The COVID-19 has been an unprecedented challenge for the world. The European Union, an unfinished integration project with a very high degree of interconnectedness between nation states, was condemned for too slow to respond. Nevertheless, the pandemic has been an existential threat to both the Schengen Area and to the single market, two central pillars of European integration. In addition, the ghosts of the previous crises of the 21st century are still affecting the positions and decisions of the member states.

The response to this global crisis will have a number of consequences. The already announced agenda –like the new green deal and digital transformation– should be factored back into the new normality. The institutional dynamics need to be revisited. Europe’s place in the world, in which the US elections will also play an important role, should be again open to discussion. For all these debates the Conference on the Future of Europe could be a fruitful platform.

This roundtable aims to start up the conversation on the future of the Union taking into consideration the various dimension of the crisis.


  • Rosa Balfour, Director, Carnegie Europe. (@RosaBalfour)
  • Ilke Toygür, Analyst, Elcano Royal Institute. (@ilketoygur)
  • Nicolai von Ondarza, Deputy Head of Research Division EU/Europe, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) (@NvOndarza)

Moderator: Charles Powell, Director, Elcano Royal Institute. (@CharlesTPowell)

Thursday, 14 May 2020, from 17:00 to 18:00 h. CET (UTC+2).

Check out our expert’s analysis in our special dossier Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

Video Virtual roundtable “The EU response to COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the future of the Union” (1:24:00)