#ZEWlive: The Coronavirus Crisis and Europe’s Response


The second edition of the new digital format #ZEWlive on Zoom focuses on the European dimension of the coronavirus pandemic. Joining the discussion are Dr. Franziska Brantner, spokeswoman for the Green party’s European policy in the Bundestag, and Professor Friedrich Heinemann, head of ZEW's Research Department “Corporate Taxation and Public Finance”.

Does the coronavirus crisis threaten the existence of the euro and the EU? Within a few weeks, Europe mobilised a 500-billion-euro crisis package, while a European Reconstruction Fund is being prepared. In addition, with the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Programme (PEPP) the European Central Bank has launched a new comprehensive asset purchase programme. But are these measures sufficient to prove European solidarity, and are the instruments used actually the right ones?

The virus – even more so than the financial crisis of 2008 – triggered an economic shock affecting all EU countries. The economic slump is unprecedented, even if the effects will vary from country to country. Italy and Spain, two already highly indebted euro states, were hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Italy is disappointed about the lack of European cohesion and expects far-reaching financial guarantees. Such demands are met with incomprehension in Northern and Eastern Europe, considering the negative incentive effects and Italy’s high levels of debt already from before the pandemic.

But what does a solidarity-based way out of the crisis actually look like, one that promotes cohesion and strikes the right balance with national responsibility? How is a European Reconstruction Fund to be constructed so that it provides targeted as well as rapid assistance? How should this fund be financed, and is the EU allowed to put itself into debt for it? How does Europe deal with Member States heading for over-indebtedness during the crisis? What does solidarity-based aid for particularly affected countries look like, aid that provides incentives for reforms as well as a sustainable financial policy? And how can the European Central Bank’s exit from extensive purchases of government bonds be prepared?

Dr. Franziska Brantner, spokeswoman for European policy of the Green party in the Bundestag, and Professor Friedrich Heinemann, head of ZEW’s Research Department “Corporate Taxation and Public Finance”, will be discussing these questions and invite you to join the conversation. You can prepare and send your questions beforehand or ask them directly via chat in Zoom. Journalist Elif Şenel will be moderating the discussion.

You do not have to register on Zoom to participate. You only need a device with internet and voice access. 

We would like to thank the ZEW Sponsors’ Association for its support of the lecture series First-Hand Information on Economic Policy.



#ZEWlive: Overcoming the Coronavirus Crisis Jointly with European Solidarity


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Franziska Brantner // Green party

Moderation: Elif Şenel //

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