• Pierre Reiner

Lessons from the Coronavirus Outbreak

©Financial Times

The COVID-19 (hereinafter, coronavirus) outbreak has become the dominating concern of European governments. With its threat of high public mortality, overburdened hospitals, and economic recession, it is well on its way to defining the global politics of our current decade. The virus also teaches us an important lesson: European solidarity is not merely the product of wishful thinking by out-of-touch elites; it is a strategic necessity.

During a visit to Poland in summer of 2017, US President Donald Trump delivered a speech on Warsaw’s Krasiński Square. Much like his presidency itself, the speech made it clear that the notion of a unified “West” is no longer a relic of the past. President Trump spoke:

“Just as Poland could not be broken, I declare today for the world to hear that the West will never, ever be broken. Our values will prevail. Our people will thrive. And our civilization will triumph.”[i].

With the EU declaring the promotion of “our European way of life” as an official priority[ii] and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro consis