The 2021 Schuman Lecture was streamed on Monday from the IWM library, with our Permanent Fellow Ivan Krastev speaking on “Europe After the Pandemic”.
Every year, Maastricht University and the City of Maastricht jointly organise this lecture in commemoration of Robert Schuman and the Treaties of Rome (1957) and Maastricht (1992). Robert Schuman (1886-1963) was the French Minister of Foreign Affairs and co-founder of the European Union.
The Covid-19 pandemic marked the real beginning of the 21st century, turning the face of Europe abruptly towards the future. The political challenge presented by Covid-19 confronted European leaders with a strategic choice: either fight to preserve a globalised world of open borders or work towards a softer version of de-globalisation. At the end of the day, they ended up doing both. The great paradox of Covid-19 is that it was the European Union’s failure rather than success in demonstrating its relevance that urged European governments to opt for deeper integration. Similarly, social distancing has brought about the opening of the European mind. Covid-19 has infected the world with cosmopolitanism, while turning states against globalisation.
The lecture was broadcast from our library at the IWM, you can watch it on our YouTube channel