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How will the coronavirus affect the European Union?
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National economic responses are heightening divisions

The absence of a mechanism to allow EU countries to respond jointly, means policies are being enacted that are completely at odds with one another. These differences are widening differences between Eurozone economies.


The global impact of the spread of the COVID-19 virus has heavily impacted the economies of all EU member states. The national lockdowns starting in mid-March have not only tested the crisis response of all EU member states but due to the unavailability of labour, the closure of most international borders and the crash of the stock markets, all national economies have been highly impacted.

The Argument

Though supposedly in a union, each member state of the European Union has responded to COVID-19 in different ways. The result is that each nation has been affected differently by the virus. Some countries have coped well; others have fallen apart. These differences could divide European nations and create economic disparities. Countries like Spain and Italy were hit hard by the coronavirus. They are now in need of monetary support from the rest of the EU. Sweden decided not to impose a lockdown, and has seen many cases and casualties as a result. However, by contrast, their economy has actually strengthened in comparison to the rest of Europe.[1] There are many countries in the middle, caught between needing help to rebuild and being called upon their less fortunate neighbors. Not all of Europe is on the same page. Some are suffering or strengthening for various different reasons. But with circumstances in each country so different from each other, it may prove harder to get everyone to compromise on the path moving forward.

Counter arguments

1) Despite ununified national economic policies of EU member states, the different institutions have tried to find common solutions for the sake of solidarity and stability. For instance, the European Central Bank has put in place a 1,350 billion euro strong pandemic emergency programme (PEEP) to ease the economic effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.



Ununified crisis responses will prevent the widening economic gap between member states.


[P1] Consensus makes for stronger decisions with a better outcome.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Consensus doesn’t necessarily lead to more stable outcomes.


This page was last edited on Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 17:43 UTC

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