Earlier it seemed that there was no choice, but now it has become clear that the degree of return to a global environment can be regulated to reflect the desire of people, governments, and corporations.
The discussion was continued by Ivan Krastev,
Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia. He emphasised that the world, of course, has changed, but it began to change even before the pandemic. The interconnectedness of the world and its dependence on technology had been discussed earlier, but it has ceased to be a theoretical discussion and is now a practical one. The most important change has been in our attitude towards freedom of movement, which is an integral feature of globalisation. The question is - how to restore it. Here the problem is not only one of government measures, but also the restrictions that we impose on ourselves. COVID-19 has closed more borders than the 2015 refugee crisis. In addition, our perception of territory has changed. When people are told, “Stay at home”, the question arises - where is home? You can own houses in different countries, but we only call one place home. The pandemic has forced people to make this choice. Another important aspect is that the nationalism caused by the migration crisis is strikingly different from nationalism which has emerged under the slogan “Stay at home”, as the first was about the issue of origin and the second is about residence.
The governments of European countries found themselves treating refugees living on their territory like they did their citizens, since the spread of the infection could not be allowed. At the same time, states were reluctant to take responsibility for citizens who found themselves abroad during the pandemic. The most interesting paradox of the coronavirus crisis is that people started to feel like they were living in a bigger world. Those who hadn’t previously been interested in global problems began to follow the statistics of morbidity and mortality in other countries, and what measures were being taken by the governments of other countries.
The states, almost without coordinating their actions, began to copy each other. During the pandemic, the whole world was synchronised at once, and following the same news. There was a feeling of unity and complete uncertainty. As a result, countries began to copy the health precautions of one another, since in the event that policies proved to be unsuccessful, governments could mitigate the stigma and responsibility of their mistakes. In addition, it turned out that everyone longed to return to a world that was regularly condemned as terrible and wrong before the pandemic. The dreams of "green" activists and nationalists, which had previously seemed unrealisable, suddenly came true: planes stopped polluting the air, communications stopped, and borders were closed.