“Europe and Covid-19: Never Waste a Good Crisis”, Chiara Andreazza (IAI, Italy)

Years have passed since the first signs of citizen distrust towards social institutions and governing elites became apparent. Such sentiments have led to an increase in populist politics and authoritarian tendencies, characterised by charming leaders and strongman politics, which in turn have challenged certain elements of liberal democracy. These trends were accentuated by the economic crisis of 2008 and, more recently, by the repercussions of the current Covid-19 pandemic. The more people feel insecure, the more they come to question their future opportunities, the more they are vulnerable to those who promise that they alone can fix it all. In such a political climate it is necessary for the EU to protect its democracies and push back against the authoritarian ghosts that are appearing at the gates. The EU’s 27 member states must be united if they want to go on living in a liberal order. Moreover, European cohesion is also necessary to remain relevant in a global system characterised by US economic dominance and the rising commercial power of China.

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