Brief on COVID-19: National governments, not the EU, sleepwalked into the corona crisis

In his brief, Christian Kvorning Lassen writes that on January 26, the EU’s Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) warned Member States that Covid-19 infection spread in Europe would be probable and considerable. The EU offered in January to support Member States with purchasing of medical equipment, test kits, protective gear, and general support. Member States refused the EU’s help in January, stating that their health care systems were adequately prepared for the Virus.

It should be abundantly clear in light of COVID-19 that global challenges – be it pandemics, climate change or others – can best be solved through international and supranational cooperation and coordination. It obliges national politicians to acknowledge and champion the supranational institutions and frameworks through which such crises can be best managed, such as the EU. It obliges national politicians not to cater to the lowest common denominator. It obliges national politicians to propagate the timeless foundational idea of the EU; we in Europe have a shared fate. We are stronger together. 

The EU is only as strong as the Member States want it to be. If politicians and citizens want a stronger, more proactive EU, they must not only give it stronger competencies, but also refrain from scapegoating it, lest warnings such as the ECDC’s go unheeded due to fear of national political backlash.

You can read the brief using the PDF button on the right side of this page.

#EU # coronavirus # ECDC

Christian Kvorning Lassen
Deputy Director & Head of Research

Expertise: Migration/European migration crisis, EU foreign policy, Scandinavian politics, populism, EU enlargement policy

Publications, events and other activities concerning the pandemic and its consequences

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EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy
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