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National isolation or regional cooperation? The media debate on border closures during the Covid-19 crisis in Luxembourg

  • Högenauer, Anna-Lena
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2021
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Having been initially confined largely to China, East Asia and Italy, the Covid-19 crisis swept quickly over Europe in March 2020. Luxembourg was among the many small continental European states with high rates of infection. In the absence of a common European Union response, national responses to the crisis varied strongly. Decisions on the closing of borders and the limiting of cross-border movements have become a symbol of a newly found unilateralism. Luxembourg took the rare decision not to close its borders and disapproved of the restriction of cross-border movements by neighbouring states. The paper argues that this is the result of its size and economic policy which, in the context of EU integration, has led to strong interdependencies and social networks within the cross-border region. This argument is based on an analysis of the pre-Covid-19 situation in Luxembourg as a cross-border metropolitan region and how local newspaper articles can open a window to understand how the disruption caused by the pandemic reconfigured Luxembourg’s borders with its neighbouring European states of Belgium, France and Germany.

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