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Who pays for the war on Covid-19?

The Covid-19 outbreak has renewed calls for the Eurozone to establish a form of debt mutualisation, potentially via the creation of ‘Coronabonds’. So far, however, there is little sign of such a measure being agreed. Iain Begg writes that it is not ideas or proposals that are lacking at the EU level, but rather an absence of political will to […]

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    Assessing the UK’s plans for an independent aviation safety regulator

Assessing the UK’s plans for an independent aviation safety regulator

Prior to the coronavirus crisis, the UK announced its intention to leave the EU’s Aviation Safety Agency and develop its own aviation safety regulator. Jan Walulik examines the potential problems and opportunities associated with the UK pursuing its own course. He argues that with a bit of goodwill on both sides of the Channel, a mutually beneficial solution should […]

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    Merkel’s Germany needs to show stronger commitment and responsibility in Europe

Merkel’s Germany needs to show stronger commitment and responsibility in Europe

Has Germany shown enough solidarity with other EU states during the Covid-19 outbreak? John Ryan explains that the future development of the EU will depend largely on whether Berlin is willing to assume leadership and work closely with Paris. Under Merkel’s leadership this commitment has been lacking, so it will most likely fall on a new chancellor to keep […]

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    The Covid-19 outbreak has exposed deep-rooted weaknesses in the EU’s institutions

The Covid-19 outbreak has exposed deep-rooted weaknesses in the EU’s institutions

The Covid-19 outbreak could push the EU to the brink again, write Piergiuseppe Fortunato and Marco Pecoraro. But the EU’s inability to stage a united response to the pandemic is simply a symptom of a much deeper problem that began with the erosion of public trust following the financial crisis.

A pivotal element in dealing with pandemics is trust in […]

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    Coronabonds are a pragmatic response to a crisis – and are not about cross-EU transfers or solidarity

Coronabonds are a pragmatic response to a crisis – and are not about cross-EU transfers or solidarity

Common debt instruments created by the European Union, of which coronabonds are currently the most urgent and salient example, evoke in some countries the fear that the Eurozone may be heading towards a ‘transfer union’. Some advocates also misleadingly justify these innovations by an appeal to European ‘solidarity’. Yet, in practice, Michael Paetz and Patrick Kaczmarczyk argue that such […]

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The Covid-19 crisis: Ten takeaways for the EU

What does the Covid-19 outbreak mean for the future of the European Union? Paul Schmidt presents ten takeaways for EU leaders, arguing that while the initial reaction has focused on closing borders and the role of nation states, there is a clear need for stronger European cooperation.

“When the end of the world comes, I go to Vienna. Everything happens […]

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    The crisis trap: Why the EU must not sideline democracy as it tackles coronavirus

The crisis trap: Why the EU must not sideline democracy as it tackles coronavirus

The Covid-19 crisis calls for a major policy response from European governments, but should we be cautious about where these actions might lead? Jonathan White explains that while crises are typically when the need for action can seem strongest, it is exactly in such moments that new initiatives should be viewed with caution, since the means and the ends […]

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The economic consequences of Covid-19

Covid-19 will have major economic consequences for Europe, but how large will the costs prove to be? Iain Begg outlines the difficult economic choices the outbreak poses for policymakers and analyses the long-term effects the economic downturn is likely to have.

Rapidly rising unemployment rates and warnings from many businesses about their viability testify to the looming economic threats from […]

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    There is little evidence the EU’s post-crisis economic governance regime has moved in a more ‘social’ direction

There is little evidence the EU’s post-crisis economic governance regime has moved in a more ‘social’ direction

Following the 2008 financial crisis, the European Union adopted a new economic governance regime. As Jamie Jordan, Vincenzo Maccarrone and Roland Erne explain, some scholars have argued that this new regime places greater emphasis on social objectives. Drawing on a new study of labour policy interventions in Germany, Ireland, Italy and Romania between 2009 and 2019, they demonstrate that […]

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    The European Union’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic – a preliminary assessment

The European Union’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic – a preliminary assessment

How well has the European Union handled the Covid-19 pandemic? Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos and Georgette Lalis present a detailed analysis of the EU’s actions thus far in the outbreak. They write that despite a slow and initially haphazard approach, there has ultimately been a substantial response.

Public health care systems, alongside state bureaucracies and public finances, are being tested to […]

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Beating Covid-19: The problem with national lockdowns

Lockdowns have now become a fact of life for many countries across the world, but even if they succeed in halting the spread of Covid-19, are they sustainable? Martin J. Bull argues that lockdowns pose major challenges for European countries and the approach pursued by South Korea may need to be explored as a long-term solution.

Are ‘authoritarian-style’ lockdowns, involving […]

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    Assessing the European Union’s performance in the Covid-19 pandemic

Assessing the European Union’s performance in the Covid-19 pandemic

Tough questions about the EU’s role in the pandemic response are coming soon – if they are not already here. The problem is we have few criteria against which to assess the EU’s performance during crises. Mark Rhinard lays out some options.

One truism of any crisis is the swift onset of the blame game. Even before the initial shock […]

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    Greek-Turkish border crisis: Refugees are paying the price for the EU’s failure to reform its asylum system

Greek-Turkish border crisis: Refugees are paying the price for the EU’s failure to reform its asylum system

At the end of February, Turkey announced that it would no longer enforce a deal reached with the EU in 2016 to block irregular migration routes into Greece. Nicoletta Enria and Sarah Gerwens write that the resulting crisis at the Greek-Turkish border highlights the failure of the EU to effectively reform its asylum system.

In late February, before COVID-19 began […]

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    Europe’s failure to address Covid-19 shows the need for a European ‘health citizenship’

Europe’s failure to address Covid-19 shows the need for a European ‘health citizenship’

The Covid-19 crisis illustrates that globalisation entails health risks, and that the institutional design of public health systems is ill-suited for the scale of a pandemic, writes Joan Costa-Font. He argues that the inefficiency of the policies implemented by different EU member states highlights why a Europe-wide public health authority should now be a priority to counteract collective action […]

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    Europe’s choice: A borderless crisis requires a borderless solution

Europe’s choice: A borderless crisis requires a borderless solution

EU governments have adopted a diverse range of measures to tackle the coronavirus crisis, but there has been a perceived lack of coordination and unity among member states. Michael Cottakis argues that for Europe, the danger is obvious: the normalisation of new measures of protection and of the belief that national solutions are sufficient for addressing problems on a […]

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    Does differentiated integration improve the democratic legitimacy of the European Union? Evidence from the 2015 Danish opt-out referendum

Does differentiated integration improve the democratic legitimacy of the European Union? Evidence from the 2015 Danish opt-out referendum

The principle of differentiated integration, under which states participate in EU policies selectively, has become a core feature of the European Union. But little is known about the attitudes of citizens toward this form of integration. Drawing on a new study of Denmark’s 2015 referendum on the country’s opt-out from EU Justice and Home Affairs cooperation, Frank Schimmelfennig and […]

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    Book Review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress by Thomas J. Bollyky

Book Review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress by Thomas J. Bollyky

In Plagues and the Paradox of Progress, Thomas J. Bollyky combines a ‘germ’s eye view’ of human history with some powerful reflections on the challenges that face us over the coming decades. This is a beautifully written book, recommends Duncan Green, packed with great one-liners and historical anecdotes.
This review was originally published on the blog From Poverty to Power.
Plagues and the Paradox of Progress. Thomas […]

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Coronavirus crisis: Coverage from around Europe

Given the crisis facing many countries across Europe, we will be compiling a selection of comments from academics, journalists and other experts on this page. If you would like to have a short comment included, please email the Managing Editor at europpblog@lse.ac.uk

20 March


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Tamara Popic has written an article for EUROPP on some early lessons that can be learned for European […]

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    Book Review: Smart Villages in the EU and Beyond edited by Anna Visvizi, Miltiadis D. Lytras and György Mudri

Book Review: Smart Villages in the EU and Beyond edited by Anna Visvizi, Miltiadis D. Lytras and György Mudri

In Smart Villages in the EU and Beyond, Anna Visvizi, Miltiadis D. Lytras and György Mudri bring together leading academics and practitioners to explore opportunities and challenges when it comes to innovating and developing rural communities — the ‘smart village’ approach. Drawing on inspiring case studies, the book offers numerous strategies and human-centred recommendations aimed at enabling a brighter future for rural communities around the world, […]

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    Regulating COVID-19: What lessons can be learned from the handling of the 2009 swine flu pandemic by the EU and the WHO?

Regulating COVID-19: What lessons can be learned from the handling of the 2009 swine flu pandemic by the EU and the WHO?

Given the unprecedented response of governments across the world to COVID-19, what lessons can be learned from the last pandemic to hit the world in 2009? Esther Versluis explains that a notable problem with the WHO’s response to the swine flu pandemic was that it downplayed the uncertain nature of information during the outbreak, prompting criticism of its advice. […]

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