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“Hand Mask” by Anna Vasof (born 1985), Ceramic and elastic bands, Vienna, Austria, March 2020
© House of European History, Brussels, Belgium


The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed humanity’s vulnerability and has put European solidarity to the test.

At the beginning of the pandemic, European countries responded individually by closing borders, limiting freedom of travel, and curtailing civil liberties. Critics fear that fundamental freedoms might be restricted in the long term.

But amid all that adversity, a wave of solidarity emerged among ordinary people. Meanwhile, the Member States and the EU institutions came together and agreed on an unprecedented recovery programme designed to support the societies and economies worst affected by the pandemic.