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When the European Union’s 27 leaders last managed to gather in person, they didn’t even talk about the coronavirus.

It was Feb. 21, the day Italy recorded its first fatality from the disease. They haggled unsuccessfully for 28 hours over the EU’s notoriously complicated budget. In a matter of weeks, everything changed. The pandemic tore into any last notion of unity and confronted the bloc with its next existential crisis.

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