How will the coronavirus affect the European Union?

Are diverging policy responses from EU members states causing diplomatic ties to break down? Or conversely, is the shared trauma of the COVID-19 outbreak fostering brotherhood amongst its nations? What will the EU look like once the cure for the pandemic has been found?

Economic consequences

The virus is devastating economies - but how this will influence European cooperation is yet to be seen.

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 actions of the European Central Bank will determine outcomes

Following the 2008 crisis, the ECB was a stabilising influence for Eurozone nations, which reduced the impact of the crash. If it can do the same after the coronavirus, it will bring the region closer together.

The European Stability Mechanism will impact regional stability

The ESM was created after 2008 to provide loans to member states in financial crisis. However, the extremely high interest rates mean unless every state chooses to apply for these loans, interstate resentment will grow and destabilise Europe.

Political consequences

How EU leaders communicate and make decisions will impact the bloc long after the virus has been dealt with.

The Schengen Zone shut down shows solidarity

The joint decision by EU leaders to close borders to the Schengen Zone suggests the bloc will come out of the virus with stronger political alliances.

European leaders are disputing how best to respond

EU leaders have already come to major disagreement over notional 'corona bonds', which would share post-crisis debt amongst member states. At the heart of this disagreement is the question of sovereignty versus a shared identity.

Social consequences

Will the shared experience bring nations closer together, or make national identity stronger than ever before?

The shared trauma will create affinity between nations

As each member state goes through the same difficult journey of combating the virus, EU group identity grows stronger.
Explore this question in a whole new way.
This page was last edited on Friday, 27 Mar 2020 at 11:48 UTC