Has the COVID-19 pandemic ended the era of accelerated globalization?
Before the start of the discussion, the audience's voices were distributed as follows:

Has the COVID-19 pandemic ended the era of accelerated globalization?
Yes: 55%
No: 36%
Undecided: 9%

The team defending the "yes" position was represented by Anastasia Likhacheva, Director of the Center for Comprehensive and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, and Sergey Utkin, Leading Research Fellow at the Center for Situational Analysis, IMEMO. Traditionally, in the first part of a debate, the colleagues pay attention to definitions. The Russian experts believe that COVID-19 had a significant impact on globalization, although it was not the original cause of the decline in globalization, which began almost 10 years ago and was especially intense in the last 5-6 years. Using the example of the collapse of messengers that happened the day before, Anastasia Likhacheva noted the anti-globalization trend in the field of big data and digital sovereignty. Sergei Utkin, in his speech, touched upon the problem of the very concept of "the era of accelerated globalization" and expressed the opinion that the COVID-19 epidemic will significantly affect the policy and attitude of people towards international institutions after the pandemic.
The opponents of Russian experts on the issue were Carsten Kowalczyk, Associate Professor of International Economics at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and Sieglinde Gstöhl, Director of Studies of the EU International Relations and Diplomacy Studies Department, College of Europe. Professor Kowalczyk expressed doubts that the pandemic will have a long-term and fundamental effect on globalization in terms of trade in goods, services and technology. On the contrary, limiting close communication within the local environment can enhance interaction with "distant" international partners through technological innovation. Sieglinde Gstöhl supported the idea that the impact of COVID-19 will not be fundamentally destructive in the long term. Even if the era of accelerated globalization is over, does this mean that a new era of globalization and the growth of e-commerce is beginning?

In the Q&A section, experts discussed the role of innovation in global trade chains, the prospects for multilateralism, and changing attitudes towards globalization as a common good in the context of a pandemic. Both teams were equally convincing: at the end of the discussion, the votes were distributed as follows

Yes: 50%
No: 50%