The Relaunch of Europe. Mapping Member States’ Reform Interests

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Since the decision of the British people to leave the European Union, advan­cement of the European project has been the imminent subject within EU politics. However, due to the rising strength of Europe­sceptic forces, the debate made little progress and few minor reforms have been agreed upon.

Against this backdrop, the “RelaunchEU” project – commis­sioned by the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation – maps the scope for reforms in the EU-27. Experts from all member states except the United Kingdom have delivered country issues, in which they evaluate whether national governments and progressive parties support 12 concrete reform proposals in the policy areas of Social Union, Economic and Monetary Union, Defence Union and asylum and migration as well as the positions regarding flexible or diffe­ren­tiated integration.

The study found four flagship projects that are widely supported by both progressive parties and national governments in the EU-27.

These four projects have the potential to become key drivers for further reform of the EU, as they bridge dividing lines and conflicts between the member states. Taking the broader perspective of all 12 reform proposals covered, the study reveals the existence of a, however shrinking “inclusive avant-garde” of five founding states (Belgium, France, Germany, and Luxem­bourg) and Spain. These states are willing to cooperate on nearly all reform projects in all policy areas. However, they do not intend to form a core Europe and leave other states behind. On the contrary, they could include further member states on a flexible basis and form different coali­tions for different reform projects. As the more sceptical member states are anxious to be left behind, the “inclusive avant-garde” could generate traction for a broader reform in the face of increa­singly influ­ential Europe­sceptic actors.

The results of the “RelaunchEU” have been published in an Executive Summary, a Policy Paper, a Compa­rative Analysis and 27 Country Issues, which can all be downloaded on this website. Furthermore, the maps displaying the support from national governments and progressive parties for each reform option can be downloaded as packages in English and German.

Results:

Complete Study
Key Findings Executive Summary

 

Country Issues:

Austria Belgium Bulgaria
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark Estonia
Finland
France Germany Greece
Hungary Ireland Italy
Latvia Lithuania Luxem­bourg
Malta Nether­lands Poland
Portugal Romania Slovakia
Slovenia Spain Sweden

 

Project Term
May 2017 to October 2018

Project Team
Julian Plottka, IEP
Jana Schubert, IEP
Arne Schildberg, FES


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