The European Union in the Fog

The final publication of the Building Bridges Project has now been published, to which our Director Vladimír Bartovic as one of the 28 contributors represented the view of the Czech Republic.

The final publication of the ‘Building Bridges between National Perspectives on the European Union’ project gathers articles from all across the Member States, with each chapter following the same structure of answering five questions:

What does your country hope to gain from its membership to the European Union?
Do you think that the European Union appears to be a clear project in your country? If not, what are the main reasons?” 
Which degree of integration seems adequate to the position and ambitions of your country both politically and economically?
According to you, how could we strengthen the idea of belonging to a common European public sphere among your national citizens?”,
and “Which policies would you deem essential to conduct at the EU level in order to better legitimise the European project?”.

Enabling an easier comparative reading, the papers aim to provide a solid analysis on each of the 28 Member States in a way that is accessible to the wider public.

One of the initial objectives was to see whether one or two main political initiatives could emerge at the European level, which might refresh the EU’s image and credibility in the eyes of the citizens. The short answer is: none could instinctively revitalise the EU across all Member States.

However, three main trends have emerged across the chapters:

  • First, the EU is expected to show results. Instead of grand projects, which can hypothetically federate the Europeans, the EU should focus on delivering on concrete projects. In other words, it should be “an EU of projects”.
  • The second main trend is more specific to the Eurozone countries. Solving the economic crisis is a priority. There is broad support for a more robust Economic and Monetary Union, but the recipes to reach this stage may be different between those who wish for more flexibility and those who argue that rules should prevail.
  • The third worthwhile trend to mention is the importance given to foreign policy. Many contributions stress that there is an expectation that the EU should play a greater role in foreign and security policy.

The publication was originally published on IFRI's website, and is downloadable through the PDF button on the left of this article.

#Building Bridges #IFRI #publication #European Union

Expertise: EU institutional issues, Economic and Monetary Union, € and European budget, Brexit, EU foreign policy, EU enlargement with the focus on Western Balkans, Slovak foreign and domestic policy and economic issues

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