The scientific reviews Contexto Internacional: Journal of Global Connections published by the Institute of International Relations (IRI) at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), Brazil and Region/ Periphery published by the Research Centre for Economic Policy, Governance and Development (EKOPDA) at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), Greece issue a joint call for the submission of original research articles on the theme of: “Regional Health and Economic Responses to the COVID Crisis in the EU and Latin America.”

The call is an initiative of the EU Jean Monnet Network Project “Crisis Management-Equity-Democracy for Europe and Latin America,” in which IRI/PUC-Rio and EKOPDA/NKUA are partners. The purpose of the call is to attract submissions that investigate the handling of the COVID crisis at a regional level focusing on the EU and Latin America. Articles focusing on the EU should be submitted to Region/ Periphery, and articles focused on Latin America should be submitted to Contexto Internacional: Journal of Global Connections. Articles on the cooperation of these two regions on a bilateral basis or in the context of broader global initiatives and governance mechanisms can be sent to either journal. For more information on the topics that can be covered, see the description of the special issue theme below.

 Both journals implement a gold open access policy, whereby articles are fully accessible for free. There are no fees to paid by authors submitting articles, irrespective of the outcome of their submissions. All articles must be written in the English language to facilitate exchanges between readers from both regions. Authors should submit first their abstracts (up to 300 words). The co-editors of the Special Issue (Andrea Ribeiro Hoffman and Dimitris Katsikas) will select paper proposals based on their abstracts, and the full articles will be submitted to the journals´ respective guidelines and through their online submission platforms. The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 15 August 2021, and for full papers, 31 October 2021. 

The abstracts must be sent though the online system of both journals


Health and economic regional responses to the COVID-19 crisis: EU and Latin America

The COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a major health and economic challenge for the entire world. Major crises typically leave their imprint on global and/or regional cooperation. Often, the institutions of cooperation are strengthened in the wake of major crises to address the causes that led to them. Already during the pandemic, cooperative initiatives were launched on both the health and economic fronts. Thus, for example, COVAX, the World Health Organization (WHO) -sponsored cooperative initiative, is designed to ensure access to vaccines for the world’s poorest countries. On the economic front, central banks in several countries facilitated access to dollars in the international currency market, mitigating exchange rate pressures.

 On the other hand, crises do not always beget more cooperation. During the pandemic, we have repeatedly witnessed individual states resorting to ‘egoistic’ policy responses, from attempts to secure medical equipment at the expense of the other countries to the recent conflicts over the production and distribution of vaccines. The issue of vaccines, in particular, is crucial from both a medical and economic perspective. As long as large parts of the population in the world remain without access to vaccines, the efforts to eradicate the virus will be undermined. Similarly, the recovery of the global economy will be slower and unbalanced if restrictive measures continue to disrupt economic activity due to lack of access to vaccines. The production and distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines to every person across the globe, irrespective of their economic capacity, in a timely manner is necessary to win the fight against the pandemic. The protection of global public health against Covid-19 is a global public good whose provision depends on the active cooperation of states, international and regional organizations, and pharmaceutical companies around the world. In this Special Issue, we focus on the role of regional organizations and institutions in Europe and Latin America.

 In Europe, the reaction to the pandemic has raised hopes that the mistakes of the previous crises would not be repeated. Following a few months of disputes and delays on the appropriate regional response, the EU member states were able to agree in July 2021 on the Next Generation EU (NGEU), a plan to support member states in the battle against the pandemic, but mostly to help their economies recover after the crisis while taking into account EU’s principal policy objectives, the green and digital transformations. The NGEU, in combination with the prompt, strong, and continuous reaction by the European Central Bank (ECB), an array of other EU coordinated measures designed to deliver considerable financial support, and the new EU budget, send to a strong signal of regional cooperation and solidarity. Having said that, obstacles and failures continue to inhibit cooperation and delay implementing the policies agreed, at great humanitarian and economic cost. From the drawn-out NGEU negotiations to overcome the objections of certain member states over rule of law conditionalities to failures of coordination over vaccines’ procurement, which have raised the prospect of “vaccine nationalism,” regional cooperation is constantly under threat and needs to be supported.

 In Latin America, the proliferation of regional institutions during the last decade has fragmented the region, and several organizations are now paralyzed or lost member-states. Still, there are several mechanisms and have or could have been mobilized to respond to the health and economic crises. Regional bodies that have mandates and instruments to respond to health and economic crisis include the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Mercosur, the Andean Community, Pacific Alliance, the Central American Common Market, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), that also serves ad also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).

 Given the above, a non-exhaustive list of indicative themes that would be of interest for this joint call is:

  • The role of regions and regional organizations in Europe and Latin America in multilateral responses to the health and economic crises linked to COVID-19;
  • Participation of civil society and pharmaceutical industry in regional responses to the health crisis;
  • Participation of business and financial institutions in regional responses to the economic crisis;
  • EU’s reaction to the pandemic in terms of medical, economic, or regulatory coordination;
  • The progress of NGEU and its alignment with the existing EU governance framework;
  • Member-states’ National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs) under the NGEU’S flagship Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) initiative;
  • EU-Latin American interregional cooperation on health and economic responses to the pandemic;
  • Regional responses in Latin America by regional organization and regional institutions to the health and economic crises.