The COVID-19 crisis has shown that European countries remain poorly prepared for dealing and coping with health crises and for responding in a coordinated way to a severe influenza pandemic. Within the European Union, the response to the COVID-19 pandemic has a striking diversity in its approach. By focusing on Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy-countries that represent different models of administrative systems in Europe-the analysis shows that major similarities and convergences have become apparent from a cross-country perspective. Moreover, coping with the crisis has been first and foremost an issue of the national states, whereas the European voice has been weak. Hence, the countries' immediate responses appear to be corona-nationalistic, which we label "coronationalism." This essay shows the extent to which the four countries adopted different crisis management strategies and which factors explain this variance, with a special focus on their institutional settings and administrative systems.