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The EU’s Reaction in the First Wave of the Covid-19 Pandemic between Centralisation and Decentralisation, Formality and Informality

  • The Covid-19 pandemic is a multi-faceted crisis that challenges not only the health systems and other policy sub-systems in the single Member States, but also the European Union’s ability to provide policy responses that address the transnational nature of pandemic control as a union-wide ‘public good’ that affects health and social policies, border control and security as well as topics related to the single market. Thus, the pandemic constitutes a veritable capacity test for the EU integration project. This article attempts to take stock of the Union’s early reaction to the first wave of the Covid-19 outbreak. After an introduction and a short note on the scope and methodology of the analysis a theoretical framework is developed. Scrutinising the pertinent literature on crisis management, we reflect the traditional hypothesis that in times of crisis the centre becomes more relevant against the background of the EU crisis management system, and discuss the role of informality in particular during the time of crisis. Against this backdrop, empirical evidence from interviews with EU officials and documents in selected policy fields (health and emergency management, digitalisation, and economic recovery) are analysed, before a discussion and conclusion complete the study.

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Author:Rahel M. Schomaker, Ann-Katrin Mandry, Marko Hack
Parent Title (English):Journal of European Public Policy
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Place of publication:Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2021
Publishing Institution:Deutsches Forschungsinstitut für öffentliche Verwaltung
Release Date:2021/12/13
Tag:Crisis Governance; European Integration
Reviewed Document?:Ja
First Page:1278
Last Page:1298
Licence (German):License LogoUrhG – es gilt deutsches Urheberrecht