The paper takes some lessons from the ‘euro crisis’ for the EU’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
In a nutshell, it comes to the following conclusions:
First, the EU and its members stand and fall together. No country can isolate itself from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and unconditional solidarity guided by the principle of enlightened self-interest will have to light the Union’s way out of the crisis.
Second, it is economically and politically wise to act early and forcefully if the EU27 want to get ahead of the curve and pre-empt the crisis from spiraling out of control. The Union should thus now (i) jointly set up and finance a common COVID-19 recovery and growth fund; and (ii) agree on and then implement a coordinated European ‘exit management strategy’.
Third, EU leaders in all member states must recognise that taking absolutist positions will undermine the search for an effective European strategy to manage and eventually overcome the COVID-19 crisis – disunity, fragmentation and distrust will result in failure.
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