Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)

The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has the potential for extraordinary consequences. In this special dossier we assess its impact at distinct levels and areas, and the global challenges of managing this crisis.

En español


The COVID-19 pandemic has the potential for extraordinary consequences at all levels and it highlights the relevance of global governance and European integration to our daily lives. Spain is among the countries with the highest initial incidence of the virus, underlining the need for a rigorous, multidisciplinary approach aligned with the responses of other countries, the European Union and international organisations like the WHO and the G20. This Elcano Royal Institute special dossier aims to contribute to this objective.

Spain and the COVID crisis: strategic thoughts in a European and international context

Spain has not only been hard hit by the pandemic but is facing reconstruction with specific weaknesses and significant strengths. This report offers some strategic thoughts from the Elcano Royal Institute’s research team, combing an analytical (what is Spain up against in the COVID crisis?) with a prescriptive focus (how can it do so in the best conditions possible?).

This paper looks at threats and opportunities from the three aspects in which domestic public policies and international action feed back into each other: health and the management of the state of alarm; the economy; and social welfare and sustainability.

From an international point of view, COVID-19 is also a highly disruptive force with a significant impact on geopolitics (particularly as regards the rivalry between the US and China), on globalisation’s fragile governance, on European integration and on the various regional scenarios where Spain projects its foreign policy.

It is not only necessary to reconsider Spain’s European policy, but also its foreign policy. The changes brought about by the pandemic in international relations means that Spanish diplomacy must be more proactive and have less faith in the certainties so far provided by its insertion in the Euro-Atlantic world.

The paper also includes thoughts on the desirability of improving governance both domestically and in the sense of achieving more effective connexions abroad, in order for Spain to be better placed in the field of European and global governance.

 Read the full paper (in Spanish)

Reports and recommendations

Informe Elcano 28. ¿Recuperación o metamorfosis? Un plan de transformación económica para España

Federico Steinberg, Miguel Otero Iglesias & Enrique Feás · 9 July

El informe esboza una estrategia para que España salga de la crisis económica generada por la pandemia del COVID-19.

Implicaciones del COVID-19 para la Defensa

Félix Arteaga (coord.) · 4 June

Reflexión colectiva que obedece a la preocupación por los efectos del COVID-19 sobre la Defensa y las recomendaciones para hacerles frente.

Covid-19 and Europe-China Relations

European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC) · 29 April

The current crisis has become a catalyst for a number of trends that have been shaping Europe-China relations in recent years.

España en el mundo en 2020: perspectivas y desafíos para el año del coronavirus

Ignacio Molina (coord.) · 30 March

Octava edición del trabajo colectivo que analiza la posición de España en un año dominado por la pandemia del COVID-19.

Latest analysis

China & Asia-Pacific
China & Asia-Pacific
Energía y Clima

Por una narrativa energética euro-mediterránea alineada con el Pacto Verde

Gonzalo Escribano, Lara Lázaro Touza y Juan Manuel González García · 23 July


Agricultura, migrantes y COVID-19

Carmen González Enríquez · 22 July


Has Spain’s management of COVID-19 been a failure? Errors, lessons and recommendations

Ignacio Molina, Miguel Otero-Iglesias & José Pablo Martínez · 17 July


Latin America
China & Asia-Pacific

Infodemic and mediademic

Andrés Ortega · 31 de marzo

International Economics
Energy & Climate

A look at the geopolitics of the European Green Deal

Gonzalo Escribano, Lara Lázaro Touza & Esther Lence Tallón · 7 May


Spain in times of the coronavirus

William Chislett · 27 March

Inside Spain (special edition)

William Chislett · 25 March


Multilateralism has lost its way

Andrés Ortega · 7 July

Which multilateralism for Cyber Norms?

Raquel Jorge-Ricart · 29 May

Digital truce at times of post-crisis

Raquel Jorge-Ricart · 27 April

The deglobalisation virus

Andrés Ortega · 17 March

Mediterranean & Middle East
Security & Defence


Presentación Informe Elcano: ¿Recuperación o metamorfosis? Un plan de transformación económica para España (9/7/2020).

Mesa redonda virtual: La igualdad de género tras el COVID-19: el papel de las Naciones Unidas (2/7/2020).

Presentación del documento: España y la crisis del coronavirus (23/6/2020).

Debates Elcano: Cómo puede España aprovechar el fondo de recuperación europeo (18/6/2020).

Presentación Elcano Policy Paper: Implicaciones del COVID-19 para la Defensa (4/6/2020).

Virtual Roundtable: The EU response to COVID-19 crisis and its impact on the future of the Union (14/5/2020).

Virtual Roundtable: Coronavirus and the Maghreb: Challenges to stability and reform (7/5/2020).

Debates Elcano: El impacto del COVID-19 en América Latina: un balance sanitario, político y económico provisional (30/4/2020).

Mesa redonda virtual: El impacto del coronavirus en los países árabes (22/4/2020).

Virtual Roundtable: Covid-19 and the Chinese and Russian disinformation campaigns (21/4/2020).

Seminario digital: COVID-19 e Influencia de España en Europa (20/4/2020).

Mesa redonda virtual: La crisis del COVID-19 y su impacto: respuestas y escenarios futuros (1/4/2020).

Press dossier on the #Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Documents & resources

OMS / WHO: Rolling updates on coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

IAEM: Global COVID-19 Resources & News.

ONU / UN: Global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19.

Comisión Europea / European Commission: Respuesta al coronavirus / Coronavirus Response.

OCDE / OECD: Tackling coronavirus (COVID‑19). Contributing to a global effort.

GHS: Global Health Security Index.

International Crisis Group: COVID-19 and Conflict: Seven Trends to Watch.

European Parliamentary Research Service: Coronavirus (COVID-19) [What Think Tanks Are Thinking].

Global Trade Alert: The Trade Policy Dimension. Tackling Coronavirus.

Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU): Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases.

The COVID Tracking Project: The COVID Tracking Project web.

Worldometer: COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak.