New eBook: Europe in the Time of Covid-19

Friday, May 22, 2020

In the latest CEPR eBook, leading economists analyse the policy response and find signs of growing solidarity in the European Union’s recovery plan

The European Union’s recovery plan is taking shape and the emerging contours look promising. If enacted as foreseen by the Franco-German agreement – €500 billion of spending on a few strategic priorities, backed by a EU budget possibly with its own resources – it would constitute a quantum leap for EU-level fiscal policy action. Of course, a Franco-German agreement is clearly not enough to achieve consensus among the now 27 members of the EU, and the proposal remains highly controversial. But things are moving in a way that could unlock a number of other key areas, notably the financing of the green strategy and a rebalancing between monetary and fiscal policy. 

These are among the conclusions of an eBook published today by the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), the latest in a series of volumes bringing together the insights of leading economists on the economics of the global health emergency.

In Europe in the Time of Covid-19, co-editors Agnès Bénassy-Quéré and Beatrice Weder di Mauro note that there is no doubt that the crisis represents a challenge for European unity – and another crash test for the euro. But one small positive observation has been the deep engagement of economists in an intense debate with policy-makers on the appropriate responses to ‘flatten the economic recession curve’ and to safeguard people the most vulnerable to economic fallout from the health crisis. 

This eBook is an illustration of the intense effort of the academic community during this time. In a selection of columns, analysis and policy proposals that were published on VoxEU between the end of March and the middle of May 2020 it provides a remarkable example of the response of economists to the unfolding crisis and of the value of VoxEU as the platform for such high quality exchange of views. Within each section, the articles are sorted by their date of appearance, which gives the reader a sense of how the debate progressed over a short period of time. 

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Read a VoxEU column introduction