Pages 56-68
Publication Date September 2021
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Excerpt of Introduction:

In this paper, instead of focusing on the individual national strategies that were so often split across Europe, we examine how the EU responded to the COVID-19 crisis and the interplay between the EU and its member states. Throughout, we consider the legal, institutional and political restrictions that may have influenced the boundaries of EU policy decisions.

We begin with a background on the constraints on EU health (care) policy and then describe how these led to a series of knee-jerk reactions in initial COVID-19 management efforts which were exacerbated by the rise of nationalism among and lack of coordination between Member States. We then discuss how this was followed by elements of more strategic decision-making with the refinement of vaccination policies, the announcement of a new European health emergencies response agency and considerations on how to expand and strengthen infectious disease control at the European level. Finally, we conclude with suggestions on how the EU can continue taking strategic approaches towards pandemic planning and response, including through globally collaborative mechanisms and efforts.

Further information:

This article is part of theĀ JCMS Annual Review of the European Union in 2020.

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