Inter-Regional Simulation Workshop on the Future(s) of Europe
On January 22nd, 2014, 25 interns and young professionals from more than 10 EU Member States participated in the Inter-regional Simulation Workshop on the Future(s) of Europe. The event was hosted by the Representation of Saxony-Anhalt to the EU, in Brussels, where it was independently organized by three interns on the basis of the First Report of the New Pact for Europe Initiative. The report entails five comprehensive strategic options for the future development of the European Union and is titled ‘Strategic Options for the Future of Europe’. The Strategic options proposed in the report were discussed in a fascinating and intriguing simulation debate.
Several rounds of advocating, criticising and then defending the different options led to the following outcome:
• Many member States seem to have lost their trust in the European pro-ject, thus the all-together approach of Strategic Option 3 was deemed as potentially ineffective;
• The involvement of cities and regions appears to be crucial, not only for Strategic Option 3, but also with a view to a multi-speed approach (Option 4) in general;
• Strategic Option 5 was considered to be complementary to the other four approaches. Thus, a solution could be the combination of option 5 + X (X corresponding to option 1/2/3/4);
• Thorough information to citizens is important, but a truly (trans-)European public debate aimed at overcoming the idea of a despotic and Brussels-centered EU is crucial;
• Effectively communicating EU interests to the public can be challenged by country-specific interests. The public debate is likely to represent the first step toward a clearer and more intelligible “bigger picture” of the EU;
• Option 1 was widely considered as a counterproductive, burdensome ap-proach to the future of EU, as well as rather unfeasible;
• While Option 2 was advocated by a few participants, it was generally la-belled as insufficiently forward-looking;
• The evaluation results showed that most of the participants favour a combination of strategic options 3 and 4.