The 2013 Jean Monnet Conference, focusing on the political implications of European integration and the move towards further political union, was attended by 400 political decision-makers, Jean Monnet professors, top academics, and experts, as well as the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.
Following on from past conferences, which focused on economic governance (2011) and the importance of education for sustainable growth (2012), the 2013 conference sought to determine whether the necessary economic, political, and cultural pre-requisites for further political union had been met.
The main conclusion of the conference was that more European integration is needed, and that efforts have to be made to identify the most appropriate means of achieving it. Next year's European Parliament elections represent a crucial challenge for the future of Europe, and provide a greater opportunity for further debate on the issue.
The Jean Monnet programme is a network of university professors spanning 77 countries on five continents. It serves to facilitate global dialogue, as well as provide policy guidance to the European Commission.