The State of the European Union 2017 Background Image
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The EU renewed itself through Economic and Monetary Union and the creation of the

euro, achieved political reunification with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and made the idea

of European citizenship a reality through freedom of movement and residence. This was

supported by the European Court of Justice, whose authority the UK government is now

eager to reject.

Today, although the EU is geographically larger and politically more powerful, it lacks

any real plan for the future and is threatened by a combination of neoliberal policies,

the impact of the crisis, the danger of fragmentation, and hostility from abroad (Trump

and Putin). The old ideas have run their course but there is no sign of a replacement.

This creates a gap that the new populist parties – primarily of the right but also of the

left – have sought to exploit with anti-European formulae and the false promise of closed

borders. The results include Brexit and the democratic crises in Poland and Hungary.

The EU needs a revitalised project, a relaunch – as the title of this Report suggests – because

it is the best thing to have happened to generations of Europeans. This Report therefore

puts forward a range of ideas for this relaunch. The EU has to regain its leadership by

offering the policies that the continent, and the world, needs. It must create a specific

proposal, with immediate commitments, that has the power to convince Europeans.

ISBN 978-84-946680-98