Postfunctionalism reversed: solidarity and rebordering during the COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 has turned the tradeoff between the functional scale of governance and the territorial scope of community upside down. The authors Philipp Genschel and Markus Jachtenfuchs reconstruct the evolution of this development, contrast it to historical trends, and discuss implications for postfunctionalist theory.
An EU Trilateral Cooperation Agenda with Africa and China for a Post-COVID-19 World
At a time when the world is facing the unprecedented challenge of a pandemic, the EU needs to assert a new geopolitical identity argues Anna Stahl. In this policy paper, the author proposes an EU strategic agenda for cooperation with Africa and China which is centred around three policy areas: health, economic development, good governance and security.
Everything will be different: How the pandemic is changing EU economic governance
The pandemic will completely shake up the EU's economic governance. The authors Lucas Guttenberg, Johannes Hemker and Sander Tordoir explain five lessons from the pandemic which will render the old pre-pandemic Eurozone reform agenda redundant.
Five takeaways from the German 'Corona Presidency'
On top of a packed agenda, the German presidency faced considerable institutional and corona-related constraints. Nicole Koenig and Thu Nguyen look back at the German presidency and develop five key takeaways for the upcoming corona presidencies, notably Portugal (first half of 2021) and Slovenia (second half).
How the EU should turn the tables on Hungary and Poland
As long as Poland and Hungary maintain their vetoes, there should not be any agreements on new EU spending programmes, from which these two countries benefit the most. A policy position by Lucas Guttenberg and Piotr Buras, Director of the Warsaw office of the European Council on Foreign Relations.
Pushed by the pandemic: Shaping Europe’s relations with China
The coronavirus crisis accentuates many of the existing tensions in EU-China relations. While some see China’s economic rebound as a main factor in Europe’s own recovery, the crisis will also harden the country’s adherence to a state-led development model.
ESM reform: Time to come home
Lucas Guttenberg argues that the Eurogroup should heed the lessons of the pandemic when restarting work on reforming the European Stability Mechanism (ESM): The ESM has become politically unviable while there is apparently a lot more flexibility within the EU treaties than previously thought.
Building EU green bonds that deserve their name
The EU should issue parts of the Recovery Instrument debt as green bonds and thereby boost that burgeoning market. But it is important to manage expectations: Issuing green bonds alone will not 'green' recovery spending. This will depend entirely on the criteria for climate-friendly spending in the legal texts governing the Recovery Instrument says Lucas Guttenberg and Sebastian Mack.
Europe beyond COVID-19 - A guest contribution by the French Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune
EU member states agreed on a common European debt to finance the reconstruction of the European economy in the wake of the Corona crisis. This was only possible thanks to the close collaboration of the Franco-German couple with an ambitious European Commission.
Four implications of the Covid-19 pandemic for the EU’s asylum and migration policy
Border closures and regional lockdowns related to Covid-19 have had a direct impact on the functioning of the EU’s asylum and migration policy. This Policy Brief shows that the virus impaired access to asylum in the EU, hampered the EU’s ability to steer a common response to the crisis, and underlined the importance of migrants as “essential workers”.
What the Recovery deal tells us about EU’s global ambition
European leaders have reached a deal on the long-term EU budget and post-Covid recovery fund. The compromise is historical in terms of internal solidarity, but it curtails the EU’s geopolitical ambition and ability to provide global public goods. EU spending on development and humanitarian aid is lower than in its last long-term budget whereas challenges are clearly bigger. If the European Parliament fails to rectify certain cuts, member states will have to find more creative ways to pool national resources.
Taking a closer look: How to improve the design of the Solvency Support Instrument
The Solvency Support Instrument is central to the European Commission’s proposal to mitigate economic damage of the pandemic. The new tool would use part of the money raised under the Recovery Instrument to provide equity support to struggling firms. Nils Redeker and Theresa Küspert argue that the instrument risks providing free lunch bailouts for owners and private investors without ensuring that public support secures jobs, avoids market concentration, and puts firms on a growth path more conducive with the EU’s broader industrial policy goals.
Geopolitics in the time of the Coronavirus: The EU’s leadership in global health
The Coronavirus crisis has further aggravated great power rivalry and has become a test case for the EU’s geopolitical ambitions. Anna Stahl argues that the current crisis could be an opportunity for the EU to position itself as a geopolitical actor and an honest broker between the US and China.
Contact tracing apps in Europe - When one is better than many
One of the issues brought forth by the COVID-19 crisis is the need to track the infection chains. Maarja Kask argues that member states need to decide on a single app protocol throughout Europe and that the European Commission should strongly back its uptake.
How to spend it right - A more democratic governance for the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility
The Recovery and Resilience Facility is the core of the EU’s new Recovery Instrument to fight the economic fallout of the pandemic. Lucas Guttenberg and Thu Nguyen argue that the proposed governance to decide on the assessment of RRPs lacks democratic elements as parliaments are largely sidelined.
EU banks’ vulnerabilities to COVID-19
COVID-19 will hit financial institutions with a substantial time lag, but the storm will be fierce. Sebastian Mack suggests that monetary, fiscal and prudential emergency measures are keeping the real economy afloat but do not enhance the resilience of the EU banking sector.
Covid-19: need for stricter foreign investment controls
The global pandemic is shaking up the EU’s agenda and Europeans are waiting for the deadline to set up the EU’s Foreign Direct Investment screening mechanism. Whether the recession is severe but temporary or whether it is a shock that brings about structural change in the global economy, the weakening position of European companies will create opportunities for corporate takeovers at bargain prices.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects the EU’s geopolitical agenda
The EU’s leadership announced last year that it would play a more geopolitical role and learn to speak the “language of power”. One year later, a global pandemic severely affects this geopolitical ambition. Anna Stahl and Nicole Koenig review the pandemic’s geopolitical implications for the EU with a focus on three key relationships: China, the US and Africa.
The EU facing the coronavirus - A political urgency to Embody European solidarity
Jacques Delors warned that the lack of European solidarity in the face of the coronavirus crisis puts the EU in “mortal danger”. Chopin, Maillard and Koenig review the role of solidarity as one of the central guiding principles of the European project. To regain the hearts and minds of the citizens, European solidarity urgently requires a political embodiment.
European solidarity urgently needs to be given political shape
European solidarity in response to the pandemic urgently requires a political embodiment. New financial measures and innovative financing tools will be insufficient to win back the hearts and minds of EU citizens. Chopin, Maillard and Koenig call for a stronger political dimension including the activation of the solidarity clause, a Franco-German impetus for a broader solidarity coalition.
We All Die Alone
Henrik Enderlein argues that Europe needs a strong sign of European solidarity in the face of the pandemic but that Germany in particular fails to recognise the historic proportions of this undertaking, and has reduced itself to the role of the model student who cannot help but lecture others along the way.
Flattening the Recession Curve: Fiscal Responses to the Corona Crisis
The Covid-19 crisis causes much more economic damage in some EU member states than in others. A joint European policy response to share the fiscal burden of this crisis is, therefore, urgently needed. Nils Redeker and Natascha Hainbach analyse to what extent these costs are likely to differ across member states and how governments are trying to mitigate them.
False information about coronavirus and beyond: Lessons for the EU?
The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has infected the world with a substantial surge of false information. Joint action is crucial to tackle false information and the EU is well-placed to lead a coordinated response. Maarja Kask provides an overview of examples of mis- and disinformation in the context of the pandemic and identifies key lessons for the EU’s broader fight against false information.
Sharing the fiscal burden of the crisis
EU member states must share the burden of the fiscal costs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Otherwise some member states will become overwhelmed by the debt burden at the end of the crisis. Sebastian Grund, Lucas Guttenberg and Christian Odendahl propose a Pandemic Solidarity Instrument. The EU would borrow 440 billion euros in the market and would give it as grants to member states for specific spendings.
Legal, compliant and suitable: The ECB‘s Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme
The ECB announced a 750-billion-euro purchase programme to fight the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But the new Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme will likely be challenged in court. Sebastian Grund assesses whether the PEPP will likely survive a legal challenge and argues that it is compatible with EU law.
In Greece, the Corona crisis threatens to become a disaster
To prevent a humanitarian disaster, a European-coordinated evacuation of the refugee camps on the Greek islands is needed. EU-wide border closures must not be a reason to deny people in the overcrowded camps the basic rights. Lucas Rasche shows how financial incentives to receive refugees and the involvement of welcoming communities can defuse the situation before it is too late.
Corona: A European Safety Net for the Fiscal Response
Europe is at the cusp of an unprecedented economic situation: a standstill of many if not most European economies, potentially for a long period of time. In order to avoid permanent scars from the economic impact, fiscal policy will be key. Lucas Guttenberg and Johannes Hemker argue that national governments have to provide a massive stimulus and that Europe will need to build a safety net.
Corona in the Media
Handelsblatt - ECB Judgment of the Federal Constitutional Court - Further lawsuits likely
In an interview with Handelsblatt, Lucas Guttenberg predicts further lawsuits against the ECB's bond purchases.
COVID-19 and the language of pathology: when public health vocabularies advance into parallel domains
Visiting Fellow Jonathan White (LSE) explains why analogies associated with public health tend to be used in areas unrelated to the latter, such as the economy and migration. He writes that such perspectives can often be a way to rationalise limited intervention on the part of authorities, as well as to detach issues from their social and political context, limiting this way individual responsibility.