The need for a New Pact

Janis A. Emmanouilidis

Challenge Europe, issue 22

Brussels 09/2014

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In this piece Janis A. Emmanouilidis argues that the Union and its members are still facing the aftershocks and collateral damage of the 'euro crisis' and identifies one structural challenge the EU and its members will have to confront in the new political cycle: the danger of fragmentation – between the EU and its citizens, between Member States, between states and national societies, which takes various forms (economic, social, political, geopolitical etc.). These fragmentations have exposed severe cracks in the 'old bargain' between Member States and between the EU and its citizens, which makes it difficult to convey a convincing future-oriented 'narrative' about the future of Europe.

The author argues that simply consolidating past achievements will not suffice. If EU institutions and Member States want to turn the tide, they will have to go beyond a lowest common denominator approach. Emmanouilidis stresses that a new 'win-win' situation needs to be created or, in other words, there is need for a 'New Pact for Europe' between Member States and between the EU and its citizens. Such a New Pact could be based on three main pillars: an 'Enabling Union' which should foster sustainable growth and job creation by stimulating investment and enhancing Europe's competitiveness; a 'Supportive Union' which should enhance the EU's 'caring dimension'; and a 'Participatory Union' which should strengthen the ties between the EU and its citizens. Furthermore, he proposes a new 'grand project' around an Energy Union, to provide new momentum for European integration and calls for a reflection process regarding the concrete measures to be taken, with the aim of reforming the EU Treaties in the next decade.

Reference: Janis A. Emmanouilidis, "Tne need for a New Pact", in European Policy Centre (ed.), Challenges and new beginnings: Priorities for the EU’s new leadership, Challenge Europe, issue 22, September 2014

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