This article uses a geopolitical lens to assess the EU’s response to COVID-19 by exploring the Commission’s creation of an emergency medical stockpile, dubbed rescEU. The article describes the creation, financing and distribution of this stockpile, which comes under the aegis of the Civil Protection Mechanism, in its first year of operation, 2020–1. What the analysis shows is how the creation and distribution of medical assistance was justified by the need to adapt to a changing international environment, one in which Russia and China contested the EU’s solidarity, both within the EU27 and towards its neighbours. The EU has committed to investing large sums to develop pandemic resilience via stockpiling. However, what remains to be seen is how far such a policy can strengthen solidarity and counteract anti-EU narratives in the global context of the increasing strategic competition facing the EU.
Cite this article
Glencross, A. (2022). The EU to the rescEU? Assessing the geopolitics of the EU’s medical stockpile. European View, 21(1), 48–55. https://doi.org/10.1177/17816858221088368