FULL ONLINE CONFERENCE
The COVID-19 pandemic changes and challenges our lives in more than one way. It has pushed almost every person on the planet to narrow their focus on how to get by day after day. In response to the public health crisis, countries across the world have closed their borders to try to limit the transmission and protect themselves. This lockdown has put both globalization and economies under suspension. Many experts warn that the public health crisis we face today will inevitably become an economic crisis in the following months but potentially a national security issue as well.
Countries around the world are trying to curb the economic consequences of this pandemic by providing relief for their economies, including the United States, which recently passed an unprecedented $2.2 trillion stimulus in an effort to stabilize the markets. On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic seems as a “make or break” challenge for the EU. Member countries which have been most affected by the devastating consequences of the coronavirus accuse the block of a lack of solidarity. Others have called upon for a more coordinated international response through NATO, G7, G20, etc. It seems that coronavirus plants the new crop of instabilities that potentially has the power to rearrange the world system we know today. As it happens with the crisis of this scale, the pandemic will aggravate some of the negative developments such as shrinking of global economy, state collapse, migrations, the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism, etc.
With western democracies struggling to contain the virus and its consequences, many have praised Chinese response and other authoritarian regimes’ strategies in tackling the crisis. Both China and Russia have seized the momentum and emerged as international benefactors, sending medical equipment, supplies, and human resources to the affected countries. Did these contingents of medical equipment and supplies that Italy received contain only that, or as some experts warn the additional spi(c)es came along as well? In countries such as Serbia, people and authorities are praising China and its help, pushing aside the EU and calling European solidarity a fairy tale on paper. On the other hand, many leaders with authoritarian inclinations have used this crisis to fortify their positions and concentrate even more powers in their own hands (look no further than Hungary). These and many other arising security issues has been the center of this didital conversation. (acm)