EU@60: Countering a Regressive & Illiberal Europe

Janis A. Emmanouilidis


Brussels 10/2016


Countering a regressive & illiberal Europe

The paper was published on 13 October 2016 on the occasion of the EPC's 20th Anniversary Conference (

The paper poses four basic/simple questions: Where do we stand? What can we expect in the years to come? What is the biggest threat? And how could we respond? In a telegraphic style, here the answers: the poly-crisis remains unresolved and the EU suffers form the collateral damage caused by it; in the foreseeable future, we can expect more of the same: muddling through (which is not standstill!), although we don't know how ambitious it will be; the biggest threat, the paper argues, is the danger of a more 'regressive & illiberal Europe' in which key values, orientations, norms and principles are being undermined; a danger which is fueled by the polarisation of societies and multiple securities creating dividing lines between the (potential and perceived) 'winners and losers of change'; and with respect to the 'what could be done?', we express a number of guiding thoughts directed at both the European and national level (where most things will have to be done), although we don't pretend to have the (right) answer. 

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