The European Union (EU) is an economic, monetary and political union of democratic (member) states that itself is a democracy too, as well a union of citizens, located primarily in Europe.

The construction is an antidote to the extreme nationalism and a supranational body to handle interests as well as to extent prosperity by pooling some of national 'sovereignty' in areas where it makes sense to work together. With over 500 million citizens, the EU combined generates an estimated 30% share (US$ 18.4 trillion in 2008) of the nominal gross world product and about 22% (US$15.2 trillion in 2008) of the PPP gross world product. But what a differences in motivations and perceptions; on one hand battles held in the Ukraine to join the EU and on the other war language in the UK exit the EU.

May 9, 2020
  The goals of the European Union are:
- promote peace, its values and the well-being of its citizens
- offer freedom, security and justice without internal borders
- sustainable development based on balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive market economy with full employment and social progress, and environmental protection
- combat social exclusion and discrimination
- promote scientific and technological progress
- enhance economic, social and territorial cohesion and solidarity among EU countries
- respect its rich cultural and linguistic diversity
- establish an economic and monetary union whose currency is the euro


DASHBOARD | A ROADMAP FOR THE EU | CEPS IDEAS LAB | Bruegel Annual Meeting | Sibiu Summit | Narrative | Angela Merkel’s victory: What next for Europe? (2013) | The German election: What Europe expects - and what Germany will not do (2013) | a wishful thinking | EUROPA 1580, 1950, 1973

In ‘Lies and Stupidity: The Brexit Story’ (journal NEXUS No. 87), Robert Cooper wrote: "Jean Bodin (*) defines sovereignty in ‘Les Six Livres de la République’ (1576) as the 'absolute and eternal power of the state'.

A state is sovereign as soon as it is not subject to a higher authority, of Church or Emperor, or any other power. A sovereign state can delegate authority, but the state remains sovereign because it can deprive those other authorities of that authority.

The individual member states do not lose 'absolute and eternal power', but share the power they exercise as a sovereign member state."

(*) a French jurist and political philosopher, member of the Parlement of Paris and professor of law in Toulouse. He is known for his theory of sovereignty.


Statement of the heads of state or government, meeting in Versailles, on the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, 10 March 2022

1. Two weeks ago Russia brought war back to Europe. Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and the principles of the UN Charter and undermines European and global security and stability. It is inflicting unspeakable suffering on the Ukrainian population. Russia, and its accomplice Belarus, bear full responsibility for this war of aggression and those responsible will be held to account for their crimes, including for indiscriminately targeting civilians and civilian objects. In this respect we welcome the decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation. We call for the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities to be ensured immediately with the assistance of the International Atomic Energy Agency. We demand that Russia ceases its military action and withdraws all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine immediately and unconditionally, and fully respects Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders.

2. We commend the people of Ukraine for their courage in defending their country and our shared values of freedom and democracy. We will not leave them alone. The EU and its Member States will continue to provide coordinated political, financial, material and humanitarian support. We are committed to provide support for the reconstruction of a democratic Ukraine once the Russian onslaught has ceased. We are determined to increase even further our pressure on Russia and Belarus. We have adopted significant sanctions and remain ready to move quickly with further sanctions.

3. Countless people are fleeing the war in Ukraine. We offer temporary protection to all war refugees from Ukraine. We commend European countries, notably at the borders with Ukraine, for showing immense solidarity in hosting Ukrainian war refugees. The EU and its Member States will continue to show solidarity and provide humanitarian, medical and financial support to all refugees and the countries hosting them. We call for funds to be made available without delay through a swift adoption of the proposal on Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE) and through ReactEU. We call on Russia to fully abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law. It must ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access to the victims and internally displaced persons in Ukraine, and allow safe passage for those civilians who want to leave.

4. The European Council acknowledged the European aspirations and the European choice of Ukraine, as stated in the Association Agreement. On 28 February 2022, exercising the right of Ukraine to choose its own destiny, the President of Ukraine submitted the application of Ukraine to become a member of the European Union. The Council has acted swiftly and invited the Commission to submit its opinion on this application in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Treaties. Pending this and without delay, we will further strengthen our bonds and deepen our partnership to support Ukraine in pursuing its European path. Ukraine belongs to our European family.

5. The Council has invited the Commission to submit its opinions on the applications of the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.


Presidency of
the Council of
the EU

EU politics

political logic of disintegration

(Ivan Krastev)

EU organization and decision making
some previous episodes on the future of the EU
- EU as polity in IL
on governing Europe
multilevel governance
the role of the EP

- federal Europe
 facing the Europe-Central Asia relationship. State of the Union. The Post-Crisis EU: Phoenix from the Ashes? with Martin Schulz on opportunities in crisis for a stronger Europe
- history of the EU
- navigating the EU
- EU adm. history
Future of Europe, roadmap detailing the main steps towards a more united, stronger and more democratic Union. Road to Sibiu
website European Union variable geometry

financial programming
and budget

investment plan
for Europe

European Commission on Justice
The Rome Declaration
Bratislava Declaration and Roadmap
Erklärung von Meseberg
Declaration of 9 May 1950
draft guidelines following the
United Kingdom's notification under Article 50 TEU
access to EU law

Lisbon Treaty

What is a directive and what does it do?

Cyprus | Germany |Slovakia | Croatia | Hungary | Malta |
Ireland |
Italy | Poland
France |
Romania | Greece | Czech Republic | Latvia | Netherlands

An independent Reflection Group was established under the Conclusions of the European Council, with the objective of assisting the European Union more effectively anticipate and meet challenges in the longer term horizon of 2020 to 2030
Herman van Rompuy awarded
common foreign &
security policy
(cfsp) /
EU Global Strategy

common security &
defence policy
March 2007, 50th anniversary of the EU. Berlin Declaration: Over the years ahead it would be crucial to safeguard the European way of life and assume global responsibility. That meant, the Chancellor pointed out, that "Europe needs to be able to act, to act more effectively than it can at present." The European Union needs more and better defined competences than it has today: in energy policy, foreign policy, in justice and home affairs. And it must ensure, she noted, that even with 27 or more Member States its institutions function efficiently and democratically

European Union

What it is and
what it does

on sovereignty,
subsidiarity & powers
capital cities
of the EU
federal Europe
Delivering solutions for Europe - the Council's work in 2017
Europe media

Fondation pour l’innovation politique” (Fondapol)


roadmap for
EU reform


The Europe 2020 strategy, CEPS paperback strategic agenda
for the Union in
times of change













Charles Michel, 5 March 2020 at CEPS

Only the Union can bring true added value in defence of many important voters’ interests and to the geopolitical challenges within a globalised world and which can only be implemented at this level, insofar as the necessary powers are conferred upon it and that the European executive is held accountable to - and can be sanctioned by - the democratically elected Parliament.

It is only after defining the policies which, by their nature, should be a competence of the Union that one can agree on the optimal structure of the institutions that should ensure their implementation.

The European Commission is to serve European interests, the Council of the European Union defends the interests of Member States and the European Parliament that of its citizens.

Bruegel Annual Meeting

At the start of the new cycle of the European Institutions,
Bruegel published a series of memos to the new generation of lawmakers: suggestions for a fairer, greener and braver Europe
a discussion of the 16 individual memos)


Sibiu Summit  

Will Europe's leaders be able to give Europe a new impetus at the forthcoming Sibiu Summit? What direction should the European Union take? What should be its guiding values? Should the EU open or close up againts the multiple threats in a chaotic world? Should the member states re-assert themselves or do we need stronger European decision-making?








The issues were discussed during CEPS Ideas Lab 2019. Mr. Czaputowicz stressed that the EU countries should demonstrate their commitments to the fundamental values: unity, cooperation in good will and subsidiarity. He pointed also the need to regain the confidence of the citizens in the EU institutions.


Europa is the largest area of peace and prosperity in history, biggest humanitarian aid provider, and operates with the most comprehensive diplomatic network of the world. Moreover, the polity provides security, the successful Erasmus+ program, yields the single market, fosters the trade agenda, agreed the Europe 2020 growth strategy, is creating a common energy policy, and is working to reform of the financial sector. But these days, instability and populism makes the European project seen as monster; member states jointly have not completed and complied in a timely manner several common agreements with big impact.

To regain stability and trust, Europa needs an agile and decisively form of Authority to cooperate, allowing sovereign states to be as free as possible, to clean up and resolve old vicious issues and unfinished business, to retain what works, and to agree, run, comply and finish on matters that require joint approach. Only after the order that carries us is restored and works, we can trust Europe again.

There are still choices: status quo / muddling through, federalism, improved continuation of full supranational collaboration, dismantling of Europe to regain the flexibility of the smallness, God back on the throne, or weapon. Over 2000 years there has been a vision of a future in which Europa would acquire some kind of unity. The idea will not disappear. We are equipped with a repository of tools that can shape our life and therefore able to find appropriate relevance that gives Europa glamor. We have to compare our best practices and use these with each other for our common destiny.

The principle of precaution should not impose on our political masters the obligation to enforce urgently the necessary reforms to shelter us from foreign arbitrary decisions which encroach on our sovereignty and increase our degree of subordination. For example, the Euro must become a credible alternative to other strong currencies. This implies accelerating the finalisation of the Economic and Monetary Union. Such an EMU would become the privileged counterpart to the ECB. The latter could then deploy successfully the full range of monetary tools available to a fully fledged Central Bank, including its role as lender of last resort to the “EMU Government” and the hands on management of an appropriate exchange rate policy.

Europe's geostrategic positioning in a Volatile World
(Bruegel Annual Meeting 2018, #bam18)

About a call for redefinition of European public goods and for thinking strategically and addressing the relationship between economic and geopolitics
"Europe” is not the cause of our present difficulties, it is its transformation towards a resolutely “federal” structure. There are uncountable dynamics to bring under the spotlight, from  the most beautiful to the ultimate destructive. To counter occurrence of destructive dynamics, the European idea has emerged and is, using the concept of differentiated integration and approach of multi-level governance, a direction sought to achieve common goals. A list of reasons to like the EU might read as follows:

it has helped bring a lasting peace to Europe, mainly through the single market, it has promoted prosperity, innovation, opportunity and choice, also thanks to the single market, it has raised standards and expectations, it has helped Europeans understand their shared values and what they have in common, it has reduced – yes, reduced – regulation and red tape by harmonizing national laws in numerous areas of policy, it has helped replace self-interest with shared interests, and exclusion with inclusion, it has promoted democracy and free markets at home and abroad, by bringing together 28 governments and more than 500 million people, it has allowed Europe to speak with a louder voice, it offers a benchmark model of civilian power, showing what can be achieved through peace rather than the threat or use of violence and it has encouraged a rules-based approach to international affairs.

Europe is for the community a place to feel at home. Citizens in EU-member-states have European citizenship and have therefore opportunity to help with preparation of texts, decision-making and the evaluation of the EU's work. But there is much more. To provide people feel home, there are also non-material trends. Not only languages, literature & poetry, history, philosophy (within which ethics), religion, visuals, performing arts and music, health, and sports are part of it, but also cultural values, identity, virtues, tolerance, solidarity, equality, rule of law & justice are aspects that contribute to improve well-being.

If Europe wants to be a global player, it should also have the disposal of a strong economy, a solid foreign policy and a proper policy for security and is therefore focusing on:

  • how to handle the short term pressures associated with the present global economic downturn. But it is vital to look to the longer term to ensure that economies, enterprises and industry are in a strong position to strengthen multiple forces and to set GDP growth. To achieve these goals and to provide a strong economy the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) emerged and was afterwards underpinned, and recognizes Europe recognizes '2020-strategies (digital agenda, innovation, youth on the move, resource efficiency, an industrial policy for the globalisation era, an agenda for new skills and jobs and a platform against poverty)

  • foreign policy, necessary about the kind of society we want to live in because fundamental changes in the relations and the balances between world powers are in full swing;

  • security & defence policy. Political leaders  that made reasonable and responsible decisions came on stage and changed the course of history. Several generations of Europeans have lived their whole lives in freedom and have, except an incursion into Georgia, not been witness to war in the Old Continent. This is a valuable legacy that we should all keep in mind and which must be responsibly managed to guarantee its future success.

European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA)
Aspects asking for outlooks, for narratives about freedoms, forms of polity, peace, less inequality, solidarity, tolerance, justice and for commitments. With use of time, step by step, and inter alia using the concept of differentiated integration and approach of multi-level governance, at this time Europe is fixing its problems on economy, finance and in politics and tries a direction of more unity, but possible lack of sufficient support and resistance from nationalistic and populistic movements may delay that desire. In this context, it is good to have knowledge of Monnet's vision of integration (a Brookings' essay from Strobe Talbott) and the article at the end 'Why ‘anti-European populists’ won’t win big in the European elections' by Cas Mudde, published 28 January 2014.


Angela Merkel’s victory: What next for Europe?   The German election: What Europe expects - and what Germany will not do

European Council on Foreign Relations, date: 23rd September 2013  |  Author: Felix Mengel, Olaf Boehnke, Sebastian Dullien

Though Merkel’s victory is very impressive and cements her now unassailable position within the CDU, paradoxically, it might be quite difficult for her to form a coalition. The political reality dictates that compromises will have to be found, which means Germany’s policies are likely to shift slightly to the left. Her previous coalition partner, the FDP, has suffered a historic setback and will not be represented in the new parliament for the first time since the founding of the Federal Republic. Having lost two-thirds of their voters, the Liberals will have to fundamentally re-invent themselves.

In terms of the euro crisis, much depends on who will actually partake in the final coalition. The Green party has been much more euro-friendly and critical of Merkel’s austerity-focused recovery strategy than the Social Democrats, calling for a debt-redemption pact and a symmetric adjustment of current account imbalances alongside stronger policy integration.  However, it is not clear whether a CDU-Green coalition would actually be more euro-friendly than a Grand Coalition. Under a CDU-Green coalition, there would be the danger that the SPD becomes slightly more sceptical towards rescue packages and forces the government to appear tough in the defence of German interests.

That being said, it is safe to assume that any possible coalition will become slightly more constructive towards the rest of Europe and will more coherently work for a prudent outcome in the two main problems to be addressed in the coming months: the
Greek debt problem and the banking union. Nonetheless, change will remain limited as the euro crisis is not the most important issue for either the Greens or the Social Democrats. As we have repeatedly stated in the last few months, do not expect a fundamental shift in Germany’s economic policies.


by Ulrike Guérot - 05 Sep 13

Europeans expect a lot from Germany once its election is out of the way – in particular a vision for Europe beyond simply dealing with emergencies. But they are likely to be disappointed. With its own domestic concerns, such as income inequalities and demographic decline, Germany simply lacks the political ambition to provide clear leadership for Europe in turbulent times. Despite its central role in European politics, it sees itself as a role model rather than a leader, and has a legalistic approach to reform rather than an attachment to grand plans.

In a new ECFR paper – The German election: what Europe expects – and what Germany will not do– Ulrike Guérot warns that Germany’s pragmatic approach is likely to continue, despite many European leaders wanting Berlin to take the lead in three main areas:

  • Banking union – Germany is dragging its feet on an issue that many see as an overriding priority both to disentangle state from bank finances and to stabilise the European project. But legal and political hurdles in Germany are unlikely to disappear after the election, unless the return of dangerous market instability forced it to act.

  • A growth strategy – rather than respond to calls for them to alter their economic policy to stimulate the entire European economy, Germans believe their economic success is the model for others to copy, through hard work, austerity and reform.

  • European foreign policy – many believe Europe cannot have a strategic focus without Germany, but Germany itself lacks such a focus, preferring commerce to diplomacy.

“Europe wants Berlin to put its money where its mouth is, and emerge from its election with a vision for the EU’s future. But Germany lives in a different world to other EU members, with its own preoccupations and concerns. There is a gap between European expectations of a more constructive German role and Germany’s capacity to meet these expectations.


  EUROPA 1580, 1950, 1973

A WISHFUL THINKING : motivated to better understand the current European uprise, I read in the year 2022 the following article about developments in Europe, period 2007-2017:

Idea of Europe attacked
"After deliberately destructed the idea of Europe, it showed alternatives were not present. The right to achieve chaos, however, was fully exploited: lies, half truths and kept back information made and fed discontent amoung populations. Euromyths strengthened that emotion further. Compared to the events, happened in the 19th and at the beginning of the 20st century, not harmless and therefore unwise.

Empty promises, great sense of drama, little sense of realism, a too simple representation of affairs, advocating easy solutions that do not work and fighting against ourselves was the atmosphere in which negative changes in the two eras were created.

Sensible people
But sensible people went the dialogue, turned the tide and arranged in time that politics and society took the right direction again. They saw advantage in the crisis and self-cleaning capacity, what put in motion the discussion about what kind of Europe, in stead of I want my country back. Now it has became a stronger Europe:

the EU is easily handling the different levels of ambition,
there is a common European global strategy, asylum and migration policy, a tax authority for the euro area and
there are steps made towards the development of the EU into a 'state'.


The president of the European Council is now elected by the Europeans, Europe has outposts in some countries around the external borders, and the influence of populism and the political ideology of nationalism has declined. European citizens have recognized again the advantages and achievements of further cooperation and are obvious involved in our common future. The discontent and the lies disappeared.

Vision of a future
Over 2000 years there has been a vision of a future in which Europa would acquire some kind of unity. There is not only ongoing debate about where the geographical centre is, but also on cultural and political issues and Europe's precise borders. For several reasons, the European project is nowadays often seen as monster, but the idea will not disappear. What lacks is real meaning and sufficient capacity, what we ourselves will have to give. We are equipped with a repository of tools that can shape our life and therefore able to find appropriate relevance that gives EUROPE glamor again.