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  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: A new report details the Brussels community's views on the EU's handling of the pandemic and the future of Europe after COVID-19. The COVID-19 crisis has sent shockwaves through societies and economies, altering the parameters of politics in Europe and beyond. Germany holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) at this make-or-break moment in European history. In the eyes of many Brussels-based stakeholders, this places enormous responsibility on Berlin's shoulders. They would like the German Presidency and particularly Angela Merkel to bridge existing divisions among the EU27 and use the crisis as an opportunity to promote closer European integration. However, there is scepticism that Germany can achieve this in its short six-month period at the helm of the Council. A similar duality of hopes and expectations also transpires from how different actors in Brussels perceive the Conference on the Future of Europe (CoFoE): they acknowledge this initiative's potential for much-needed EU reform, but also doubt that it will produce meaningful results. These opinions are some of the headline findings emerging from a study undertaken between July and August 2020 by the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), the European Policy Centre (EPC) and ifok. 224 individuals from 29 EU and non-EU countries (with Germans slightly overrepresented at 32%) completed an online questionnaire about their main concerns and expectations for the German Presidency in light of the current situation and concerning the Union's long-term future. Respondents ranged from a high number of members of European institutions (30%), think tanks (21%) and non-governmental organisations to business representatives (17%), plus a smaller proportion of diplomats, journalists and academics. The project partners also conducted 20 personal interviews with high-level Brussels-based stakeholders to deepen the quantitative information collected via the online survey. Overall, Brussels-based stakeholders are worried about the current state of European integration and 'dream big' for the Union's future. However, they do not call for deeper European integration as an end in itself. Their support for potential treaty change as an outcome of the upcoming CoFoE, for example, is conditional upon the actual need to amend the Union's primary law. Likewise, their ambitions to advance EU cooperation is mitigated by a healthy dose of realism: they recognise the resilience of existing dividing lines between member states and have come to accept the idea that differentiated integration is the most probable course of action from here on out.
  • Topic: European Union, Crisis Management, COVID-19, Health Crisis
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Olivia Sundberg Diez, Matthias Lücke, Leonie Jegen, Franzisca Zanker
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: If the EU and its member states are to manage migration successfully, they need to start treating countries of origin and transit, especially in Africa, as equal partners. The Union must make a conscious effort to negotiate comprehensive agreements on mobility that reflect both sides’ interests, concerns, and political realities. The European Commission is currently finalising its proposed New Pact on Migration and Asylum to re-start the debate on how to reform the Common European Asylum System and manage migration from outside the EU. One prominent aspect is the ‘external dimension’: jointly managing migration with countries of origin and transit. In this 2020 MEDAM Assessment Report, the authors explore how European and African governments can reach common ground on policies related to migration and mobility.
  • Topic: Migration, Treaties and Agreements, European Union, Refugees, Asylum
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe
  • Author: Claire Dhéret, Mihai Palimariciuc, Natanael Rother
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: European Policy Centre
  • Abstract: In this report, Mihai Palimariciuc and Natanael Rother, together with Claire Dhéret, look at the implications new technologies apply on the defence and security sector, while focusing its analysis on the impact on the European armed forces. By doing so, it aims to contribute to the existing body of research, while attempting to provide an answer to the following questions: (1) What is the skill composition of the armed forces in the European Union (EU)?; (2) Which disruptive technologies are most likely to have an impact on the European armed forces?; (3) How is the defence sector preparing itself for the integration of emerging technologies?; (4) Are there any existing best practice examples of armed forces training for the jobs of tomorrow? This report has been prepared in the context of the European Policy Centre (EPC) project “The future of work – Towards a progressive agenda for all” and has received the kind support of the European Organisation of Military Associations and Trade Unions (EUROMIL). It is, to a large extent, based on the discussion held in the EPC workshop “Technological changes in EU security & defence: What are the implications for the military workforce?”, organised on 19 March 2019, and the interviews that were carried out with the workshop’s experts/speakers. When possible, this report provides statistical evidence to the statements made by the workshop’s speakers and participants.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Science and Technology, Armed Forces, European Union
  • Political Geography: Europe