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As of May 6, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in over 3.7 million confirmed cases and 259,000 deaths worldwide. Europe has become one of the epicenters of the outbreak, with several European Union (EU) Member States being hit particularly hard. A cross-border threat to public health and safety with significant socioeconomic consequences, the pandemic poses a substantial challenge to the EU. To theorize how this crisis is likely to change the Union’s institutions, policies, and competences, we begin by examining the various pressures and constraints that have shaped the EU’s involvement in health issues—including market objectives and previous public health emergencies. Using this information, we next explore the pandemic’s potential to compound the other challenges the EU is currently facing, followed by analysis of how the EU should respond.


Internet publication


A Path for Europe (PfEU)

Publication Date



COVID-19, European Union, Public Health Emergency, Health Policy, Internal Market, Economic Policy