EU's free trade dogma remains immune to Covid-19 pandemic


Trade officials working for the European Commission may be having to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic but they are still busy negotiating free trade deals with countries around the world on behalf of the European Union. As Mediapart's Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports, these officials are behaving as if the Covid-19 outbreak has not had a dramatic effect on everything – including the way people regard world trade and globalisation.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has led to a fresh debate about the nature and limitations of globalisation. Supporters of de-globalisation are once again making their voices heard, not least in France. A number of renowned philosophers consider that the pandemic marks a point of no-return and are already bidding farewell to what some dub the 'hyper-globalisation' of recent decades. Meanwhile some politicians in France are calling for world trade rules to be set aside in order to relocate strategically-important pharmaceutical companies domestically.