Reports 2016

Union, disunion or time for a paradigm shift?

13 July 2016

A majority of British voters have voted for a withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (EU). The final outcome and consequences of this vote at both European and national level are still uncertain. However, the perspective of a UK withdrawal has added another element to the already very complicated ‘poly-crisis’ facing the EU. All this raises a number of key questions related to individual aspects of the crisis and to the overall future of the European integration process: what are the lessons and potential consequences of “Brexit” in the immediate and more long-term perspective and how could it affect the other crises? Although the number of people coming via the so-called ‘Balkan route’ has decreased, does Europe have a (long-term) plan for dealing with the refugee/migration crisis? Despite all the innovations and reforms of recent years, how dysfunctional is the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and what are the chances for additional reforms? Given the increasing inequalities between and within EU member states, should/can Europe acquire a stronger social and redistributive dimension? And, last but not least, is there a need for more differentiation or even the establishment of a ‘core Europe’ involving the ‘willing and able’ ready to deal with Europe’s challenges?

Speakers included: Giovanni Grevi, Senior Fellow, European Policy Centre; Elizabeth Collett, Founding Director, Migration Policy Institute Europe, Senior Advisor to MPI’s Transatlantic Council on Migration, Brussels; Ruby Gropas, Team Leader, Social Affairs, European Political Strategy Centre, European Commission; George Pagoulatos, Professor of European Politics and Economy, Athens University of Economics and Business; Member of the Board of Directors, ELIAMEP; Janis A. Emmanouilidis, Director of Studies, European Policy Centre