Catherine E. De Vries

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As the new coronavirus swept the world, countries responded with stringent measures, including strict lockdown orders, physical distancing requirements and border closures.

While these lockdown measures were extraordinary, so was the initial public response. Incumbents around the globe experienced rising popularity, but this “rally round the flag” response has not lasted everywhere. As the deeper cost of the pandemic — in lost lives and livelihoods — becomes ever more apparent, the popularity of some leaders, including President Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has nosedived.

Here’s what these leaders have in common: Their countries have been among the worst affected by the coronavirus, and each came to power on a populist and nationalist platform.…  Seguir leyendo »

The coronavirus outbreak is only the latest stress test for the European Union, which has been hit by the U.K. departure — Brexit —and disagreements over the refugee crisis and the euro zone debt crisis.

Europeans now face disagreements as they try to coordinate joint action against the economic fallout of the coronavirus. French President Emmanuel Macron has even warned that the coronavirus could lead to the breakup of the E.U.

On Thursday the political leaders of the 27 E.U. member countries will meet again for a European Council video conference to try to resolve their disagreements over whether to issue common debt or resort to other measures in response to the economic hardship caused by the coronavirus.…  Seguir leyendo »

Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macron called for a “European Renaissance”, declaring that the European Parliament elections scheduled for May “will be decisive for the future of our continent”.

Macron distributed his open letter to European voters via social media, declaring: “Never, since the Second World War, has Europe been as essential”. He suggested that it was time for Europe to jointly adopt a minimum wage, prohibit political party contributions by foreign powers and create a common asylum policy, among other things.

With so much at stake, does reminding voters about the devastation of war increase support for European cooperation?…  Seguir leyendo »