Blog: Learning from the coronavirus emergency

This week’s blog is written from London, where many people are roaming freely while most of Europe is in lockdown, grappling with a deadly virus that has already killed some 5,000 people.

This is the first major European crisis since the UK left the EU. Is it a sign of just how far it will diverge from EU norms in the future?

The UK’s ability to manage the epidemic will also determine whether the UN climate summit planned in Glasgow will go ahead in November, which is currently not guaranteed. An alternative could be a virtual meeting, as a former chief scientific advisor to the UK government has suggested. This seems to have become the norm in the EU. European leaders are now regularly meeting via videoconference and the European Parliament, which will replace Strasbourg’s plenary sessions with mini-sessions in Brussels until July, will start voting by email. 

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