This report is a rallying cry for Europeans to pull together and mobilize the EU’s assets to manage the three biggest changes of our times. Each section briefly diagnoses the consequences of climate change, aging populations, and digital revolutions and then explores the role the EU could play in supporting the inevitable transitions. The purpose is not to provide a detailed blueprint for each transition, but rather to launch a new kind of debate about the EU—a debate that does not revolve around how to tweak the current institutions but instead how to address a reordered set of priorities.
The insights and recommendations presented draw on ideas and analysis that emerged from a series of discussions between a group of Europeans with innovative ideas and a pro-reform mindset. This group, referred to as the European Reformists, was brought together by the Open Society European Policy Institute and Carnegie Europe between October 2017 and December 2018 to discuss the continent’s biggest challenges over the next fifteen years.
These challenges are not necessarily new, and the EU has started work on most of them. But much faster and more radical action is essential to avoid massive social, economic, and political disruption. The time is now ripe for two reasons. First, there is a renewed political appetite for a positive vision in which the EU provides solutions to people’s worries. Second, there is no time to waste.