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As COVID-19 is spreading across the European continent, new perspectives and research on the European response become available. ACES will update this article with recent research publications and media appearances of ACES researchers.

Virtual Visions of Europe

Virtual Visions of Europe series focusses on the Pandemic Politics and Corona Crisis Response. In five roundtables ACES experts and external guests will discuss the pandemic from a specific angle.

You can watch the recorded Roundtables here


  • 23 April 2020
    Marta Morvillo
    European Journal of Risk Regulation, 'I just can’t get enough (of experts): the numbers of COVID-19 and the need for a European approach to testing'

    In this article, Marta Morvillo offers a reflection on the testing strategies deployed in the generation of epidemiological data in the European Union. She argues that, while in the early days of the pandemic Member States proceeded to testing in a rather scattered way, the shortage of resources seems to have acted as a driver of coordination, which is now increasingly being discussed at EU level. She examines the legal and institutional framework supporting such embryonic coordination efforts and offer a preliminary assessment of their implications for a European approach to epidemiological knowledge-making.

  • Maria Weimer, Alessio Pacces 
    LSE EUROPP blog, 'We need a European exit strategy for Covid-19 before it’s too late' 22 April 2020

In the Covid-19 crisis, Europe is paying a high price for diversity, write Alessio Pacces and Maria Weimer. The failure to coordinate national public health responses in the initial stage of the outbreak has undermined both the fight to save lives and core European values and principles. But the fight against Covid-19 is a marathon, not a sprint. Going forward, Europe’s survival will depend on how it handles the exit from this crisis. The Commission has published a European Roadmap for lifting Covid-19 measures – member states must follow its recommendations before it is too late.

In this paper the researchers propose that the EU indicates, not mandates, a European exit strategy from asymmetric containment policies of COVID19. In particular, the EU should help Member States procure and validate tests for infection and immunity. The EU should also indicate ways in which testing could be used to create safe spaces to work, thereby restoring the free movement of persons and of goods. We see a great advantage in such EU guidance: it could improve mutual learning between Member States, which have faced different timing of the epidemic and learned different lessons. Although the local political economy has so far delayed learning and undermined cooperation, the EU can mitigate both effects and indicate the way for Europe to resurrect united from the ashes of COVID19.

The COVID-19 outbreak that is hitting the euro area economy needs to be met by a powerful policy response beyond the emergency measures already in place. This column uses an empirically calibrated model to show that the creation of a safe asset and fiscal capacity at the centre – on which the debate has been ongoing for a long while – would be a powerful means to mitigate the economic impact of the crisis.

A survey conducted before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, shows Dutch citizens are prepared to give the EU a more central role in fighting an epidemic. An interdisciplinary research team from ACES conducted the survey and published the analysis by VoxEU, a brief summary is also available on POLITICO. An initiative to create centralised control of medical countermeasures at the EU level would solve many coordination issues in times of crisis. However, a unified European response faces a number of legal and political obstacles. This column uses a survey conducted before the COVID-19 outbreak to understand EU citizens’ attitudes towards a joint solidarity programme. It suggests considerable support already exists for an effective policy framework centralising the procurement, stockpiling, and allocation of medicines. 

Read the UvA press releaseRead the article published on VoxEu

Weimer and de Ruijter argue that the Covid-19 crisis puts Europe’s capacity to govern both effectively and legitimately to a test. It sheds light on the unique features of the European integration project (such as its commitment to unity in diversity), as well as unleashes some of its darker tendencies. Like in other situations of uncertainty and political and economic upheaval, this crisis can be both a threat to and an opportunity for European integration.


Media Appereances and op-eds


In this article BBC's Anna Holligan explores the different perspectives on the Dutch lockdown strategy. Claes de Vreese responses on the questions about the Dutch attitude and communication towards the Corona Virus. 

In this article, the three researchers explain the likely negative consequences Brexit might have on British society in case of widespread infectious diseases, pandemics and other mass health crises, because the UK will no longer be able to rely on the EU’s joint response mechanisms, such as bulk buying medicines and vaccines. The researchers also explain possible alternatives for the UK to mitigate these consequences of Brexit.

In this radio roundtable, ACELG researcher Anniek de Ruijter joins Dutch MEP Jan Huitema and EU Commission spokesperson Stefan De Keersmaecker to discuss the role of the European Union in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and other international threats to public health.

  • Gradus, R. and R. Beetsma, Ook van werknemers mag een offer worden gevraagd, De Volkskrant website, 16 April 2020, with Raymond Gradus,  Langere versie verschenen op MeJudice:  
  • 16 April, Folia Online, Frank Vandenbroucke: De regering houdt meer Europese solidariteit tegen, maar veel Nederlanders zijn voor
  • Frank Vandenbroucke contributed to a research-based article in De Groene Amsterdammer and was interviewed for: ‘Het gebrek aan Europese samenwerking. Is het nu te laat?, Daphné Dupont-Nivet and BElia Heilbron, De Groene Amsterdammer, 9 April 2020, pp. 18-19.
  • 6-12 April 2020: in this week, Anniek de Ruijter is editor of @NL_Wetenschap, a Dutch twitter account on science, with weekly changing editors. Anniek will be focusing on health, health law and Covid-19.
  • 8 April 2020 Folia, ‘Ook in deze crisis moet de inperking van privacy proportioneel zijn’.In this interview (in Dutch) Anniek de Ruijter speaks about the EU's health laws and regulations and European cooperation during the current pandemic, the Dutch approach to dealing with the pandemic, individual rights and proportionality and limiting individual rights.
  • 8 April 2020: VPRO, 'Ieder voor zich in de Europese strijd tegen het virus' Anniek de Ruijter is interviewed alongside NOS Brussels correspondent Tijn Sadee about Mauro Ferrari's resignation as head of the European Research Council.
  • 2 April 2020: De Correspondent, ‘Wat zijn je grondrechten nog waard tijdens een pandemie? Deze jurist legt het uit’, Anniek de Ruijter (text & podcast - Dutch)
  • Beetsma, R. en R. Gradus, Sneller uit een economische crisis komen? Verlaag tijdelijk de btw-tarieven, Het Financiële Dagblad, 20 maart 2020.
  • Roel Beetsma: BNR Nieuwsradio economists panel on March 30, 2020. On the corona crisis.
  • Roel Beetsma: Metro on March 25,2020, “Waar komen al die miljarden toch vandaan?”,
  • Roel Beetsma: Kidsweek on March 20, 2020, “De gevolgen van wereldwijde regels door corona”,

Read More research from the Amsterdam Centre for European Law & Governance