Towards a more resilient EU after the COVID-19 crisis

We’re supposed to be living in an era where human beings have become the dominant influence on the environment, but COVID-19 has revealed the fragility of our societies and the speed with which our systems can come crashing down. We need to learn the lessons of this pandemic and we need to learn them fast because the next pandemic may arrive sooner than we think.

Richard Horton.

This working paper is accessible in a PDF version at the end of this post.

Abstract. The pandemic crisis constitutes an unprecedented challenge for the European Union and for the Euro Area. Indeed, European institutional architecture can be viewed as being half-way between an association of sovereign states (like the United Nations, for example) and a politically integrated federation (like the United States for example). In this original construction, competences on several matters (such as economic, political, social and health issues, etc.) are shared at the European level, but also at the national and local levels in more complex ways than in fully integrated federations. To improve the resilience of the European Union to violent external shocks, the main objective of this paper is to determine to what extent these competences have to be transferred to the federal level. In this respect, we will consider whether a federal leap is necessary in several areas namely (i) monetary and fiscal policy (rules), (ii) labor markets policy and social models, migratory flows and skill shortages, and cooperation policy and (iii) renewed industrial policy and exchange rates. Despite a highly uncertain context, we outline some perspectives for the future of the European Union.

Feel free to download, share or comment the following working paper:

Amélie Barbier-Gauchard, Meixing Dai, Claire Mainguy, Jamel Saadaoui, Moïse Sidiropoulos, Isabelle Terraz and Jamel Trabelsi. Towards a more resilient European Union after the COVID-19 crisis. BETA Working Paper 2020-33 (2020). Available at SSRN: