In the run up to the Rome Summit on March 25, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently presented a white paper on the future of Europe to the European Parliament, outlining successes, challenges and opportunities for the European Union (EU).
Juncker’s address began with outlining the EU’s
achievements to this point, including seven decades of peace and an expansion
of the union to cover 500 million citizens. He also discussed five scenarios
for the its evolution moving forward with 27 member states, which are
detailed in the white paper.
In the first scenario, the union would move
forward in the same manner it has been working, outlined in the New Start for
Europe agenda from 2014 and the Bratislava Declaration from September 2016. The second scenario outlines a path where the EU would move forward with its
focus purely on the single market. The third scenario envisions a union where member states who want to cooperate on particular areas are free to do so,
creating "coalitions of the willing" in which some states cooperate on areas like
defense or social matters. In the fourth scenario, the EU would focus on key
policy areas and work to deliver more and faster there. Finally, in the fifth
scenario, the states would cooperate more strongly across the board to achieve
more through faster implementation and more shared power.
European Commission releases white paper on future of Europe