What was your reaction when the pandemic hit? How did you feel in spring 2020, when most of the world – including Europe – found itself plunged into strict lockdowns in the wake of the first wave of infections? When did you first realise that this tiny virus would be staying with us for more than a few weeks, with all the consequences that would entail (consequences that go much further than just the impact on public health)? Were you wondering about your future? The future of your country? Did a little part of you worry we might be witnessing the end of the world as we know it?
You weren’t alone. The longer the coronavirus pandemic stays with us, the more people are discussing not just if, but how different our future will be from the world we knew before. There is growing talk of a New Social Contract for the post-pandemic era, providing the current economic world order with a “social floor” and an “environmental ceiling”.
Debating Europe felt it was time to ask young, engaged citizens and civil society representatives about this. Check out the video above to find out what three global voices – Rita from Portugal, Karla from Mexico, and Diogo from Portugal – have to say about the future of multilateralism.
As Europe appears to be entering another (hopefully final) stage of the pandemic, these three panelists raise questions about the future of multilateralism in an ever-more connected world. Will the world be turned upside down? Amidst a rising China, an awakening India, and a stumbling US – what role does that leave for the European Union? And how should these actors deal with pressing challenges like climate change, economic volatility, and digitalisation?
Do you have similar questions when thinking about the post-pandemic world? Then check out the video and let us know what you think!
What should post-pandemic multilateralism look like? How do you envision the “new normal”? Does multilateralism have a future? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments and we’ll take them to experts from politics, business, academia, and civil society.