This panel will discuss how European countries are tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on emerging Europe and the role of the European Union and international organisations in supporting national responses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the extent of our interconnectedness, both globally and regionally. As the disease spread across borders, national responses were affecting neighbouring countries and the need for coordination was made manifest. The reflex to isolate and prioritise the protection of national communities had to be balanced with the recognition that international solutions could help mitigate the damage, both to our health systems and economies. In Europe, the crisis has also shone a light on health inequalities across countries, as well as different levels of effectiveness in government responses. In this context, adapting the role of the European Union and of international organisations is increasingly important.
Dr Andrea Ammon is the Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the European Union’s agency tasked with strengthening Europe’s defence against infectious diseases. She is a key advisor to governments and the European Union in their response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and advocated early on for stronger healthcare capacity. Before being appointed Director, she was instrumental in establishing the European surveillance strategy, which aimed to standardise practices in the surveillance networks of member states. Prior to joining the ECDC in 2005, she was Head of Department for Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, where she advised the German government in their response to the SARS and influenza A[H2N2] epidemics. She holds a PhD in Medicine from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
Professor Marek Belka (@profMarekBelka) is Member of the European Parliament and Professor of Economics and Visiting Professor in Practice at the Institute for Global Affairs of the London School of Economics and Political Science. He served as the Governor of Narodowy Bank Polski, Poland’s central bank (2010-2016); Director of European Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF; 2008-2010); Executive Secretary of the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe (2006-2008), Prime Minister of Poland (2004-2005), Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Poland (1997 and 2001-2002). He was Chairman of IMF-World Bank Development Committee (2012-2016).
Dr Joan Costa-i-Font is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has been Harkness Fellow at Harvard University and Visiting Fellow at UCL, Paris Dauphine University , Boston College, and Oxford University, and taught at the University of Barcelona and the Universita Cattolica. His research examines the economic effects of health programs, the health effects of economic and political reforms, and explanations for the social formation of preferences and health behaviours. He has also served as a consultant for a number of international organisations, including the World Bank, the World Health Organisation and Public Health England.
Poul Thomsen is Director of the European Department at the International Monetary Fund. In this capacity, he supervises the Fund’s bilateral surveillance work for the 44 countries in the Department, its policy dialogue with EU institutions, including the ECB, and its program discussions with European countries. As Deputy Director of the European Department, he was responsible for the Fund’s response to the global financial crisis and subsequent Euro Zone crisis. Prior to this, he had gained extensive knowledge of Central and Eastern Europe, having worked continuously in the region from 1987 to 2008. He was notably head of the Fund’s Russia Division during the 1998 Russian Financial crisis.
Androulla Vassiliou (@VassiliouEU) was the European Commissioner for Health between 2008 and 2010, during which she oversaw the EU response to the 2009 swine flu pandemic. She then became the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth. A lawyer by profession, she was an elected official in her home country of Cyprus before entering European politics. She is currently the Vice President of Europa Nostra, Co-Chair of the Bi Communal Technical Committee on Culture in Cyprus, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the European think-tank The Friends of Europe. She has received honours from the French, Spanish, and Greek governments, and many Cypriot organizations and Institutions.
Professor Kevin Featherstone is Eleftherios Venizelos Professor in Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor in European Politics in the European Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he is also Director of the Hellenic Observatory. He has held visiting positions at the University of Minnesota, New York University, Harvard University and the European University Institute (Firenze). His research falls within comparative politics, public policy, and political economy, with a focus on the European Union and contemporary Greece. In 2013, he was made ‘Commander: Order of the Phoenix’ by the President of Greece for his academic contributions. He has published numerous journal articles and is a regular contributor to the international media.
John Gordon is the Student Leader for this geographical session. He is a current student of BSc Philosophy, Politics and Economics at LSE.
The European Institute (@LSEEI) is a multidisciplinary centre for the study of European politics, economics and culture in a globalised world.
The Institute of Global Affairs (@LSEIGA) aims to maximise the impact of LSE's leading expertise across the social sciences by shaping inclusive and locally-rooted responses to the most important and pressing global challenges.
This event is part of the Maryam Forum Launch: "From Rulership to Leadership: Early Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic".
View the full programme here.
The Maryam Forum is a new multi-year platform aiming to encourage the shift towards evidence-informed, transparent, accountable and inclusive leadership. Introduced on the global stage in Davos during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in January 2020, Maryam Forum is a collaboration between policy makers, academics, business leaders and media that engages the LSE across departments and disciplines. Together with our students – the leaders of tomorrow – we will convene Maryam Co-Labs, leading up to our first annual Global Conference in December. From climate change, health crises and other global emergencies, to industrial policy, populism and migration, these year-round working groups will tackle the most urgent challenges of our time - providing opportunities to exchange expertise and shape solutions, and unlocking the potential for inclusive and sustainable leadership across all regions of the world.
Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMaryamForum
BSc Philosophy, Politics and Economics, LSE
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