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COVID-19 and European Integration

August 14 , 2020 05:15 PM by ZHAO Chen

Great shock on European society and economy has been caused by COVID-19. Initially EU reacted slowly on this public health crisis. Memebers of EU just take care of themselves and perform differently. Lack of coordination can be seen. Mutual interception of epidemic prevention materials such as masks and disinfectants occurred frequently.The Schengen Agreement, which sets the rule on opening national borders, has temporarily terminated. Border inspections have reappeared within Europe, even the checkpoints between Luxembourg and Belgium, which have been abandoned for more than 20 years, have begun to shake the figure of the police; Nordic and southern European countries also have different opinions on whether to issue bonds to deal with the economic recession. The grieving Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and foreign minister Luigi di Maio even expressed the idea of "dying with the EU". The great disaster seems to verify the British mockery of the EU: the EU is like the Cheshire cat in the novel "Alice in Wonderland". It always grins politely, but always looks on coldly, timid and slow; although he always pretends to guide, he disappears out of thin air at a critical juncture; EU Member States emphasizing on sharing, but in reality "there is actually no change". Is the novel coronavirus pneumonia really "making the EU's incompetent" reveal itself? Will the "myth" of European integration be broken and Europe return to the era of nation-state? This paper intends to make a brief analysis of the impact of the epidemic in the fields of public health, economy and politics in Europe from the perspective of EU's power and integration theory.