The EU's New Agenda for a Political Europe

VIENNA/BUCHAREST: One month after the European Summit at Cologne the historic contours of that meeting are becoming visible. The Cologne summit marked a watershed not just because of a new policy declaration on security and defence. Rather, it seems to me, this was a summit which may prefigure the transformation of the whole of the European Union's agenda, in terms which are explicitly strategic and political.

In their "Declaration on Strengthening the Common European Policy on Security and Defence", EU governments announced the setting up of new permanent security institutions in Brussels, including a Political-Military Committee of civil servants and a Military Committee of staff officers. Moreover, they appeared ready to turn words into actions, with the launching of a Stability Pact for the Balkan countries, as a first step towards admitting them to membership of the European Union.

With the proposed Balkan Stability Pact, the governments have at last come close to defining the future outer limits of the European Union, to include not just the 10 countries of Central and Eastern Europe, but also eventually the countries of the west Balkans. This is a deeply significant event, for at least four reasons.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in;
  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.