In the chaotic early weeks of the pandemic, when Europe was ground zero for the international spread of the coronavirus, European unity seemed a distant prospect. But Merkel’s leadership combined with a gigantic recovery fund have helped the EU bounce back.
Neither values nor geopolitics played any role when EU leaders agreed to spend their way out of the coronavirus crisis at a marathon summit. Once again, Europe as a strategic player has been postponed.*
Europe is immersed in the world around it. But in order to strengthen the EU’s global role, the European Council will need to understand the deep connection between domestic struggles and international ambitions.
Countries with populist governments have been especially badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But beware: the virus is unlikely to kill off populism. To rid the world of populism, its root causes must be addressed.
Nonresident Scholar Geoeconomics and Strategy Program
Rozlyn C. Engel is a nonresident scholar in the Geoeconomics and Strategy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where she focuses on global macroeconomic risks, U.S. economic policy (foreign and domestic), and questions facing the economic intelligence community.
Lehne is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where his research focuses on the post–Lisbon Treaty development of the European Union’s foreign policy, with a specific focus on relations between the EU and member states.
Hamza Meddeb is a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center, where his research focuses on economic reform, political economy of conflicts, and border insecurity across the Middle East and North Africa.
Paul Stronski is a senior fellow in Carnegie’s Russia and Eurasia Program, where his research focuses on the relationship between Russia and neighboring countries in Central Asia and the South Caucasus.