Europe is among the regions most affected by COVID-19: the continent was designated in March 2020 as the new epicenter of the pandemic and Europe’s recovery strategy to the COVID-19 crisis seems to be threatened by a lack of solidarity. This presentation discusses how the EU governance system has – so far – led to quite a modest coordinated European response to the crisis. COVID-19 is a learning opportunity rather than a make-or-break event for the future of a European Health Policy. Thus, two lessons are highlighted: first, the way that public health is governed has limited the EU response to the crisis. Second, overcoming those governance limitations presents important challenges which current proposals for reform do not yet tackle.
The EU’s response to COVID-19: Lessons in public health policy