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.

IMAGE CREDITS: Bernt Rostad (CC – BY 2.0)

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

17 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    Do not get your hopes yet. The United Nations warned us earlier that the Corona Virus could be active and aggressive until September or October 2022 so we need to be careful people !!!!

    • avatar
      JT HK

      World village is a reality, do not turn a blind eye on transnational and even international events such as pollution, environmental degradation, spread of drug, human trafficking, money laundry and weapon of mass destruction, etc.

  2. avatar

    We must create something like a Medical Schengen and introduce visas for people who come from countries where they eat wild animals or low quality food that is banned for consumption in the EU. This means that people who come from the US, some Asian countries, Africa, Middle East etc must be coached by Europeans NOT to eat what they generally eat.
    Also we need a Great Reset but not in the way the oligarchs from World Economic Forum understand it. We need to completely abolish the neoliberal economic model and to replace it with something better.

    • avatar

      What do you mean with fascism? Is it like we are going to be like forced to segregate like people?

  3. avatar
    JT HK

    Post-pandemic multilateralism would only divide Europe into pieces. In this global era, cooperation and peaceful coexistence is the only way for the survival of man.

    • avatar

      Yes sure, but not everyone would agree with you! Some people have different views. There were always viruses and pandemics in the past. I guess this is a part of our existence. These are times of crisis where only the strongest survive.

  4. avatar

    My reaction was that this was not just a man-made virus, but also a punishment from a higher power! Nowadays, people do not believe so much in God or religion, but everything happens for a reason. In a Post-Pandemic world things would never be the same or at least the people will have second thoughts about a new pandemic. If the Virus is insolent and mutates it could be like that one more year, but I do not think it will be more than that! The people are social animals, but sometimes when there is too many bad people it is good to have a social distance!

  5. avatar

    This virus is something Evil and I do not know who thought about it. Actually I read about Viruses in many different chapters of the Human history. We could say that the presence of a virus is no coincidence……

  6. avatar
    JT HK

    Good, the US has ruined Europe and retreating towards the Asia Pacific. It is time European states have to cooperate and clear the messy a brain dead NATO has left. Without NATO, Europe can regain their sovereignty work for peace and prosperity.

    • avatar

      I am into abolishing any form of government (which is always the problem), which will allow the individual to regain its sovereignty and live in peace and prosperity!

  7. avatar

    of course, let’s drag more slaves into this system,

  8. avatar

    D’autant plus depuis que le Royaume Uni ne fait plus partie des Etats-Unis d’Europe, votre utilisation officielle, massive et délibérée de la langue anglo-étasunienne est inappropriée et abusive.

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