Covid-19 Crisis and the "Unity" Between the EU Member States

April 2, 2020, 5 p.m.

As we all know, the Covid-19 pandemic, which started in  Wuhan, China has rapidly spread across the world. Virus cases, first detected in Asian countries, then in many continents such as Europe, Australia, Africa and America, cause millions of people to be infected and suffer a lot of losses.

The virus, which is very rapidly transmitted from person to person, has seriously affected all parts of society. The fact that the virus is directly threatening human health and life shows the severity of this crisis. This also triggers a deep social anxiety and panic. The fact that a vaccine or medication has not yet been found against the virus increases fear and concern. To prevent the spread of Covid-19, a radical change has required in many aspects such as changing the way people live every day, turning working conditions into working systems from home, changing the working policies of many institutions, transition to online education system  from home for school age children and young people.

While many countries take quick measures against the virus and determine their policies, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has decided to follow the "non-intervention" strategy against the virus. However, as a result of the criticism on the rapid spread of the virus, he had to give up on this decision.

Among EU member states, especially Italy has suffered and is still suffering a large number of losses due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This situation is certainly considered to cause a budget deficit and the already troubled economy to become more indebted. Italy,  which is regarded as the centre of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe, urged EU partners to "be indebted together to overcome the crisis" in order to overcome the economic challenges of the outbreak. The Italian government has proposed that EU partners to overcome the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic through the introduction of common bonds, called as "Corona Bonds". However, while the countries known as Mediterranean Wing and Slovenia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Ireland support Italy; other partners such as Germany, Netherlands, Austria and Finland are far from giving support. The fact that Italy's already existing debts will grow even further after the Covid-19 crisis is uneasy for the EU's financially strong partners.

This is also a threat against the political unity of the EU. The lack of agreement among EU member states on a common economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly criticized by Italy and Spain. The fact that Italy and Spain are receiving medical supplies and doctor support from non-union countries such as China, Russia and Cuba while they are not supported yet by member states, is reshaping the society’s perspective about the union. Rumours have begun that Italy and Spain may decide to retire from the union after the outbreak has been overcome.

In the future we will see how this crisis, leading disagreements in the EU, will be overcomed by the Union..



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covid19, eu, europeanunion