The coronavirus crisis is accelerating a paradigm shift in European integration. Freedom as the organising principle of the EU was in retreat even before the pandemic when liberalisation, openness and liberal democracy came under strain in many countries. Restrictions imposed to tackle Covid-19 are reinforcing this trend. Concerns that some of these restrictions may remain in place beyond the pandemic are legitimate, particularly in the case of countries that are abusing the crisis to achieve autocratic overreach. The EU will need to find new ways to defend its legal order based on freedom.
Piotr Buras: Europe’s fragile freedoms facing a coronavirus stress test
(Acting European? The European Union and the Weimar Triangle in the Coronavirus Crisis, N° 6)