THE STATE OF EUROPE 2015 Addressing Europe's Crises: Policy Crossroads

Past event

Citizens' Europe
starts
ends
Get in touch
State of Europe 2015

Summary

The ‘State of Europe’ high-level roundtable ‘Addressing Europe’s Crises – Policy Crossroads’ offered a unique opportunity for a large-scale brainstorm by EU Commissioners, MEPs and MPs, ministers, opinion-formers, civil society and business leaders.

The event took place in Brussels on Thursday 22 October and was held under the patronage of the Luxembourg Presidency of the EU. This event also marked the end of Friends of Europe’s 15th anniversary year.

This year’s edition looked at Europe’s many challenges, including the repercussions of the refugee crisis and the uncomfortable light it shed on the Europe of the 21st Century. In addition to dealing with the fall-out of war and poverty on Europe’s borders, the European Union must urgently implement a crash “emergency” programme of Europe-wide actions. This must address the critical need to move from austerity to sustainable growth-focused and job-creating policies, boost innovation to make Europe more competitive, and help meet citizens’ concerns on health as well as social and economic inequalities. Europe’s credibility is also at stake in its dealings with Ukraine, and in questions linked to global security and climate change.

Over 200 Ministers, senior policymakers, business leaders and top academics from all over Europe and beyond discussed these challenges outside their formal portfolios in order to help generate innovative solutions.

State of Europe 2015

OPENING PLENARY SESSION – Sickly Europe: Diagnosis and cure

PARALLEL SESSION – Future Europe – Regaining public trust in the European Union

PARALLEL SESSION – Global / Greener Europe – Recovering Europe’s global influence

PARALLEL SESSION Smarter Europe – Catching up with the ‘Digital Era’

PARALLEL SESSION Quality Europe – Building a caring Europe

PARALLEL SESSION Security Europe – Making Europe’s neighbourhood safe again

PARALLEL SESSION Smarter / Greener Europe – Defining Europe’s infrastructural challenges

CLOSING PLENARY SESSION – Mood music for a brighter future

About

About

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / FLICKR – Thomas Guignard

Schedule

Schedule

Registration
OPENING PLENARY SESSION - Sickly Europe: Diagnosis and cure Expand OPENING PLENARY SESSION - Sickly Europe: Diagnosis and cure

Is the European project unravelling, and if so how can it be knit back together again? The strains being placed on solidarity between European Union as well as eurozone members are a threat both to the single currency and to the hallowed principle of free movement of Europe’s peoples. Due to the combination of the Grexit and refugee crises, the gulf between advocates of ‘more Europe’ and ‘less Europe’ widened dramatically this year, raising stark questions about the viability of the EU in its present form. What is a realistic diagnosis of Europe’s ills, and what should be the prognosis?

Chair

Etienne Davignon

President of Friends of Europe, Belgian Minister of State and former vice-president of the European Commission

Moderators

Shada Islam

Managing Director at New Horizons Project

Giles Merritt

Founder and Chairman, Friends of Europe

Introductory remarks

Kensika Monshengwo

Former Director of the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism

A conversation with

Frans Timmermans

European Commission Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal

Coffee break
PARALLEL SESSIONS Expand PARALLEL SESSIONS

Should the EU’s chief domestic policy thrust be:

  • Countering rising populism by creating a 21st Century ‘new narrative’ for the EU?
  • Addressing the widening North-South rift in the EU now being exacerbated by the Eurozone crisis and go-it alone taxation policies?
  • Tackling the widening social inequalities?

Chairs

Monica Frassoni

Former co-president of the European Green Party and former member of the European Parliament

Antonia Meszaros

Managing Director United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), 2014 European Young Leader

Introductory discussants

Zoe Konstantopoulou

Former Syriza President of the Hellenic Parliament

Hélène Rey

Professor of Economics at London Business School and Recipient of the Yrjö Jahnsson Award in Economics

In this ‘Asian century’, should the EU’s international priority be:

  • Setting an international agenda for global governance reform that answers the concerns of emerging powers and least-developed countries?
  • Re-establishing Europe’s leadership on climate change and sustainable development?
  • Up-dating trade and development links with key Asian, African and Latin American nations?

Chairs

Franziska Katharina Brantner

Member of the German Bundestag, European Young Leader Alumna

Pascal Lamy

Honorary President of Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute, former director general of the World Trade Organisation, and former European commissioner for trade

Introductory discussants

Assia Bensalah Alaoui

Ambassador at Large of HM Mohamed VI the King of Morocco

Jean-Pierre Clamadieu

Chairman of the Board of Directors of ENGIE

Christian Leffler

Managing Director for Americas, European External Action Service (EEAS)

Lunch break
PARALLEL SESSIONS Expand PARALLEL SESSIONS

Is the best way to close the innovation gap with global competitors:

  • By re-doubling existing EU-led stimuli like funding cross-border R&D?
  • Through a wider long-term strategy spanning education to entrepreneurism?
  • By ‘backing winners’ with subsidies and tax breaks at national and EU levels?

Chairs

Toomas Hendrik Ilves

Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford University and former president of the Republic of Estonia

Wouter Verschelden

Founder and Publisher at NewsMonkey, 2017 European Young Leader

Introductory discussants

France Cordova

Director of the US National Science Foundation and former NASA Chief Scientist

Marietje Schaake

President of the CyberPeaceInstitute, Director of Policy at the Stanford Cyber Policy Centre and former vice- chair of the European parliament delegation for relations with the United States

Amit Sood

Head of the Google Cultural Institute

To address its deepening social challenges, should Europe:

  • Lay much greater emphasis on demographic changes and long-term labour shortages, even if that highlights immigration issues?
  • Fashion an EU ‘Master Plan’, however controversial that might be, to address the skills gaps and wider educational shortcomings now handicapping the European economy?
  • Invest political capital as well as resources in an ambitious new EU-wide strategy for narrowing societal and healthcare inequalities within and between EU countries?​​​​​​​

Chairs

Sylvie Goulard

Deputy Governor at the Bank of France and former member of the European Parliament

Nina Rawal

Founder of Emerging Health Ventures and European Young Leader

Introductory discussants

Jim Clarken

Chief Executive Officer of Oxfam Ireland

David Khougazian

President and CEO of Sanofi Pasteur MSD

Nicolas Schmit

European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, former Luxembourg minister for labour, employment, and the social and solidarity economy

Coffee break
PARALLEL SESSIONS Expand PARALLEL SESSIONS

For the EU to stabilise the refugee crisis and get the ‘security genie’ back in its bottle, should it:

  • Define more clearly the EU’s global and regional priorities in its new EU Global Strategy?
  • Focus on getting the balance right between “soft power” and “hard power”?
  • Tackle the security implications of weak integration policies which lead to marginalisation and – sometimes – of radicalisation of migrant communities?​​​​​​​

Chairs

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer

former Secretary-General of NATO and Board member in charge of Friends of Europe’s Peace, Security and Defence work

Mary Fitzgerald

Journalist and analyst specialising in the Euro-Mediterranean region with a particular focus on Libya, European Young Leader Alumna

Introductory discussants

Saliha Ben Ali

Founder of Society Against Violent Extremism (SAVE) Belgium

Ian Buruma

Author of ‘Year Zero’ and ‘Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy of Three Continents’

Stefano Manservisi

European Commission Director-General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO)

Faced with global climate change, its own deepening energy crisis and low growth, should the EU:

  • Press ahead with the €315bn ‘Juncker Plan’, and perhaps expand it to make it a truly ambitious ‘New Deal’ comparable to FDR’s in the 1930s?
  • Identify energy as the most important infrastructure gap of all and define priorities and timetables in an ‘Energy Union’ blueprint?
  • Further develop ‘green growth’ as key to the EU’s economic future?​​​​​​​

Chairs

André Loesekrug-Pietri

Director of JEDI, former special advisor to the French Minister of Defence, Founder of ACAPITAL, 2013 European Young Leader

Giles Merritt

Founder and Chairman, Friends of Europe

Introductory discussants

Ambroise Fayolle

Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB)

Jan Mischke

McKinsey Global Institute Senior Fellow and European Research Leader and co-author of the report ‘A window of opportunity for Europe’

Coffee break
CLOSING PLENARY SESSION – Mood music for a brighter future Expand CLOSING PLENARY SESSION – Mood music for a brighter future

The King, the Rock Star, the Viscount, the Comedian, the Prime Minister and the Young Leader

Chairs

Geert Cami

Co-Founder and Secretary-General at Friends of Europe

Giovanna Pancheri

Brussels Correspondent at Sky TG 24 and Michal Olszewski / Deputy Mayor of Warsaw, 2015-2016 European Young Leader

With

Etienne Davignon

President of Friends of Europe, Belgian Minister of State and former vice-president of the European Commission

Shazia Mirza

Award Winning British Stand Up Comedian and Writer

Mario Monti

Italian Senator for life, Chair of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development, former prime minister, former European commissioner and Trustee of Friends of Europe

Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke

Founder and President of Women’s WorldWide Web and European Young Leader

Henry Padovani

Musician, first guitarist of rock group The Police

In presence of

Philippe of Belgium

King of the Belgians

Insights

view all insights

Next Event

view all events
Track title

Category

00:0000:00
Stop playback
Video title

Category

Close

We use cookies to improve your online experience.
For more information, visit our privacy policy

Africa initiative logo

Stay informed

Dismiss