As the global community continues to grapple with the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Atlantic Council is open for business. Our business, meetings, and events, however, are occurring virtually. For more information, please read an update from our President and CEO.
The COVID-19 crisis is a moment of truth for the European Union, which was built on a narrative of shared responsibility, solidarity, and multilateralism.
This crisis, the latest in a series of difficult circumstances that has hit the continent, presents unique challenges to the long-held pillars of the EU—free movement, data privacy, consumer protection, rule of law, and even the competences of the Union and Member States outlined in the treaties. With travel restrictions, severe economic downturns in the hardest-hit Member States, interrupted supply chains, and national leaders taking advantage of the crisis for their own gains, there are certainly causes for concern.
However, both the EU and Member States have taken on an ambitious agenda to pool resources to confront the immediate public health concerns, and they are currently drawing up plans for short- and long-term economic recovery that will restore growth and establish the EU as a global leader in environmental and consumer protection. The most recent proposal, still under tense discussion between leaders, would establish an EU-wide pandemic recovery fund, supported by borrowing by the entire bloc. There is still work to do as EU leaders debate the best way forward and fight internal divisions on rule of law and combat foreign influence operations, but after a rocky start, Europeans are standing in solidarity.
Italian Minister of European Affairs Vincenzo Amendola and Spanish State Secretary for the European Union Juan González-Barba Pera will outline the coordinated efforts of the EU and its Member States and reflect on the lessons learned from this crisis and what it means for European solidarity after the pandemic. Vincenzo Amendola was appointed as Minister for European Affairs in September 2019. He previously served as Secretary of State to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation from 2016 to 2018.
Prior to his appointment in February 2020, Juan González-Barba Pera was Spanish Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey and non-resident Ambassador to Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Please join the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative and the National Italian American Foundation on Friday, May 29, from 8:00am to 8:45am EDT via Zoom. In order to participate in the event, please register using the form below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with information on how to join.
The only union of its kind
The European Union
Growing from its start as the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Union today has twenty-seven member states and is the only democratic, intergovernmental, supranational organization in the world. It has risen as a key actor and norm-setter in areas as diverse as trade, energy security, digital policy, and defense. In an era of great power competition, the United States has a national interest in the EU reinvigorating faith in the European project among Europeans and the rest of the world.
New Atlanticist Nov 9, 2023
Will the EU get new members soon? Here’s what you need to know.
By Atlantic Council experts
Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia just saw their bids to join the twenty-seven member bloc boosted by the European Commission. Atlantic Council experts explain what it means for EU enlargement.
Issue Brief Oct 18, 2023
Designing a US-EU industrial and trade policy
By Erik Brattberg, Frances Burwell, Jörn Fleck, Charles Lichfield, Zach Meyers, James Batchik, and Emma Nix
Both sides of the Atlantic are confronting the geopolitical necessity of adapting trade and industrial policies to be fit for purpose in an increasingly competitive world. To avoid competition between Washington and Brussels, policymakers must recognize each side’s priorities and commit to further cooperation to bridge the transatlantic economic relationship, not widen it.
About the National Italian American Foundation
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Italian American Foundation was founded in 1975 as a nonprofit organization with the mission to strengthen and empower the political, economic and cultural ties between Italy and the United States. NIAF is the largest representative of the more than 20 million Italian Americans in the United States and actively collaborates with the United States Congress, the White House, the Italian Embassy in Washington and the United States Embassy in Rome, on all major issues affecting the bilateral relationship between the United States and Italy.