Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : This paper investigates the construction of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis by EU elites. It addresses the puzzling relationship between the spread of the new virus with a large-scale reconfiguration of economic governance in the EU which was unimaginable a few months earlier. Drawing from a constructivist approach to political economy, we argue that the discursive construal and framing of this crisis was instrumental to embed the emergency of the pandemic with broader levels of conjunctural, historical, and even civilizational temporal references. Providing a frame analysis of public statements by the heads of the European Commission, the European Council, and European Central Bank during 2020, we show how the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 was framed as a catalyst for tackling the EU’s historical crisis of purpose, the socio-economic imbalances left over from the euro crisis, as well as the predicament of the climate crisis.