The EU needs a message people can get behind


A new political message is urgently needed for the EU, and it must be more political and less technocratic than before. Fiscal compacts and banking unions are much needed, but are insufficient to explain the EU’s raison d’etre to the general public. New opportunities such as the Internet of Things could affect the economies of member states both positively and negatively. The EU must explain how it will deal with this and other new revolutions, highlighting its capacity to maximise the positive outcomes.

Internationally, geo-economics have become an important driver of global fragmentation. For example, resource-rich countries and major consumers like China are forming blocks to advance geopolitical interests. As multi-polarity will make the world more dangerous for power politics, hard power use will have to figure more prominently on the EU agenda. The Ukraine crisis demonstrated that soft power alone is toothless. The constant manoeuvers of China in the South China Sea reinforce this conclusion.

The EU must have a clear and comprehensive China strategy in itself. In particular, the EU must find an answer to China’s Silk Road as part of a strategy to exploit the divisions among the EU’s member states.

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