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Brazilian Journal of International Law ; 18(3):89-109, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1715995


The global pandemic caused by the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 put the attention on the International Monetary Fund's ability to promote the cooperation between states in the fight against its dramatic economic and financial effects. The measures adopted by the IMF after the declaration of the health emergency of international concern related to the global outbreak of COVID-19 reveal the intensification of some of the traditional structural challenges of this Post-World War II intergovernmental organization. In this sense, the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened the critics against the lack of democratic legitimacy of the IMF and has reinforced the competition that the Fund faces from other international financial institutions. The characteristics of the lending programs adopted by the Fund in response to this global crisis manifest states' persisting concerns and hostility towards the IMF's conditionality. The economic and financial crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak has also created some new specific challenges for the efficient functioning of the Fund. It has highlighted that the IMF's work could not be separated from the respect of the human right to health and the protection of the environment, as existential prerequisites of sustainable economic development, monetary and financial stability, and social wellbeing. © 2021 Centro Universitario de Brasilia. All rights reserved.

Contributions to Economics ; : 175-192, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1669719


The present corona crisis has damaged the global economy more gravely than any crisis before. This contribution discusses its effects on the financial sector and on debtors globally. Fighting this crisis needs enormous sums of money, resulting in highly increased debts, often on top of already high debt burdens. Unfortunately, COVID-19 seems to be used to reinforce neoliberalism, as were debt crises in the past. Anti-Keynesian Maastricht criteria are temporarily suspended but not abolished. Back into force after the crisis, they will be used to destroy the welfare state. The IMF, for example, is becoming more powerful due to present emergency lending. Higher debts will allow more neoliberal pressure for austerity, causing more poverty and more inequality, as well as weakening democracy. Interest rates are bound to be kept low not to create problems for borrowing Northern governments and the EU – with grave impacts on market financed pension schemes and savers. Poor people in the South will suffer under increased debt pressure. While consequences are dire for people, especially the poor, and for democracy, there are also winners. International financial institutions are able to increase their importance, leverage and incomes. The EU is likely to be happy to have another “reason” to destroy democracy further, rolling back national legislations’ rights, especially regarding the budget. The financial consequences of COVID-19 thus go very much beyond financial markets only. © 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

International Organizations Law Review ; 18(3):423-447, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1642975


Pandemic financing has in the current climate of disruption and turmoil of an ongoing global pandemic become the most highly debated and controversial issue within the field of international public health law and policy. From the perspective of international public health law and policy, a precondition for success is that financial resources and funds are employed in an effective manner. Whether the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development ('World Bank' or 'WB') and the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility ('PEF') - a financing mechanism housed at the WB - may be perceived as effective public health players shall be established by referring to their mandates, their inherent capacity for enhancing accepted global legal standards and rules on public health and their funding methods and practices. After the affirmation and consolidation of its role in the public health sector in the early 1990s, the WB has rapidly accredited itself as the most active intergovernmental institution dealing with pandemic and epidemic financing. Its direct involvement in public health trust funds, such as the Avian Flu Trust Fund Facility and the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Multi-Donor Fund (the HEPRF), and its lending practices and internal policies and procedures were of crucial significance in this respect. Considering that acceptance of international institutions, including international financial institutions, has always been conditioned by their acknowledgment as legally legitimate, legitimacy is regarded as closely connected to effectiveness. The criteria for establishing legitimacy in relation to international financial institutions are increasingly, amongst others, the respect and promotion of rule of law standards in the recipient states. From this perspective, the WB's functional and management structures, but not the PEF's structures and management, have made noteworthy progress, and notwithstanding some deficiencies and peculiarities they present several elements of legitimate decision-making. © KONINKLIJKE BRILL NV, LEIDEN, 2021