In preparation for the Rome Summit on March 25, 2017, which celebrates the 60 anniversary of the creation of the European Union, the European Commission yesterday published a White Paper on the Future of Europe. The White Paper, subtitled "Reflections and scenarios for the EU27 by 2025," celebrates the EU's achievements of the past six decades, but serves as a stark reminder of the "Brexit" that occurred last summer.
The White Paper briefly discusses the EU's history of stability, then contemplates the many changes occurring in Europe, including technological advances and population and political shifts. The bulk of the White Paper is devoted to five scenarios the EU may find itself in by 2025. All of the scenarios are premised on the assumption that the 27 Member States (excluding the United Kingdom) remain in the Union. Scenario 1 is named "Carrying on" and contemplates the EU delivering its positive reform agenda. Scenario 2 re-centers the EU merely as "the single market." Scenario 3 involves allowing certain EU Member States to do more together in specific policy areas, like defense or social issues. Scenario 4 is focused on the EU acting less in some policy areas, but efficiently delivering more in other areas. Finally, Scenario 5 envisions the EU achieving much more across all policy areas. Each Scenario comes with a list of pros and cons, a discussion on policy impact, and examples for illustration.
The full text of the White Paper can be found by opening the PDF at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-385_en.htm.
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