LSE blog post about this topic
The Covid19 pandemic is changing the face of Europe. Member States’ divergent responses to this crisis unveils lack of unity in the face of a humanitarian catastrophe. At best, this undermines the effectiveness of health protection within the EU. At worst, it risks breaking up the Union altogether. Divergent national responses to Covid19 reflect different national preferences and political legitimacy, thus cannot be fully avoided. In this article, we argue that these responses should be better coordinated. Without coordination, the price for diversity is high. Firstly, there are damaging spillovers between Member States, which undermine key pillars of European integration such as the free movement of persons and of goods. Secondly, the national policymaking is easily captured by local interest groups.
Our proposal is that EU indicates, not mandates, a European exit strategy from asymmetric containment policies of Covid19. In particular, the EU should help Member States procure and validate tests for infection and immunity. The EU should also indicate ways in which testing could be used to create safe spaces to work, thereby restoring the free movement of persons and of goods. We see a great advantage in such EU guidance: it could improve mutual learning between Member States, which have faced different timing of the epidemic and learned different lessons. Although the local political economy has so far delayed learning and undermined cooperation, the EU can mitigate both effects and indicate the way for Europe to resurrect united from the ashes of Covid19.
Pacces, Alessio Maria and Weimer, Maria, From Diversity to Coordination: A European Approach to COVID19 (April 15, 2020). Forthcoming, European Journal of Risk Regulation; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-10; Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2020-01; Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2020-02. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3576392 or https://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3576392.
About the speakers
Alessio Maria Pacces is professor of law and finance at the Amsterdam Law School and the Amsterdam Business School. Moreover, he is the director of the Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics (ACLE) and of the Master in Law & Finance at the University of Amsterdam. Previously, Alessio was endowed professor of law and finance and the director of the European Master of Law and Economics (EMLE) at the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam. Prior to entering academia, he worked at the research department of the Bank of Italy and at the Italian Securities Authority (Consob). Since 2009, he has been a research member of the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI).
Maria Weimer is associate professor of EU law and regulation at the Law Faculty of the University of Amsterdam and a senior researcher at the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG) and the interdisciplinary Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES). She represents the Amsterdam Law School as a member of the Amsterdam Young Academy , an independent interdisciplinary platform of 30 talented researchers from the University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit who work together to better represent young researchers in science policy and to build bridges between science and society in Amsterdam.
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