Europe – and many European nations – faces choices and deadlines this year that will shape the European Union for years to come. Yet, the conversation about the future of Europe is not vibrant in Sweden. Therefore, as part of the Tällberg Foundation calendar of regular public events in Stockholm, we organized in partnership with the EU Commission in Sweden, a seminar on The Future of Europe.
Pio Barone Lumaga, Director of Innovation, Pond The Brand Innovation Company and Editor-in-Chief, Loft The Scandinavian Bookazine, Sweden
Andreas Bergström, Director, FORES
Lena Bäcker, Head of Operations, Swedish Enforcement Agency (Kronofogdemyndigheten) and Chair of Chief Economists Network of European Association of Public Banks
Paul Johnston, UK Ambassador to Sweden
James Joseph Caroll, Ambassador of Ireland to Sweden
Jytte Guteland, Project Director, Global Utmaning
Pierre Schellekens, Head of the European Commission Representation in Sweden
Philip Whyte, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform, London
Cecilia Wassaether, CEO, Greatness
Anders Wijkman, former MEP, co-chair, Club of Rome
Moderators: Alexander Crawford, Research Director, Tällberg Foundation and Pernilla Baralt, Head of Communication, EU Commission in Sweden.
Many questions were discussed:
- Is a multi-speed Europe with ‘variable geometry’ inevitable? Which are the future constellations of EU members? Who is in and who is out? How will the conversation change after the announcement of a membership referendum in the UK? What are the prospects for further enlargement (Balkans, Turkey, etc.)?
- How far are we from a European Common Economic Policy? How can the Economy-Energy-Ecology equation for Europe be redefined? What about common European monetary and fiscal policies? How is the EU responding to, or driving, structural change in Europe’s economies?
- What kind of institutional reform is needed in the EU institutions (Commission, Parliament, Council, etc.)? What is the next phase of the European construction process?
- How can the EU project retain its relevance among new generations of young people who have grown up in historical, cultural and technological contexts so completely different from their parents and grand-parents?
- What role for Sweden in the discussion on the future of Europe – and in a future Europe?
A free-flowing conversation, featuring both prepared inputs and moderated panel conversations, provided participants with a sense of how the EU debate might evolve in coming months. Some specially invited contributors made up a program of interventions and conversations.