White Paper on the future of the EU: 5 scenarios for Europe’s future

Today, the European Commission published its long-awaited White Paper on the future of the EU. Responding to the White Paper, CESI Secretary General underlined the importance of a strong social dimension for the EU.

The White Paper was presented as the European Commission’s contribution to the Rome Summit on March 25, when EU leaders will discuss about the future direction of the EU on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. It presents five scenarios on how the EU could evolve by 2015, “depending on how it chooses to respond”:

• Scenario 1: Carrying On. The EU27 focuses on delivering its positive reform agenda in the spirit of the Commission’s New Start for Europe from 2014 and of the Bratislava Declaration agreed by all 27 Member States in 2016

• Scenario 2: Nothing but the Single Market. 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.
• Scenario 3: Those Who Want More Do More. 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.
• Scenario 4: Doing Less More Efficiently. 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. Attention and limited resources are focused on selected policy areas.
• Scenario 5: Doing Much More Together. Member States decide to share more power, resources and decision-making across the board. Decisions are agreed faster at European level and rapidly enforced.

The European Commission has announced an accompanying special reflection paper on the development of the EU’s social dimension for the next months. CESI Secretary General Klaus Heeger said: “The White Paper and the forthcoming reflection paper on the EU’s social dimension certainly come at a crucial moment, as we await an ambitious European Pillar of Social Rights.”

He added: “Leaders in the EU institutions and the Member States must now reflect on what future they see for the EU, and then act with a clear vision. For Europe’s workers, it is critical that the EU will not be stripped of achievements in employment and social affairs. As stated in one of the main motions adopted at CESI’s last Congress, the growing interconnections of national economic, financial and social policies require a strong signal towards greater integration. Thanks to the EU, workers across Europe enjoy rights and working conditions they would not if it wasn’t for the EU.”

The full text of the White Paper can be accessed on the European Commission’s webpage.

Picutre: Logo ‘Future of Europe’ © European Commission 2017