New Publications on the Politics of Next Generation EU, the EU’s fund to support member states recover from the economic crisis following the corona pandemic

Caroline de la Porte is delighted to announce that her special issue for Comparative European Politics (co-edited with Elke Heins) that links the EU response to the economic crisis associated with the corona pandemic with national policies and politics is now out.

Caroline de la Porte

The introductory article highlights what is distinct about our contribution, compared to the impressive amount of scholarship already out on COVID-19 political and policy responses at EU level and across EU countries. The red thread of our special issue, connecting the EU and national levels of governance, focuses on how EU politics, policies and institutions, all nested in the past, have a bearing on national welfare states in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The full introduction – which also summarizes all the excellent articles - can be accessed here:

Moreover, her co-authored article in the special issue (with Klaus Armingeon, Elke Heins and Stefano Sacchi), entitled ‘Voices from the past: economic and political vulnerabilities in the making of next generation EU’, can be accessed here:

In the article, they show that Next Generation EU (NGEU), the EU’s fiscal response to the economic crisis following the corona pandemic, is mainly a response to the economic and political imbalances left over from the Eurozone crisis. They characterize NGEU as a pre-emptive intervention, especially targeted at structurally weak economies with rising Euroscepticism, to avoid costly ex-post bailouts as in the Great Recession. The authors demonstrate, using quantitative analysis, that pre-existing vulnerabilities, rather than the impact of the pandemic, drove the allocation of NGEU resources: per capita grants largely correspond to past economic vulnerabilities, as well as to political ones. Countries most vulnerable to another adjustment by austerity after the COVID-19 economic crisis receive most resources. Also, countries with strong anti-EU sentiments are entitled to larger NGEU grants per capita. In contrast, grants are not correlated with the severity of the health crisis. Then, they show the domestic relevance of economic and political vulnerabilities through qualitative case studies of national political debates and domestic positions on NGEU in Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. Despite its innovative traits, NGEU is a politically constrained solution to address the mess from the previous decade, and as such, it is a Janus solution: promising a fresh start, but haunted by the past.’


The page was last edited by: Department of International Economics, Government and Business // 01/25/2024