A new political cycle is about to be triggered. The policy choices made by the new EU mandate following the European Parliament elections will impact the next 10 years or more. Friends of Europe’s ‘Vision for Europe’ report led by Pascal Lamy, is an ambitious project setting out policy recommendations and a pathway for the next EU leadership that aims to answer this question.
‘Europe will have to behave differently and take the initiative to readjust, reorder and redefine itself. This calls for more resilient, agile institutions and policy coherence. The EU needs to press the reset button on how it readies itself, adapts and meets the challenges of the early part of this century,’ says Pascal Lamy - these are the top line messages coming out of our report.
The 10 recommendations form a policy toolbox crowd sourced from diverse sectors across Europe and citizens, for an alliance for those prepared to make the EU successful, in touch and relevant.
At its core, the report proposes the renewal of a social contract mandated by citizens, promoting economic growth, peace, security and sustainability for all – a contract that can be the glue that binds together citizens, government, the private sector and civil society.
Among the mix of recommendations, there is a proposal for the appointment of nominated Commissioners in the fields of sustainability and security to provide greater structural focus and accountability. Additional recommendations include the appointment of dedicated deputy Prime Ministers in each member state focusing exclusively on European affairs. This toolbox would improve EU governance and alignment whilst achieving ambitious objectives such as Europe becoming the innovation lab of the future.
The report argues the need for a bigger ‘EU tent’ and that the principle of common good should be the basis to align the public, the private sector and citizens as shareholders of the project and not only recipients or conduits for its success. This will enable to take risks and use the levers of fiscal policy to level the playing field and generate inclusive growth. An alternative EU approach to the involvement of mayors, cities and regions is also suggested in the report to form the basis of a new localism.
There are also bold, audacious and pragmatic recommendations that address issues of inequality, and rejuvenating participatory democracy, which we regard as the building blocks for the new EU mandate.
We hope you find the report stimulating and thought provoking at a time where Europe needs to be bolder and more connected to its citizens.