Expert Opinion

Coronavirus and global shifts: A changing nature of globalization and integration

30-03-2020, 10:51   1051

The coronavirus pandemic and the countries’ responses to its spread have taken the world to the point where it is quite clear there can be no return to the world as it had been. While being in the middle of the crisis may lead us to exaggerate certain issues, the sheer scale of government intervention means that some of the changes we witness occurring, will be irreversible. Let us take a look and emphasize some trends which may be with us for a long time.

No, globalization will not fade away- economies are already too much hurt to inflict even more pain, and in the end, the world before globalization had never been pandemic-free- the black plague took its toll in the world where it took many months to travel from China to Europe. Still, a certain shift towards more realism in international relations will be inevitable. The European Union is hardly set to disintegrate completely, but the pandemic has emphasized that a rupture between its “old” core and the new members, mostly from Eastern Europe, is real. Both response strategies and level of Europe-wide solidarity demonstrated have been quite different, which may push the countries of the former group to prioritize mutual cooperation and distance themselves from the Eastern Europeans, effectively reviving a strategy of a “multiple-tier” Europe that was favoured by a number of conservative forces of the region back in the 1990s. This may also pave the way for a more coherent and ambitious European foreign policy.