Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific, European External Action Service
Since the emergence of COVID-19 in China in late 2019 and following its rapid spread throughout Asia and beyond, Europe has now emerged as the epicentre of the crisis. Home to seven of the ten worst affected nations globally, and with Italy and Spain registering the highest number of fatalities, the coronavirus pandemic is fast emerging as the European Union’s biggest test.
How the European Union tackles the dual health and economic crises will have a significant impact on its future. After initial missteps, the European Central Bank and national governments now appear increasingly prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure the stability of Europe’s economy. Against this backdrop, the European bloc continues to endure internal and external challenges, many of which stand to be exacerbated by the current crisis. As the European Union faces the challenge of agreeing to a shared response, it has been working with other states and regions to collaboratively address this crisis, with reciprocal assistance between China and the EU being of great mutual benefit.
Ensuring a coordinated global response to this unfolding crisis will require bold leadership, and with the US and China locked in an enduring war of words, European Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borell has called for Europe to drive cooperation. Whether the EU has the institutional vision or capacity to remain a unifying factor, promoting efforts with China and the US to address the pandemic and its consequences, remains to be seen.
Speaking via video from Brussels, Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at the European External Action Service, will address Asia House’s corporate network in this exclusive off the record briefing for Asia House Corporate Members. Gunnar will provide insights on Europe’s role in coordinating the regional and global battle against COVID-19, and how the virus will shape the future of geopolitics and Europe’s strategic relations with Asian partners.
This briefing is held exclusively for Asia House Corporate Members. To register interest in attending, please contact Edward Danks at email@example.com