The European Union turns 60 years this week, but it sometimes feels like there is not much to celebrate.
Europe has come a long way, but is neither as dynamic nor as resilient as it could be. Unemployment is high and productivity grows slowly. The ever-complex international context, the EU referendum in the United Kingdom and several key elections across Europe this year have raised questions about the future of the European Union. The only thing certain is that there are no quick fixes.
Against this background, the McKinsey Global Institute launched a European essay prize contest in March 2016. The objective of the essay prize was to crowdsource the best ideas from around the world to answer questions of how to restore Europe’s dynamism, how to translate theories into practical political measures, and how to appeal to voters.
More than 400 essays were submitted by talented authors with varied backgrounds. The range of topics, to name just a few, covered labour reform, fiscal matters and civic engagement. The winning essays were selected by a distinguished panel of judges consisting of key political and entrepreneurial figures across Europe.
After a rigorous selection process, the 2016 Europe Essay Prize was awarded to two entries, by Prof. Volker Brühl, Managing Director of the Centre for Financial Studies at Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, and by Dan Ciuriak, Director and Principal of Ciuriak Consulting in Ottawa, Canada.
The prize for the best essay by an author under the age of 30 was awarded to Antoine Levy, a 23-year-old French national who is currently a PhD candidate in economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Friends of Europe is McKinsey Global Institute's think-tank partner for the prize.
Read the winning essays
Volker Brühl: “Three cornerstones of a European growth initiative”
Dan Ciuriak: “Rebooting Europe”
Antoine Levy: “Reforming Europe by the people, for the people: An adaptive, acceptable, and accountable reform programme”
Full report on 2016 Europe Essay Prize including for example the overview of the competition and the details of the judging panel