Future of Europe: 5 scenarios

The five scenarios presented in the White Paper aims to steer a debate on the future of Europe. They offer a series of glimpses into the potential state of the Union by 2025 depending on the choices we will jointly make. The starting point for each scenario is that the 27 Member States move forward together as a Union. The five scenarios are illustrative in nature to provoke thinking. They are not detailed blueprints or policy prescriptions. Likewise, they deliberately make no mention of legal or institutional processes – the form will follow the function.

In this space you can vote on the five scenarios proposed by the Commission. The White Paper already acknowledges that none of the scenarios will be carried forward as described. Most likely, the way forward will be a “6th scenario” combining those elements that gather greater support from the scenarios proposed. For this reason, it is important to provide your thoughts, proposals and criticism of each scenario when you vote. If you disagree with all the proposed scenarios, do not hesitate to veto all of them!

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  • The EPP group in the European Parliament might not be my political choice. However this speech is worth to be taken notice of.  Esteban González Pons reminds us on the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. #EU60
    “Europe is not a market, it is the will to live together. Leaving Europe is not leaving a market, it is leaving shared dreams. We can have a common market, but if we do not have common dreams, we have nothing. Europe is the peace that came after the disaster of war. Europe is the pardon between French and Germans. Europe is the return to freedom of Greece, Spain and Portugal. Europe is the fall of the Berlin Wall. Europe is the end of communism. Europe is the welfare state, it is democracy,”

    Europe is not a market, it is the will to live together

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  • This is what it should be all about. Pushing the EU project forward to what it had been conceived at its foundation. But the scenario as such is yet again unacceptable, as it does not address the trust crisis that the EU and its institutions face with large parts of the peoples of Europe. The EU needs to re-establish trust, create democratic legitimation, build a transparent lean administration and get rid of bureaucracy for becoming a credible project again. In parallel, the EU needs to re-launch a debate on its very origins and nature: not to be an economical project, but a political union for peace in Europe. From there, scenarios may be discussed. Discussing scenarios prior to engaging in a fundamental reform process is a farce.

    Furthermore with regard to culture: the media are full of reports on where our world is heading to as a consequence of the digital revolution that will be very different from the consequences of the industrial revolution. Productive work as we have known it, being the essential activity of the active population for making a living, is vanishing. New jobs may be created, but there will never again be such as thing as full employment. All analyses and assumptions for the future talk of a new type of shared economy that will emerge that will also lead to a "culturalisation" of the overall economy that is already visibly becoming an economy of knowledge and data. Critical thinking and creativity will be among the top skills required for succeeding in this new environment. An institution such as the EU should be aware of this process and should have a strategy on how to respond to this dramatic change of the world of labour. The notion of "productive work", which so far entitles to income, will have to be replace by something like "work contributing to society" or "socially relevant work". What is already clear and confirmed by many scholars: creativity and culture will play a crucial role in this process of change.

    How credible can scenarios for the future of Europe be, that do not address this imminent if not already ongoing process and that do not acknowledge the role of culture and creativity for our future.

    Culture is to be acknowledged by the EU and the European governments as an equal strategy driver for societal development, at the same level and with the same priority as the economy, the environment and the social domain. 

  • Doing more together for me means being more open to the different ways we encourage everyone to contribute to creating the society we seek.  The key issues for me are transparency, which means more informed information through education and media.  The current economic model is corrupt and benefits only the few who really understand the motives behind it.  Creativity is not confined to those defined by the creative arts, it is in everyone's nature to be creative - what restricts them utilising this talent is the current culture that represses and discourages going beyond the "accepted" practices.  As a manager in the health care field I discovered I could turn the culture of an organisation around and truly offer a nurturing, joyful environment to work in, thereby solving all the usual problems. The result? I was hounded out by rival managers who wanted what I had co-developed with the workforce but couldn't understand how or why I did it.  Doing more together requires a change in the perception of those in power and how they use this power.  Too often they are corrupted by the very power they are given and then use it against people.  Real power arises when people do things because they want to, not because they are told to, and the simple secret is that doing things together creates such an opportunity.  Today many in power have responsibility without accepting accountability, arrogance without humility, they take and don't give.  Encourage everyone to join in the discussion and create a vision that generates the energy necessary for them to work towards it.

  • this is what it is all about - connecting, talking, collaborating, exchanging views, learning, evolving, ... still, a big focus should also be helping others and stop exploiting other countries.

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