Coronavirus: What’s happening in Europe

PR STUNT: Russia’s aid operation to Italy over the Covid-19 crisis was named “From Russia with Love”, after the James Bond movie. Ironically, what was assumed to be a public relations stunt looks more like espionage, according to sources quoted by EURACTIV Bulgaria.

ECONOMIC IMPACTS: According to projections released on 6 May, the coronavirus will trigger the deepest recession in EU history. The economies of the EU will shrink by 7.4% this year, and all countries will experience a decline.

WESTERN BALKANS: As EU leaders e-meet with their Western Balkans counterparts, COVID-19 is set to hijack summit. But while the EU’s pandemic aid is seen as an attempt to counter foreign influence in the region, it could, however, come too late.

MOVING AHEAD WITH 5G: Despite challenges to the industry due to COVID-19, Vestager urged member states to limit the delays to the rollout of their 5G networks.

CHINESE PRESSURE: According to a report from Reuters, the Chinese government pressured the EU to drop references to coronavirus disinformation coming out of the country in a report. The final report toned down some of the criticism. While the EEAS has denied the reporting, Josep Borrell later confirmed that Chinese officials “expressed their concerns.”

MEDIA PLAN: In this Open Letter to the President of the EU Commission, media stakeholders and experts ask for the Commission to help sustain the media sector in this trying time.


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