“In recent years, a series of strategic challenges have shaken the foundations of the EU’s integration project, leading to the emergence of existential threats in the institutional, political and social domains”: these are the words used by the prestigious Italian think tank Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) to justify the urgency of facing the current European crisis with a propositive attitude.
The project “EU60: Re-founding Europe. The Responsibility to Propose“, launched with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), in cooperation with the Centro Studi sul Federalismo (CSF) and in the framework of IAI’s strategic partnership with the Compagnia San Paolo, aims at investigating the scope and modalities of a possible initiative by the Six Founding Members of the European Community.
“Such an initiative will aim to address key dilemmas facing EU governance and the trade-offs between its different components, as well as an effort to identify desirable policy directions in key areas of the Union. Various aspects of the EU’s future governance will be tackled through an analysis of the opportunities and challenges offered by a differentiated approach to the integration of Member States that is able to meet EU political priorities ranging from increased economic and political consolidation, the building of a genuine social Europe and the strengthening of the EU’s international projection.”
The project has been launched in 2017 fro two reasons. First, 2017 is a crucial year fro Europe, as “multiple crises are threatening the EU‘s integration process and a number of structural challenges require urgent action if further troubles are to be avoided”. Further, “key electoral appointments in many Member States and the start of Brexit negotiations with the United Kingdom are destined to have a significant impact on the EU’s internal cohesion and foreign projection.” Second, 2017 is marking the 60thanniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome, one of the most important constitutive moments in EU history. “A symbolic event, but also an opportunity for a reflection on the future of the Union through a re-visitation of its historical evolution and foundational documents.”
A study group made up of researchers and representatives from the Foreign Ministries of the Six Founding Countries is expected to write policy papers analysing specific political or institutional dimensions of the EU as well as specific policy recommendations. Hopefully, some of their reflections will prove useful to make Europe stronger.