Call for Input

Update September 2009


Wanted: Out of the Box Proposals for the EU!


Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford, was appointed in October 2008 as a member of the Reflection Group on the Future of Europe 2020-2030, led by Felipe Gonzales. The report is due to be delivered at a special summit of EU heads of states in May 2010.


As a follow-up to the a number of consultation meetings in the first phase of  the group’s work, Kalypso is hoping to harness the power of the internet and academic networks in order to generate a compendium of proposals emanating from the academic world. The hope is to maximize the breadth and originality of views that may inspire the Group’s work and ultimately EU decision makers. The contribution will be grouped by themes and forwarded as they come in to the reflection group and at the latest in February 2010.


This call for input is addressed to all academics and researchers who may want to contribute to the compendium. Below are the broad themes that are being explored by the Group on the basis of its mandate. Kalypso would like to invite short and crisp contributions on these different themes, stating which category is addressed. Contributions can be signed or anonymous. They can emanate from individuals or groups,  who can send several contributions. A contribution should preferably include:

1)      A specific recommendation or proposal of no more than one or two paragraphs (indicating if annexes are included). Recommendations can address various levels of governance (local, state and EU level).  They can be framed in general strategic terms or as specific policy recommendations including time frames and the actors who would implement them.


2)      Optional: Annexed Analysis backing up the recommendation (these will be on the website but not in the compendium). Analysis can address inter alia:


o       The types of obstacles that would need to be overcome to implement this recommendation.


o       Analysis of the State of Play using some variants of the so-called SWOT method, i.e. (Current) Strengths, Weaknesses and (Future) Opportunities and Threats.


o       Analysis of the concerns, hopes and expectations of European citizens as well as actors from the rest of the world with regards to each particular issue.



The Core Question


If you were “Queen (King) for a Day” of the EU what would be the one thing you would want to do or to change?


General Themes


1. General context and future scenarios: Significant changes in Europe during the past 10 years, cartography of successes and failures. Different scenarios on how the world will look in 2020/2030: scientific and technological progress, economic situation and political developments, global trends, rising players and global power shifts, access to natural resources. Against this background what are the global opportunities and threats for the Union at horizon 2020-2030?


2. Union legitimacy and the citizens: What are the underlying reasons for the actual and perceived drift between the EU and its citizens? And what are the various ways to address such a drift?  How and to what extent is legitimacy linked to modes of governance – which would imply reinforcing participative democracy, accountability and transparency at all levels as well as better defining who does what in Europe (subsidiarity)? How can we make the Union more palpable to its citizens? What is its real value added in their daily life?


3. Identity, Values, Norms and Citizenship: What does ‘Europe’ mean for people inside and outside its borders? And to what extent would a clearer ‘story’ about Europe, including its ultimate goals and borders, help increase its legitimacy? Should we ground the Union’s raison d’etre and actions in a discourse about common European identity, a common cultural heritage, common values or a common vision (“Weltanschauung”) of the present and future of the continent?  Or should we stick to common legal norms? Does the prism of European citizenship provide a better alternative? And how to balance these appeals to commonality with upholding radical diversity and pluralism in the EU sphere?


Substantive Themes


4. European social and economic model: How to maintain and modernise it for the decades to come. Endogenous and exogenous problems. Innovation, creativity, education, competitiveness and employment. Review of the Lisbon Agenda and necessary evolution of the model while keeping the objectives. Social cohesion as a condition and a factor of economic dynamism.


5. Demography and migration: Ageing and related challenges. Migratory flows both as an asset (i.e. a contribution to the labour force, a counterbalance to aging populations and a contribution to the development of the countries of origin) and as a liability (problems with integration, public concern). Control of flows, legal and illegal immigration. Human capital in general (strongly related to innovation/education in theme 4).


6. Energy, climate change and environment: Europe’s contribution to global solutions for global problems: security of energy supply, diversification of energy sources, energy-mix and efficiency,  with particular emphasis on renewables, demand and supply-side problems, energy saving, pollution and global warming.


7. Internal and external security: threats from networks: organised crime, drug trafficking, terrorism (the responses to which must be consistent with our rule of law); threats from places (the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Mediterranean); horizontal threats (failed states, hunger, poverty). How EU policies (e.g. police and judicial cooperation, ESDP, trade) can contribute.


8. Europe’s role in the world: In the face of new global threats and opportunities and their issue-specific variants (theme 1-7) and given the wide ranging differences in strategic outlook between Member States, what is or should be the likely role of the EU in the world in 2020-2030? How is its current and likely role perceived from the outside? And what strategies should be deployed to maintain its global influence?  More specifically, how should the EU refine and develop its array of policies and instruments (trade, development, CFSP and ESDP, etc) to best serve this goal?


Reflection Group Mandate

Reflection Group Nomination

Contact: Lars Hoffmann. (who is assisting Kalypso Nicolaïdis) at