The spread of coronavirus not only presents the EU with one of the most profound challenges it has faced in its history, but also one of the greatest opportunities to show to its citizens the power of solidarity. Which prevails will largely be determined by how EU leaders respond to the crisis.

If, in the months ahead, societies within vulnerable member states conclude that the EU response to the pandemic was inadequate and contributed to the loss of life and personal suffering, then solidarity across the union will be severely tested. It comes at a fragile time, with both Brexit and the legacy of the EU’s faltering response to the banking crisis still front of mind in many member states.