On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. Ill-prepared and reluctant to halt economic activities, EU member states were slow to react to contain the spread of the virus. Although necessary, the lockdown measures came with a heavy price. The global coronavirus pandemic has had devastating economic, social and global health consequences, leaving hundreds of thousands dead, millions unemployed and countless others suffering from the various side effects. Governments around the world went into crisis mode, closing borders, enforcing lockdowns and shuttering economic activity.
As the timeline for the pandemic remains fluid and uncertain, many questions remain: How much longer can the economy stand the partial shutdown? What policy measures are needed to put the EU on a road to recovery? How will the crisis impact the youth? The need for economic and financial assistance for EU member states with limited fiscal space is urgent. The response to the economic damage this crisis has inflicted on the Union must be joint and swift – the future of the EU depends on it.
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