EU@60 - Countering a regressive and illiberal Europe

13 October 2016
Janis A. Emmanouilidis (Director of Studies) and Fabian Zuleeg (Chief Executive and Chief Economist)

In this paper, drafted as an input to the discussions at the EPC Strategic Council and the EPC’s 20th Anniversary Conference on 13 October, Janis A. Emmanouilidis and Fabian Zuleeg discuss the future of the European project, and what’s actually at stake; not only the fate of an international institution, but something more significant – it is about our way of life; it is about being an open, free, cooperative, internationalist and inclusive Europe. After a detailed analysis of the current state of the Union, the many complex and interlinked crises it is facing, and what (not) to expect next, they examine the underlying causes of the forces threatening today´s societies. The biggest threat of all, they argue, is the danger of a regressive and illiberal Europe – a Europe in which key values, orientations, norms, and principles are being undermined, and nationalistic, protectionist, discriminatory, xenophobic, intolerant and authoritarian elements get the upper hand. Although this publication does not offer a single answer or solution – or even suggest there is such a ‘silver bullet’ –, the authors do provide some guiding thoughts on how pro-European democratic forces can push back against the polarisation and rising insecurities that seem to have taken a hold of European societies.    

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