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COVID-19 as a prestige-promoting mechanism: PESCO framework as an opportunity for EU member states


[ 1 ] Political Science, Riga Stradiņš University, Dzirciema 16, LV-1007, Riga, Latvia

Year of publication


Published in

Security and Defence Quarterly

Journal year: 2020 | Journal volume: vol. 32 | Journal number: no. 5

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • Prestige
  • Defence
  • Realism
  • COVID-19

EN The goal of this study is to identify whether PESCO can be one of the tools for future projects in medicine and whether it can be used to strengthen the military medicine of the EU and, simultaneously, be in synergy with the civilian sector by providing support to the civilian field, and, finally, can EU member states increase their prestige through PESCO. The study, which is based on qualitative research methods, shows that based on Latvia’s case, strengthening the medical field by participating in PESCO can lead to countries promoting their prestige on the international stage, as well as strengthening civil-military cooperation to build much stronger policies within the EU member states. Firstly, the findings showed that from all 47 PESCO projects, only two are related to the field of medicine. Secondly, with the whole world being affected by COVID-19, PESCO can be used for new projects related to the field of medicine. Thirdly, different types of projects can be initiated under PESCO, for example, a new kind of transport for evacuation, new types of medical devices, the creation of new regional laboratories and research centres, development of new analytical and biotechnological equipment, improvement of logistic chains, the establishment of unique and specific training institutions for civilian and military medics, and the development and use of robotic technologies or drones. Finally, countries that engage in epidemiological security measures during COVID 19 are clearly enhancing their prestige by not only demonstrating their readiness to react to the current situation, but also by taking practical action.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

55 - 68



License type

CC BY-NC-ND (attribution - noncommercial - no derivatives)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Release date


Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

Ministry points / journal


Ministry points / journal in years 2017-2021