New Pact for Europe – Promoting the European Debate
The euro-zone crisis has provided a strong new impetus for European integration, but that now risks being undermined amid increasing tension over how best to meet the many complex financial, economic, political, social and global challenges we face. Efforts to overcome the current malaise are being hampered by profound disagreements over the future course of reforms; mounting socio-economic problems and political instability in many EU countries; different interpretations of the causes and consequences of the crisis; growing Euroscepticism and an increasing reluctance among both citizens and elites to further pool sovereignty at European level. And while the EU is preoccupied with itself, Europe keeps on losing ground as the global shift continues.
The New Pact for Europe project was launched by the King Baudouin Foundation (Belgium) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung (Germany) and is supported by a large transnational consortium. This project aims to promote a Europe-wide debate on reform proposals addressing three fundamental questions which need to be answered to develop an effective response to the multi-dimensional crisis Europeans are facing:
- What is at stake if 'Europe' cannot tackle the various challenges we face? ('What do we need the EU for?')
- What kind of collaboration is needed at European level to respond to the crisis? ('What needs to be done?')
- How can the answers to these two questions be translated into action to make the EU more effective and to command broader-based public support? ('How should it be done?')
A Reflection Group and an Advisory Group provides input to, and inspiration for, the elaboration of a New Pact between policy-makers and European citizens and between Member States:
The Reflection Group includes top opinion-makers from different EU Member States, who have a genuine interest in the success of European integration, are realistic and pragmatic but at the same time able to think 'out of the box', and ready and able to communicate through the media.
The Advisory Group brings together high-ranking policy-makers, academics, NGO representatives and other stakeholders – a mixture of past and current national and European leaders from different sectors and backgrounds.