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An Agenda for Europe’s Next Decade

The EU cannot afford another decade of crisis management and indecision. Instead, it must build a sustainable future on four pillars: an ambitious agenda, a focus on results, reform of EU institutions, and a renewed emphasis on European values.

AMSTERDAM – The European Union has spent much of the past decade managing crises, and has even faced a possible threat to its continued existence. Popular attitudes toward the EU have soured, too. Whereas citizens were generally positive about the first two waves of European integration in the 1950s and 1980s, they have been increasingly critical of the EU since at least 2008-2009, if not earlier. The key question in Europe nowadays is this: are we better off with or without each other?

In his book Economics for the Common Good, the French Nobel laureate economist Jean Tirole argues that the hope that characterized the European project for decades has given way to uncertainty. “Today, we once again need a long-term vision,” Tirole writes, and “we must rehabilitate the European ideal and remain united around it.”

He is right. The EU cannot afford another decade of crisis management and indecision. Instead, it must build a sustainable future on four pillars: an ambitious policy agenda, a focus on results, reform of EU institutions, and a renewed emphasis on European values.

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