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The European Union’s two-fold multilateralism in crisis mode: Towards a global response to COVID-19
International Journal  (IF0.836),  Pub Date : 2021-02-12, DOI: 10.1177/0020702020987858
Chantal Lavallée

The European Union (EU) has been strongly criticized from the outset for its alleged mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic which began early in 2020. Several observers even predicted the end of European integration. This article examines how the EU has been managing the crisis, with a focus on how this has impacted its external relations, notably with Canada. It will argue that this crisis, as most crises the EU has gone through, has brought to light existing ambiguities in European governance, but that it has not led to fundamental questions about the EU’s and its member states’ overall commitment to Europe’s “two-fold multilateralism” (i.e., internal and external collaboration). EU representatives have re-emphasized this principle when reiterating the need for both European coordinated actions as well as a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, working closely with their partners, including Canada. Therefore, amid the evolving and serious health-related and economy-related challenges, the crisis offers an occasion for the EU to strengthen and deepen both its integration and its global role.