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An EU "fit for purpose" in the global age

  • Date(s)
    16 December 2008
  • Location

Investigating the future of the European Union's geopolitical strategy, Policy Network and Sciences Po, Paris, in association with the London School of Economics and ELIAMEP has held an expert roundtable discussion on the future of the European Union, in Paris on 16 December.

The seminar brought together senior policymakers, academics and government advisers from across Europe, in what was the third highly focused step of a work programme started in London in May and continued in Greece in mid-October seeking to address the question of “what kind of Europe” is “fit for purpose” in a global age.

As the prospects for further waves of enlargement become ever more restricted, what political problems and policy choices does the EU now face? One solution espoused by the current French presidency is to renew and widen the EU’s “neighbourhood” policy. But on what forms of conditionality should inclusion as a “neighbour” rest? And can this be credible without a coherent approach to Russia and the Middle East?

How, in addition to its neighbourhood policy, should the EU provide security beyond its borders? What new institutional and policy instruments could furnish this provision? Is Europe’s role now one of a “normative” powerbroker? If so, what norms should the EU seek to promote and how can this best be done?

In Paris, working sessions were held on EU enlargement and neighbourhood policy; and security policy and “normative” power.

The discussions were informed by a number of expert research papers on the key areas of policy debate; these are also contributions to an edited compilation of essays and reports on “Options for the EU’s future”, to be published in 2009.

A substantial seminar report summarising the key arguments and analyses arising from the previous EU "fit for purpose" workshop in Hydra, Greece, is now available.

If you have any questions about this event, or the research programme, please contact Policy Network researcher Simon Latham at slatham@policy-network.net.

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