European countries are not all equal in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Both the impact of the epidemic and responses to it have differed greatly, as this overview by Alternatives Economiques shows.
EU heads of state and government failed to agree on a united response to the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19. Yet after the measures taken by the European Central Bank, there is no longer urgency to enact a measure like eurobonds.
Calls have been coming from all sides for the EU to intervene in the COVID-19 crisis in the name of European solidarity. Although the Union has little room for manoeuvre in the public-health sphere, it can use the powerful lever of economic and monetary policy to counter the coming economic downturn.
The international outlook for this autumn does not seem rosy. Will Europe be able to act in response to the warning signs? That will largely depend on the German government’s willingness to (finally) let go of the dogmas imposed on the eurozone for the last decade.
On 5 June the European Commission cleared the way for an excessive deficit procedure against Italy. This could lead to a fine of several billion euro being imposed on Italy. Above all, this new showdown risks restarting the general eurozone crisis just as Europe’s economy is slowing sharply. A slowdown which is partly caused by the vulnerability of Germany, Europe’s flagship economy, to the China-USA trade war and its dampening effect on the world economy.
Since 2008 Europe has seen major demographic changes. In particular due to migration: internal as a result of the economic crisis, external linked to geopolitical instability in Europe’s neighborhood.
With no common industrial policy and given the great openness of its internal market, Europe has missed the latest waves of technological innovation: microelectronics, computers, mobile telephones, internet.