The anti-establishment “wake-up call” delivered by elections to the European Parliament demands urgent policy responses. Over the next five years, the European Union must implement a crash “emergency” programme of Europe-wide actions that addresses Europeans’ key concerns. The EU must be competitive in a rapidly-globalising world. The focus should move from austerity to sustainable growth-focused and job-creating policies. Citizens’ concerns about social and economic inequalities need to be tackled. Restoring Europe’s credibility and ensuring security must also be priorities.
Watch the photo-gallery
Session I – The challenges ahead
Session II – Competitive Europe: Stay ahead of the game
Session III – Sustainable policies: Greening Europe
Session IV – Social Europe: Putting citizens at the heart of Europe
Session V – Rebuilding credibility and rebooting security: Making Europe matter again
A selection of this year’s discussants included:
Mario Monti, Senator, Former Italian Prime Minister and Trustee of Friends of Europe
Mario Monti is an Italian economist who served as the Prime Minister of Italy from 2011 to 2013. He was European Commissioner for a decade, first as Commissioner for Internal Market, Financial Services and Financial Integration, Customs, and Taxation and then for Competition.
Bruno Maçães, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs
A political economy expert, Maçães is a strong advocate of structural reform to tackle Europe’s growth problem. He was Political Adviser to the Prime Minister of Portugal at a time when the country, one of the hardest hit by the Eurozone debt crisis, strived to get its economy back on track. He has stressed the importance of policy coordination in achieving better integration and urged the EU not to compromise its trade agenda.
Ulrike Guérot, Director of the European School of Governance (EUSG)
Guérot is an expert on European affairs with over 20 years of experience in the European think tank community. She writes about European Democracy and global Europe and publishes regularly on these issues for a variety of journals and newspapers. In recent articles she writes about a “European republic” based on solidarity, which makes democracy a priority and gives civil society a stronger voice.
Moderator Shada Islam, Director of Policy at Friends of Europe
Co-Chair Joaquín Almunia, Vice-President of the European Commission and EU Commissioner for Competition Almunia is an experienced politician currently responsible for competition policy at the European Commission. Over the past five years he has led the efforts to control the state aid granted to banks during the crisis and ensure fair competition between business and companies. He was previously responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs during President Barroso’s previous mandate.
Jean-Paul Kress, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sanofi Pasteur MSD
Kress leads Sanofi Pasteur MSD, a French joint venture based in Lyon since 1994, develops and markets, in 19 countries throughout Western Europe, a wide range of vaccines offering protection at all stages of life, enhancing the research portfolios of its two shareholders, the French Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, and the American Merck.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President designate for the Euro and Social Dialogue, former Latvian Primer Minister
Dombrovskis was recently nominated to the new position of Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue. He is expected to coordinate the work of several Commissioners and work closely with other Vice Presidents to steer the ongoing reform of the Economic and Monetary Union, preserve the stability of the single currency and enhance the convergence of economic, fiscal and labour market policies. He previously served as Prime Minister of Latvia, Minister of Finance and Member of the European Parliament.
Moderator Giles Merritt, Secretary General at Friends of Europe
Sony Kapoor, Managing Director of Re-Define and Trustee of Friends of Europe
Kapoor is Director of Re-Define, an international think tank advising policymakers worldwide. An influential expert on finance, governance and development, Kapoor is also special adviser to the UN on green finance and a Strategy Adviser and Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics as well as a European Young Leader “40 under 40”. Introductory discussant
Janez Potocnik, EU Commissioner for the Environment
As the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Potocnik is recognised for his strong commitment to the mainstreaming of the environmental dimension in the development of a more resource-efficient economy, as reaffirmed by his recent call for a ‘New Environmentalism’. His leadership has been constantly emphasising how global resource constraints should trigger changes in the way the economy functions and in the way humanity lives.
Chris Burns, Editor-Media Director at Friends of Europe
Sylvie Goulard, Member of the European Parliament and Trustee of Friends of Europe
Goulard has been a Member of the European Parliament since June 2009. She is Coordinator of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee for the ALDE Group. Previously, she worked as a diplomat in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as at the Council of State. She is also the author of several works about European integration. Introductory discussant
Reiner Hoffmann, President of Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund (DGB), German Confederation of Trade Unions Hoffmann serves as President of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), an umbrella organisation that manages German trade unions relationships with government authorities at federal state and national level, political parties, and employers´ organisations.
Giles Merritt, Secretary General at Friends of Europe
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, Former NATO Secretary General, Co-President of the Security and Defence Agenda, Trustee ofFriends of Europe
De Hoop Scheffer served as Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2002 until 2004, when he was appointed NATO Secretary General, serving until 2009. He is now President of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs and Kooijmans Chair for Peace, Justice and Security at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Anna Terrón, Special Representative of the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, former Spanish Secretary of State for Migration and Trustee of Friends of Europe
Terrón serves as Special Representative and Spokesperson for the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean , a multilateral partnership aimed at increasing the potential for regional integration and cohesion among Euro-Mediterranean countries. Prior to that she was Spanish Secretary of State for Immigration and Emigration and acted as Special Advisor to Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom on migration issues.
Ben Judah, Visiting Fellow at the European Stability Initiative and author of “Fragile Empire”
Judah is the author of the book ‘Fragile Empire: How Russia fell in and out of love with Vladimir Putin’ and a visiting fellow at the European Stability Initiative in Istanbul. His reporting from across Russia – including on the Georgian War in 2008 and the Kyrgyz uprising of 2010, has been featured in several journals and newspapers.
James Rubin, Scholar in Residence at the Rothermere American Institute, Oxford and former US Assistant Secretary of State
Rubin is a scholar in Residence at Oxford University and frequent commentator and analyst on world affairs and US foreign policy. He served under President Clinton as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and chief spokesman for the State Department. He was also a top policy adviser to Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright and acted as a special negotiator during the Kosovo war to secure the demobilisation of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Mary Fitzgerald, Irish Times award-winning Foreign Affairs Correspondent and European Young Leader “40 under 40”
Fitzgerald is the Irish Times award-winning foreign affairs correspondent. She began her career reporting on Northern Ireland before relocating to the Middle East. Now based in Lybia, she works across the Middle East, Africa and south Asia, reporting from countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Moderator Shada Islam, Director of Policy at Friends of Europe