NEW ERSA Webinars

ERSA Covid Battles Series

First round:  Sébastien Bourdin vs Wolfgang Petzold

12 March 2021, 2pm (CET), Zoom 


The First battle will feature ” Covid-19: Towards a regional European Policy?”


Sébastien Bourdin, Associate Professor at the Normandy Business School

COVID-19: a regional geography of the pandemic 

Sébastien’s contribution will address these questions:

  • What can be said about the geography of the outbreak?
  • About the persistency in the spatial concentration of severe cases?
  • About the spatial spread of the epidemics after the appearance of the first uncontrolled clusters (severe cases and deaths)?
  • To what extent lockdown have been effective?


Wolfgang Petzold, Deputy Director at European Committee of the Regions

COVID-19 and EU regions: challenges, policy responses and prospects

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt in the European Union for years and there is the risk that it will increase economic and social disparities between its regions. This is a likely prospect because of the different regional dimensions of the pandemic and the possible policy responses at different levels of government. As a means to counterbalance the crisis, the EU adopted its new budget for the period 2021-2027 together with a new, loan-based instrument called “Next Generation EU”. Both make a package of EUR 1,824 billion with the largest part dedicated to economic, social and territorial cohesion.

Wolfgang’s contribution will address these questions:

  • How is the COIVID-19 pandemic addressed at regional and local level?
  • How do citizens feel about public interventions by the EU, member states and their local constituencies?
  • What does the new EU budget mean for EU regions and cities?
Short bios

Sébastien Bourdin is Professor in economic geography and associate Dean of the Faculty at the EM Normandy Business School. He is working on the evaluation of public policies, cohesion policy, regional development and circular economy. He has been project leader of the ESPON study on the geography of COVID-19 and first policy answers at the local level.

Wolfgang Petzold is deputy director for communication at the European Committee of the Regions, for which he works since 2008. Before, he has been a European Commission official for ten years, among others as deputy head of unit for communication at DG REGIO, and for another ten years in regional ministries in Germany. Wolfgang holds a degree in sociology, is part-time lecturer for European Studies at the University for Applied Sciences in Bremen, and occasionally publishes articles and books on EU affairs, in particular on cohesion policy.

Registration is now OPEN!

Registration is free but mandatory.

Please click on the following link to register: