Back
Register for SMS Alerts
or enter your details manually below...
First Name:
Last Name:
Email:
Password:
Hometown:
Birthday:
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.
Existing users
Email
Password
Sorry, we couldn't find those details.
Enter Email
Sorry, we couldn't find that email.

Brussels lays out five possible scenarios for the future of the EU

White Paper looks at how Europe will change in the next decade, from the impact of new technologies on society and jobs, to doubts about globalisation, security concerns and the rise of populism

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks
1 March 2017, 4:20pm
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker calls for an honest and wide-ranging debate on the future of Europe
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker calls for an honest and wide-ranging debate on the future of Europe
In a White Paper on the Future of Europe, presented on Wednesday as part of its contribution to the Rome Summit of 25 March 2017, the European Commission has presented five scenarios for how the Union could evolve by 2025 depending on how it chooses to respond.

Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that as the EU marks the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, it is time for a united Europe of 27 to shape a vision for its future.

“It’s time for leadership, unity and common resolve,” he said. “The Commission’s White Paper presents a series of different paths this united EU at 27 could choose to follow… It is the start of the process, not the end, and I hope that now an honest and wide-ranging debate will take place.”

The White Paper looks at how Europe will change in the next decade, from the impact of new technologies on society and jobs, to doubts about globalisation, security concerns and the rise of populism.

The White Paper sets out five scenarios, each offering a glimpse into the potential state of the Union by 2025 depending on the choices Europe will make.

Scenario 1

The first scenario considers EU member states pursuing current policies and objectives, and envisages Europeans driving automated and connected cars, albeit with some problems when crossing borders as some legal and technical obstacles persist. Europeans would mostly travel across borders without having to stop for checks, although reinforced security controls will mean having to arrive at airports and train stations well in advance of departure.

Scenario 2

The EU27 is gradually re-centred on the single market as the 27 member states are not able to find common ground on an increasing number of policy areas. Crossing borders for business or tourism becomes difficult due to regular checks and finding a job abroad is harder and the transfer of pension rights to another country not guaranteed.

Scenario 3

The EU27 proceeds as today but allows willing Member States to do more together in specific areas such as defence, internal security or social matters. This might result in 15 member states setting up a police and magistrates corps to tackle cross-border criminal activities. Security information will be immediately exchanged as national databases become fully interconnected.

Scenario 4

The EU27 focuses on delivering more and faster in selected policy areas, while doing less where it is perceived not to have an added value. By 2025 this could mean having a European Telecoms Authority with the power to free up frequencies for cross-border communication services, such as the ones used by connected cars. It will also protect the rights of mobile and Internet users wherever they are in the EU. A new European Counter-terrorism Agency would help deter and prevent serious attacks through a systematic tracking and flagging of suspects.

Scenario 5

Member states decide to share more power, resources and decision-making across the board. This could mean that Europeans who might want to complain about a proposed EU-funded wind-turbine project in their local area would not be able to reach the responsible authority as they will be told to contact the competent European authorities. Connected cars drive seamlessly across Europe as clear EU-wide rules exist. Drivers can rely on a EU agency to enforce the rules. 

Commission to host series of debates across Europe

The White Paper marks the beginning of a process for the EU27 to decide on the future of their Union. To encourage this debate, the European Commission, together with the European Parliament and interested Member States, will host a series of ‘Future of Europe Debates’ across Europe’s cities and regions.

President Juncker’s State of the Union speech in September 2017 will take these ideas forward before first conclusions could be drawn at the December 2017 European Council. This will help to decide on a course of action to be rolled out in time for the European Parliament elections in June 2019.

paul_cocks
Paul Cocks joined MaltaToday after having spent years working in newspapers with The Times...