Wolfgang Streeck – Absent Without Leave:The European Union in the Corona Pandemic

How did the European Union respond to the Covid-19 pandemic? The first part of the paper analyzes the logic of the EU’s multi-level politics as it relates to the relationship between national and supranational decision-making in an international emergency. Attempts on the part of the EU to increase its powers largely failed while member states were essentially left to their own devices, also due to the uncertainty of the situation and the diversity of local conditions and preferences. The second part deals with the apparent absence of the EU in the global politics of “biosecurity”, which is largely dominated by the United States, its global pharma industry and, to an impressive extent, by the U.S. military establishment. In this context, the paper summarizes the present state of the international discussion on the origin of the new coronavirus and on the virological research conducted, among other places, at the Wuhan virological laboratory.

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