The eurozone crisis has provided a strong new impetus for European integration, but it is becoming increasingly clear that to overcome the crisis, stabilize the European Union and reduce the chances of history repeating itself, the EU requires more fundamental change. But what needs to be done? What kinds of collaboration and actions are required at European level to make the EU more effective and ensure that it can command broad-based public support? What is at stake if ‘Europe’ fails to meet this challenge?
The New Pact for Europe is a new initiative that seeks to answer these fundamental questions by promoting a Europe-wide debate on reform proposals, involving citizens as well as policymakers. It aims to contribute fresh but realistic thinking and ideas, and to help narrow widening gaps between Member States and even within EU countries.
Launched by the King Baudouin Foundation, the initiative is supported by a large transnational consortium including the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, European Cultural Foundation, La Caixa Foundation, Stiftung Mercator, Open Society Initiative for Europe, Allianz Kulturstiftung and Swedish Cultural Foundation. More foundations are likely to join the consortium in the next couple of months.
Between March 2013 and the end of 2014, reflection and advisory groups made up of eminent thinkers and key players from across the EU will provide input to the elaboration of a New Pact between policymakers and European citizens, by developing strategic options for the future EU. These options will be discussed with citizens, stakeholders and policymakers at almost 50 events in Member States. Their feedback will shape a vision of how the EU should be developed in future – a pact that will feed into the debate about the best way forward as the new EU leadership takes office after the 2014 European elections.
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