The World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 outbreak a ‘pandemic’ on March 11, 2020. The European Union faced an unprecedented, transboundary health crisis, which affected society and businesses alike. The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of the European initiatives that have been launched to contain the Covid-19 outbreak and bolster the European integration project. For this purpose, the study will investigate three European-led initiatives (Pandemic Crisis Support, Advance Purchase Agreements and the Digital Covid Certificate) and determine which European integration theory (Neofunctionalism or Liberal-intergovernmentalism) is better equipped at explaining the development of three initiatives. This study will take a qualitative case study approach, applying a mixed-method design composed of an analysis of code frequency and an in-depth congruence analysis. The data for this study will be derived from 30 official (Regulation, Decisions, Communication, etc.) and non-official (speeches, statements, reviews, expert opinions) documents. Based on the findings neofunctionalism seems to be the best at explaining development of CM initiatives during the Covid-19 outbreak. Across all initiatives there seems to be a stronger congruence between the empirical situation and the neofunctionalist propositions. The main limitation of this study was that the selected documents were primarily EU-centric, and lacked details regarding individual MS’ interests, positions or actions. Future research should address this limitation, to complement and validify findings of this study.

Dr. Asya Zhelyazkova, Prof.Dr. Markus Haverland
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Ilya Esser. (2022, November 30). An Expanding Union during the Covid-19 Outbreak: A Result from Supranational Entrepreneurship or out of National Interest?. Public Administration. Retrieved from