COVID-19 will not destroy Europe’s unity

Europe will remain united after the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic

The fact that Europe will remain united after the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is absolutely clear despite the separatists’ statements, RISS expert Mikhail Belyaev believes.

He recalled that the Dutch finance minister had outlined his negative stance on coronabonds aimed to protect the euro zone's weakest economies due to the coronavirus (Italy and Spain). In his turn, Italian Eurosceptic leader Matteo Salvini stressed that the only help that had come from Europe had been the collapse of the stock market. After that the EU has sent an aid package to all countries affected by the pandemic in the amount of 100 billion euros to recover the labor market and 540 billion euros to restore the European economy.

According to Belyaev, the European unity is a common economic system; the product and the processes of the supply chain are closely linked. The EU's powerful economy is divided into national economies, and a lot of industries (automotive, aircraft, and electronics) cannot exist within a single European country. Moreover, some projects, such as Airbus, started off as a cooperation model between European governments.

RISS expert drew attention to the fact that due to the quarantine several problems in supply chains from the Italian company MTA had put BMW, Pegeaut, and Reno in a difficult position. Major car giants depend on a small company in Northern Italy. The collapse of Schengen will hit the EU’s economy very heavily, especially small and medium-sized enterprises. Belyaev recalled the bankruptcy of Sabena, the Belgian national airline, in 2001. This reduced Belgium's GDP growth almost by 0.7%.

“Closed borders also undermine the tourism and transport industry. Tourism accounts for 16% of Spanish GDP, 13% of Italian GDP, and 10% of French GDP. In addition, China, which closely cooperates with Rome and helps it in the fight against COVID-19, needs Italy primarily as a gateway to the EU. Beijing makes its every effort to ensure that separatist sentiments in this country will not result into real actions,” RISS expert concluded.

Europe pandemic