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How will the coronavirus affect globalisation? Show more Show less

World leaders now describe Covid-19 as the 'silent enemy'. Several have called the pandemic a 'war'. For the first time in history, every nation on Earth is battling a common foe. What this will mean for globalisation remains unknown. Global connectivity is, on the face of things, being eroded, as free movement stops and people 'stay and shelter'. Yet, the world is also increasingly united, as triumph depends on cooperation.

It will erode international institutions Show more Show less

With results being driven by national efforts, the work of international institutions will no longer seem important.
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Opposing interests between countries will weaken the European Union

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.
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EU coronavirus economics globalisation health international politics

Context

The Argument

The coronavirus crisis runs rampant throughout Europe, and many officials have called for pan-European coordination. Unfortunately, however, actions to combat the pandemic early on were fragmented and weak. The EU Commission is expected to "unveil a recovery plan to boost the sickly economy," including the creation of an EU bond to raise money for a €500 billion fund.[1] However, this proposal will likely by opposed by several other EU nations, including Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden. As a result, support on the plan is split, thus weakening the arguments for the EU, an organization comprised of countries with opposing interests. Meanwhile, citizens of their respective countries have increasingly become disillusioned with the EU as the coronavirus pandemic went on. Around 61% of respondents from Italy have said that the pandemic has weakened the EU compared to 40% in Germany and 47% in France. A high percentage of people also believe the EU has not done enough to help their country (70%, 60%, and 57% for Italy, Germany, and France respectively). [1] With the EU not offering enough fiscal and medical aid to the countries most burdened by the coronavirus, there isn't really a case for the EU to continue on as an entity. Even more concerning is the lack of solidarity among EU members. The EU was established with the base goal of building up solidarity among its member states. However, the coronavirus made it clear that solidarity is little to nonexistent among the states. When the coronavirus first began to spread internationally, member states closed down national borders well before imposing domestic policies such as "social distancing," which are much more effective in slowing down spread of the illness. The EU's single market was also damaged as exports of personal protective equipment (PPE) were banned. The export ban was eventually lifted, but only after China and Russia delivered PPE to Italy before any EU nation did. [2] This series of events only shows the cracks and weaknesses within the foundations of the EU.

Counter arguments

Although members of the EU have had trouble consolidating and working together to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus, the EU still has the capability to come out of the pandemic stronger than before. While the countries and their leaders have been riddled with indecision and blame-gaming, European citizens themselves are showing a force of solidarity with the vast majority complying with social distancing and also offering support and empathy across borders. [3] Because the people are at the heart of the countries that make up the EU, it's clear that the global disaster of COVID-19 has only served to knit the people of the EU closer together. With 27 unique countries in the EU, each with their own history and background and cultural identity, it makes sense that it's been difficult to reach a consensus on corona bonds and other decisions pertaining to COVID-19. Despite the vast number of countries within the organization, there is broad agreement on measures such as a loan program valued at 100 billion euros to help member states fund temporary unemployment benefits. [4] Continued discussion over these measures only serve to ensure that the best possible plan for the most number of countries is found. This continued cooperation guarantees that EU member states will continue to work together, not against each other, thus continuing the shared identity that they share and strengthening the organization as a whole.

Framing

Premises

[P1] EU member states are split in support for coronavirus recovery plans. [P2] There is a lack of solidarity among EU member states.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] There is broad agreement among EU member states on coronavirus recovery plans. [Rejecting P2] While political leaders have been in discussions over coronavirus recovery plans, the citizens of the EU members states have stood in solidarity, supporting people in both their own country and other countries.

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.euronews.com/2020/05/26/covid-19-has-weakened-the-case-for-the-eu-say-germans-french-and-italians
  2. https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-04-25/coronavirus-has-exposed-the-eu-s-creeping-irrelevance
  3. https://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/81370
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/08/world/europe/eu-coronavirus-aid.html

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This page was last edited on Saturday, 13 Jun 2020 at 05:55 UTC