The EU enlargement in the time of COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting more than half a billion people globally, which was the record of the Spanish flu in 1918-1919. Confronted with an unprecedented health crisis, the European Union is now faced with the dilemma on how to tackle its economic impact in a joint fashion. In the meantime, after almost two years of postponement, it has given green light to the start of the accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, in a geopolitical move to regain influence in the Balkans, while China is trying to reshape the narrative in order to appear as a benefactor towards the countries hit by the pandemic.