Solidarity and Strength. The Future of the European Union

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May 1, 2012

With the ink on the Treaty of Lisbon scarcely dry, the European debt crisis has once more raised the question as to how the EU should be constituted. The Union’s ability to hold together and withstand the crisis is being put to the test. The EU finds itself at a crossroads.

Against this background, the Heinrich Böll Foundation set up a commission in 2010 to examine the future of the EU and a summary of its findings can be found in this publication. The remit of this commission of 50 experts from politics, the scientific community and civil society, was to indicate key perspectives in European policy and propose ways of carrying them out that would bring new dynamism to European cooperation.

Solidarity and strength, the guiding themes of the Commission, set the course for the future of Europe. Only through the development of cooperative strength can Europe gain the necessary power to meet the challenges of the 21st century and successfully represent its values. Only through European solidarity, which is based on common laws and duties, can the EU become capable of acting within its borders and abroad.

We need an open debate about the way forward, especially in these times of crisis and scepticism of European institutions. How far should, or can, European solidarity go? What kind of binding rules does a community need if its members are to stand together in times of crisis? What kind of political course must we now steer if we are to bring the EU once more to the forefront? And, in future, what kind of global tasks must the EU undertake?

The policy suggestions expressed in the enclosed summary do not necessarily reflect the opinion of all members of the expert commission fully. The primary objective of this publication is to act as an impetus for Europe wide debate. Only through such a transnational process comprising many voices can the vision of a future Europe develop.

Berlin, September 2011

Ralf Fücks, Board of Heinrich-Böll Foundation

Dr. Christine Pütz, Senior EU policy researcher, Heinrich-Böll Foundation

Click here to read Solidarity and Strength. The Future of the European Union (134 pages, pdf, 1.85MB)

Click here to read the Executive Summary of Solidarity and Strength. The Future of the European Union (24 pages, pdf, 1.09MB)


Solidarity and Strength: the future of the EU
Commission Recommendations
1. The future is sustainable: Green solutions to the economic and debt crises
2. Facing new challenges: the future of the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
3. A brighter future: European Energy policy
4. Towards an open agenda: the future of European Foreign and Security Policy
5. A new relationship between the EU and its neighbours
The future of European enlargement and neighbourhood policy
Commission of Experts on the future of the EU

Order this

This publication can be ordered at:
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, European Union, Brussels
15 Rue d’Arlon
B-1050 Brussels
T (+32) 2 743 41 00
F (+32) 2 743 41 09

Click here to read Solidarity and Strength. The Future of the European Union (134 pages, pdf, 1.85MB)

Click here to read the Executive Summary of Solidarity and Strength. The Future of the European Union (24 pages, pdf, 1.09MB)

This publication is also available in German.

Click here to view the keynote speech by Andrew Moravcsik, Princeton University at the conference The Future of the EU. Note: The English key note speech by Andrew Moravcsik begins around 1:55min into the video, the rest of the conference is in German only.

Andrew Moravcsik at the conference "The Future of the EU" - Start video at 1:55min

Conference Report

EU Quo Vadis VI: Solidarity and Strength

The euro debt crisis has left the political Europe in a seemingly breathless state. While the public is legitimately concerned about the costs of the crisis escalating on an almost daily basis, harried European heads of state are trying to cope with the emergency in summit after summit. It is no longer “merely” a matter of money, but of Europe as a whole – by the time the EU has weathered the crisis, it may have gone through a transformation not seen since the Treaty of Maastricht.

On October 19 and 20, 2011, the Heinrich Böll Foundation hosted “Solidarity and Strength – the Future of the European Union” , an international conference marking the publication of the report of the same name, in which a commission of experts discussed the character and direction of the upheaval with international guests. Two conclusions predominated at the end: A significant increase of political integration will be required for Europe to emerge from the crisis strengthened, and a much higher degree of democratic legitimization will be needed to ensure the lasting effect of the decisions reached. 

Click here to read the conference report EU Quo Vadis VI: Solidarity and Strength (7 pages, pdf, 336KB)

Job Announcement
Office & Communications Manager, Assistant to the Executive Director
The Heinrich Böll Foundation North America is accepting applications for the position of Office and Communications Manager, Assistant to the Executive Director. We are looking for a highly qualified and motivated individual with an interest in green policy issues. Qualified candidates have a BA and are fluent in English and German. The position is full-time. The start date for the position is July1st, 2014.

Click here for more information.

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