For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!

In this joint online seminar, UvA researchers Alessio Pacces (ACLE) and Maria Weimer (ACELG) will discuss their paper 'From diversity to coordination - A European approach to Covid19.'

Event details of From diversity to coordination - A European approach to Covid19
Date 22 April 2020
Time 14:00 -15:00
Organised by Alessio Pacces , Maria Weimer

available on YouTube.


The Covid19 pandemic is rapidly changing the face of Europe. In a Union founded on the idea of free movement, borders are being erected. In an interconnected world, countries are trying to shield themselves from a threat that is global and does not respect border checks nor carry a passport. The Covid19 pandemic is a transboundary challenge of proportions unseen since the creation of the European Union. Arguably, challenges like these are why we have the EU in the first place: to enable effective collective action in the face of transboundary problems that no Member States can address on their own. The Union is a global regulatory power, especially in the field of risk regulation, and has an institutional structure in place to address public health emergencies. However, paradoxically, in the current situation national governments are calling the shots. Their divergent responses to this crisis seem to reveal a lack of unity in the face of a humanitarian catastrophe. At worst, they risk breaking up the Union altogether.

What explains the diversity of national public health responses to Covid19, and what is the price Europe is paying for it? Moreover, what is the appropriate role of the Union in this crisis? In this essay, we will address these questions by combining two perspectives on the pandemic - a risk regulation and an economic perspective. Our analysis reveals  certain uncomfortable truths about the interplay between science and politics on the one hand, and the need to balance European unity with pervasive diversity when it comes to national attitudes to risk. The main argument is this: there are good reasons for why Member States are in charge of public health responses to pandemics and other health threats. The EU does not have legal nor a sufficiently strong democratic-political authority to take the lead on Covid19, especially given the current scientific uncertainty. However, decentralised and uncoordinated crisis management causes significant spillovers that are damaging to both EU public health, the economy and to core European values. The EU must turn diversity into a strength and do what it does best: enable coordination, mutual learning, and organize solidarity. After initial mistakes and weak coordination in the first weeks of the crisis, the EU must now take the lead in orchestrating a coordinated and safe European exit strategy with a focus on testing. The EU offers the necessary tools to accomplish that. Member States must use them.

The paper that will be discussed is available on SSRN.

The Speakers

Alessio Maria Pacces (Naples, 1971) is full professor of law and finance at the Amsterdam Law School and the Amsterdam Business School. Moreover, he is the director of the Amsterdam Center for Law and Economics (ACLE) and of the Master in Law and Finance at the University of Amsterdam. Previously, Alessio was endowed professor of law and finance and the director of the European Master of Law and Economics (EMLE) at the Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam. Prior to entering academia, he worked at the research department of the Bank of Italy and at the Italian Securities Authority (Consob). Since 2009, he has been a research member of the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI).

Maria Weimer is associate professor of EU law and regulation at the Law Faculty of the University of Amsterdam and a senior researcher at the Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance (ACELG) and the interdisciplinary Amsterdam Centre for European Studies (ACES). She represents the Amsterdam Law School as a member of the Amsterdam Young Academy , an independent interdisciplinary plattform of 30 talented researchers from the University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit who work together to better represent young researchers in science policy and to build bridges between science and society in Amsterdam.


Please register if you would like to participate in this seminar as an external participant.


Pacces, Alessio Maria and Weimer, Maria, From Diversity to Coordination: A European Approach to COVID19 (April 15, 2020). Forthcoming, European Journal of Risk Regulation; Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-10; Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance Research Paper No. 2020-01; Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2020-02. Available at SSRN: