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Briefing: Special coronavirus issue: What to read on Voxeurop and elsewhere


Hello, and welcome to this special issue of our newsletter.

Like most Europeans, we have been living in confinement for the past few days in order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. We have adapted our work to these unprecedented conditions, and are trying to do so with the usual commitment, despite the circumstances.

In this context, we are trying to make the best of the situation, and to offer a service that meets your expectations and is within our means. Apart from the regular articles we produce or translate, thanks to our partners in the European Data Journalism Network (EDJNet), we will try to decipher the ins and outs of this pandemic and try to read it from a perspective that goes beyond borders, just like the coronavirus.

Finally, because we want to tell the story of this event that concerns us all as Europeans, we invite you to share with us your testimonies on how you are experiencing this crisis, what it says about Europe in the broadest sense today, and what it bodes well for its future. Please mention your name and where you are and do not exceed 1,000 signs (250 words). Please send them to We will try to publish as many testimonials as possible.

In the meantime, take care of yourself and your dearest, and follow the instructions of the health authorities.

We can offer you all this because of your support. Please consider making a donation. Thank you!

Gian-Paolo Accardo, executive editor


Partners with an European or international focus

Deutsche Welle, Bonn. Euractiv, Brussels. OBC Transeuropa, Trento. Internazionale, Rome. EUobserver, Brussels.

Stories with a predominantly national focus

Addendum, Vienna. Capital, Sofia. El Confidencial, Madrid. Gazeta Wyborcza (home to our partner BiQdata), Warsaw. Index, Budapest. Público, Lisbon. Der Spiegel, Hamburg. Addendum, Vienna. El Confidencial, Madrid, also propose a daily newsletter with updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What's really going on?

If you want to keep track of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, pretty much all the large media outlets have developed their own charts, maps, and tables – let us just give a shoutout to the Financial Times.

Outside journalism, one of the best sources is the always excellent Our World in Data, which now has a special page on coronavirus. The Johns Hopkins University is also providing a great service, and of course the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is a reference point. Le Grand Continent tried to move below and beyond nation-states, with a EU-wide regional map of cases.

To understand what is really going on – and what the realistic prospects and policy options are – Tomas Pueyo's post on Medium ("Act today or people will die") constitutes an excellent source, along with the preliminary study from the University of Oxford on the relations between COVID-19 and demography. On the Italian case, Matteo Villa is providing food for thought on a daily basis on Twitter, while Silvia Merler is tracking the spread of COVID-19 across different countries.

What is the European Union doing?

It took a while for European leaders to realise that COVID-19 was going to affect the entire continent (and beyond). EU institutions are finally dealing full steam with the pandemic: although the EU has no competence in the health sector, it can provide coordination among governments and sanitary authorities, financial support – and, most importantly, it can temporarily ease public debt containment rules, so as to allow member states to implement contingency and relief plans for businesses and health care.

Once the peak of the health emergency will have passed, expect a lot of debate (and divisions) on deficit, investments, austerity, and solidarity within the EU (or lack thereof). Among many others, Alberto Alemanno and Politico Europe are already reflecting on this.