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How will the coronavirus affect the European Union? Show more Show less
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Are diverging policy responses from EU members states causing diplomatic ties to break down? Or conversely, is the shared trauma of the COVID-19 outbreak fostering brotherhood amongst its nations? What will the EU look like once the cure for the pandemic has been found?

Political consequences Show more Show less

How EU leaders communicate and make decisions will impact the bloc long after the virus has been dealt with.
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European leaders are disputing how best to respond

EU leaders have already come to major disagreement over notional 'corona bonds', which would share post-crisis debt amongst member states. At the heart of this disagreement is the question of sovereignty versus a shared identity.

Context

The global impact of the spread of the COVID-19 virus has heavily impacted the socio-economic priorities of all EU member states. The national lockdowns starting in mid-March have not only tested the crisis response of all EU member states but have also caused great political controversy- not only on a national but also a European level.

The Argument

The leaders of European nations are trying to decide how to re-elevate the economy. However, the conflicts between those leaders have thrown a wrench into their plans. If this rift continues, the nations of Europe will suffer from their leaders' indecisiveness. Leaders from France and Germany have proposed a plan to help suffering nations. It would involve giving grants to some of the most hard-hit nations, such as Spain and Italy. However, the representatives of Austria, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark oppose this plan. They would rather give loans, not grants, to those suffering nations. The conflict between these two groups of nations has stalled the rebuilding process.[1] National leaders need to cooperate now more than ever. But if European leaders cannot agree on how to proceed, nothing will get done. What's worse, millions will continue to suffer as their nations' economies feel the adverse impact of COVID-19. As long as this conflict exists, so will the central problem plaguing the continent.

Counter arguments

1) The stance of the "Frugal Four" against the grant plan will be difficult to sustain - especially on their own, and especially without Germany's support. In all likelihood, the other members of the EU will rally around two of its leaders, France and Germany. The Frugal Four may try to negotiate, but in the end, it is likely that pressure to move ahead with a plan will force them to capitulate. 2) National leaders know how important it is to cooperate. They also know the critical need for a swift solution. Even if they have conflicts, they are on a timeline for negotiations. They will have to agree on a plan at one point or another - whether it looks like the current plan or not.

Proponents

Framing

The EU is unable to adequately react to the Corona crisis because of highly weighing ideological discrepancies between the member states regarding the tension between sovereignty and integration.

Premises

[P1] Ideological opposition makes political cooperation impossible. [P2] Policy needs to be the result of shared ideology and consensus.

Rejecting the premises

[P1] Ideological opposition should not hinder political cooperation in cases of emergency response. [P2]Policy can be adopted without ideological consensus.

References

  1. https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/26/economy/europe-coronavirus-budget/index.html
This page was last edited on Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 11:07 UTC

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