The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed fundamental flaws in political systems on both sides of the Atlantic. Many governments have struggled to respond to the greatest health and economic crisis since World War II. They have also found it difficult to cooperate with each other. The United States has not played its traditional leadership role, leaving allies to fend for themselves and attempt to fill the void left by the United States, while China has become increasingly assertive.
Now, as countries carefully re-open their societies while remaining vigilant to the possibility of a second outbreak, questions about the future of Europe, the United States, the trans-Atlantic relationship, and the broader global order abound. Will populists, who have thus far largely failed to capitalize on COVID-19, enjoy a resurgence with the economic recovery? Will the 750 billion euros recovery plan proposed by the European Commission herald a new phase of deeper European integration? What would an emboldened European Union mean for the future of the trans-Atlantic relationship and great power competition? And what is the future of trans-Atlantic cooperation on global issues like developing a COVID-19 vaccine and therapies, coordinating economic recoveries, or reforming multilateral institutions?
On June 16, the Brookings Institution hosted two panel discussions, as well as two keynote conversations, with Irish Minister for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe and Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya on these topics.
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This event is part of the Brookings – Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative, which aims to build up and expand resilient networks and trans-Atlantic activities to analyze and work on issues concerning trans-Atlantic relations and social cohesion in Europe and the United States.
Chairman - Centre for Liberal Strategies
Permanent Fellow - Institute for Human Sciences
Former Brookings Expert
Under Secretary for Political Affairs - United States Department of State
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