The Webinar recording can be found online.
Tim Phillips (CEPR)
Agnès Bénassy-Quéré (PSE and CEPR)
Lucrezia Reichlin (LBS and CEPR)
Beatrice Weder di Mauro (President, CEPR)
Beyond its public health dimension, the unfolding coronavirus epidemic also represents a severe economic stress test for Europe that comes from a totally unexpected side. This time, it is primarily a shock to the real economy hitting all European countries more or less equally (time lags will soon become a footnote). The buffers and firewalls put in place after the global financial crisis and the euro crisis have been designed to fight a different sort of crisis, originating in the financial sector or in a particular sovereign. This time is different.
For this reason, and because its fallout for integration may be persistent, this crisis calls for a common Europe-wide response. This is not only an economic crash test, but also a test of European unity. How European leaders will deal with the fear and the suffering of their fellow citizens will be remembered. By the same token, the crisis is an opportunity for leaders to build trust and to show unity, strength, consequence and solidarity. They will need to demonstrate that Europe can help put in place an effective catastrophe relief plan.