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Europe After the Pandemic - Schumanlezing 2021

Europe After the Pandemic - Schumanlezing 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic marked the real beginning of the 21st century, turning the face of Europe abruptly towards the future. The political challenge presented by Covid-19 confronted European leaders with a strategic choice: either fight to preserve a globalised world of open borders or work towards a softer version of de-globalisation. At the end of the day, they ended up doing both. The great paradox of Covid-19 is that it was the European Union’s failure rather than success in demonstrating its relevance that urged European governments to opt for deeper integration. Similarly, social distancing has brought about the opening of the European mind. Covid-19 has infected the world with cosmopolitanism, while turning states against globalisation.

Ivan Krastev is the chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM), Vienna. He is a founding board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a member of the Board of Trustees of The International Crisis Group and a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times.

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