Bifurcation in the Process of European Integration under the Influence of a Pandemic

Andrii Martynov

Dr. Habil. (History), Professor

Institute of History of Ukraine, NASU, Kyiv, Ukraine


Abstract. The coronavirus pandemic has become the most serious challenge since the European Union’s existence. The challenge is complex. The first blow was struck on four freedoms: movement of capital, goods, labor and services. Discontinuing production under the influence of a pandemic will mean both insufficient supply and too low demand. Quarantine measures have split the Common Market into “national containers”. The monetary union is also facing a serious crisis before the pandemic. The next blow to European solidarity was the crisis with illegal migrants. The humanitarian crisis has benefited populists to intensify xenophobic sentiment and terrorist movements to send their killers to the EU. The pretext of left and right populism is wandering Europe. Security threats are real. The UK’s exit from the EU has created a deficit in the EU budget. Germany and France should increase their contributions proportionally. The Visegrad bloc countries oppose their greater financial responsibility. Austria does not agree with the single Eurozone budget. Polls in the spring of 2016 showed an increase in the position of European skeptics in France, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, the Greek part of Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Contemporary political discourse offers European optimistic and European pessimistic scenarios. The European Republic is decentralized (European regions), post-national, parliamentary-democratic and social. This concerns a possible shift from the United States of Europe project to the European Republic. The concept of republic is a common ideological and political heritage of Europe. A New Europe Demands New Political Thinking without Populism and Nationalism. The European Republic should be at the center of the triangle: liberalism (liberty), socialism (equality) and nationalism (brotherhood). The pessimistic scenario focuses on the fragmentation of the European Union. The basis of such fragmentation can be the project of European integration of different speeds.

Keywords: European Union, European Republic, Monetary Union, Common Market, United States of Europe, four European freedoms.

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