The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Establishment of the Recovery and Resilience Facility

A “Critical Junctures” Analysis of the European Union’s Financial Assistance Regime




Critical Junctures, Financial Assistance Regime, Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), COVID-19, Pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented exogenous shock for the European Union (EU) and its Member States, one that demanded a joint response at the EU level rather than several differentiated responses at the Member State level. As such, the pandemic crisis opened up a “window of opportunity” for institutional change in the EU’s financial assistance regime. This change pertains to the development of a set of rules governing the disbursement and withdrawal of funding to Member States in the context of crisis management. The paper thus aims to answer the following question: How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect the EU’s financial assistance regime? Drawing on a revisited historical institutionalist framework that allows for the examination of different types of institutional development, the paper argues that the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a “critical juncture” for the EU's financial assistance regime, resulting in a shift from intergovernmental coordination (with the European Stability Mechanism) to a form of limited supranational delegation (with the Recovery and Resilience Facility).

Author Biography

Andrea Capati, Luiss Guido Carli University

Andrea Capati is Postdoctoral Researcher and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Political Science at Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome. His research interests lie in the institutions and policies of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).


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How to Cite

Capati, A. (2023). The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Establishment of the Recovery and Resilience Facility: A “Critical Junctures” Analysis of the European Union’s Financial Assistance Regime. Politikon: The IAPSS Journal of Political Science, 55, 19–43.



Research articles