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Bolstering Europe’s Democratic Dimension

In the run-up to the May 2019 elections, the debate over the Spitzenkandidaten process – first introduced in 2014 – has been reignited. Introducing a visibility contest for the top executive job in the European Union, with lead candidates competing for the post through campaigns across the EU, rather than through the meanders of the political process, was certainly not an uncontroversial innovation.

It has already borne its fruits, strengthening the connection between the three EU institutions, and paving the way for a more political Commission. But, with some small improvements, what started out as an experiment has the potential to be reproduced and strengthened, contributing to making European democracy more complete.

A New Way of Governing for a Union of 27

As the EU prepares to relaunch itself as a Union of twenty-seven in 2019, the time is ripe to reduce its institutional complexity. It is not only foreign dignitaries who are confused by the EU’s multitude of leaders; Europe’s very own citizens are often similarly unaware of who speaks on their behalf. Too often still there is an artificial division perceived between the European Commission and the Member States.

The creation of a single figure at the helm of the EU, combining the functions of the President of the European Commission and the European Council would generate considerable benefits in terms of transparency, democratic legitimacy and operational efficiency. With the right political will, the shift could be fairly straightforward in procedural terms. And a window of opportunity is just around the corner.

Economic, Financial, Social and Technological Trends in a Changing World

Designing the Next Multiannual Financial Framework

8-9 January 2018 | Brussels

Today, about 244 million people live outside their country of birth. That's 3% of humanity. Migration has always been changing, but the ways it intersects with socio-economic, demographic and technological transformations are now reshaping it in unprecedented ways.

What are the 10 trends currently impacting the way people migrate and migration policies?

Latest

Issue 2
16 February 2018

As the EU prepares to relaunch itself as a Union of twenty-seven in 2019, the time is ripe to reduce its institutional complexity. It is not only foreign dignitaries who are confused by the EU’s multitude of leaders; Europe’s very own citizens are often similarly unaware of who speaks on their behalf. Too often still there is an artificial division perceived between the European Commission and the Member States.

The creation of a single figure at the helm of the EU, combining the functions of the President of the European Commission and the European Council would generate considerable benefits in terms of transparency, democratic legitimacy and operational efficiency. With the right political will, the shift could be fairly straightforward in procedural terms. And a window of opportunity is just around the corner.

Issue 1
16 February 2018

In the run-up to the May 2019 elections, the debate over the Spitzenkandidaten process – first introduced in 2014 – has been reignited. Introducing a visibility contest for the top executive job in the European Union, with lead candidates competing for the post through campaigns across the EU, rather than through the meanders of the political process, was certainly not an uncontroversial innovation.

It has already borne its fruits, strengthening the connection between the three EU institutions, and paving the way for a more political Commission. But, with some small improvements, what started out as an experiment has the potential to be reproduced and strengthened, contributing to making European democracy more complete.

22 January 2018

The EU27 and the euro area have surprised analysts with a stronger than expected recovery, and forecasts show a continuation of this trend for the foreseeable future.

This latest publication by the EPSC highlights some of the most prominent factors underpinning Europe's upward trajectory.

7 December 2017

Today, about 244 million people live outside their country of birth. That's 3% of humanity. Migration has always been changing, but the ways it intersects with socio-economic, demographic and technological transformations are now reshaping it in unprecedented ways.

What are the 10 trends currently shaping the way people migrate and migration policies?

Newsletter #5
30 November 2017

How can we make sure that the European social model adapts to – and benefits from – transformations taking place today in society and in the workplace? In its fifth thematic newsletter, the EPSC zeroes in on some of the most critical trends affecting ‘Social Europe’ and how policymakers can deal with emerging challenges.

 EPSC in Brief

The European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC) is composed of a professional staff of advisers, policy analysts and support staff with appropriate experience and track record, in order to provide professional and targeted policy advice to the President and the College.

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 Events

Funding the EU's Future: Towards a New Multiannual Financial Framework

6 June 2017

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 Quick links

The President | President Jean-Claude Juncker

10 Priorities | The 10 priorities of the Juncker Commission

ESPAS | European Strategy and Policy Analysis System

ORBIS | Open Repository Base on International Strategic Studies

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