Coronavirus: The European Union UnravelsVeröffentlicht: 27. März 2020
Coronavirus: The European Union Unravels
by Soeren Kern
March 27, 2020 at 5:00 am
Translations of this item:
Faced with an existential threat, EU member states, far from joining together to confront the pandemic as a unified bloc, instinctively are returning to pursuing the national interest. After years of criticizing U.S. President Donald J. Trump for pushing an „America First“ policy, European leaders are reverting to the very nationalism they have publicly claimed to despise.
Ever since the threat posed by coronavirus came into focus, Europeans have displayed precious little of the high-minded multilateral solidarity that for decades has been sold to the rest of the world as a bedrock of European unity. The EU’s unique brand of soft power, said to be a model for a post-national world order, has been shown to be an empty fiction.
In recent weeks, EU member states have closed their borders, banned exports of critical supplies and withheld humanitarian aid. The European Central Bank, the guarantor of the European single currency, has treated with unparalleled disdain the eurozone’s third-largest economy, Italy, in its singular hour of need. The member states worst affected by the pandemic — Italy and Spain — have been left by the other member states to fend for themselves.
The European Union, seven decades in the making, is now unravelling in real time — in weeks.