The European Union (EU) Commission has recently presented a new White Paper on the future of Europe, to both celebrate the 60th anniversary of the EU and to discuss the challenges that this successful organisation is now facing.
Certainly, the European Union led to several advantages: decades of peace, free movement of people and goods and a remarkable economic development of all its members. While these achievements are significant, Europeans should always look forward to envisaging further improvements. The White Paper examines the way in which the EU might change in the next decade, imagining 5 possible scenarios depending on its future choices.
The first one sees the EU committed to implementing several reforms towards a more high-tech Union. For instance, citizens will drive automatic cars and they will cross borders without strict controls.
The second scenario focuses on the Single Market as the only element left to the Union. The incapability of member states to find a common policy on several relevant sectors will lead to the Single Market as the only ground of cooperation. Furthermore, the lack of agreements will lead to the emergence of great obstacles for the free circulation of people and goods.
The third scenario foresees the emergence of “voluntary coalitions” made up of those states interested in broadening the collaborations with other governments in more sectors, such as security and mobility.This setting will allow countries interested in deepening their cooperation to do that.
The fourth scenario sees the concentration of common resources on the relevant sectors of cooperation (such as the fight against terror groups), leaving the great number of less significant areas out. At a time in which resources are limited, this arrangement will allow single nations to decide their priorities and focus on them, only.
Lastly, scenario number five sees a major cooperation in different fields, assuming that countries may be interested in empowering the EU to achieve more cooperation and integration.
The White Book definitely marks the beginning of a process of meditation on the future of the Union. The President of the EU Commission, Jean-Claude Jucker, introduced the White Paper emphasising his appreciation for the great achievement of the EU over the last decades, and wishing a future characterised by a significant will to cooperate among the member states.