The #EURoad2Sibiu Series is part of an ongoing project by the European Political Strategy Centre to intellectually accompany the work of the European institutions in setting out a path for the future of the EU at 27 in the run-up to the Leaders’ Summit in Sibiu, Romania, in May 2019.

The Series will shed light on a number of initiatives that were identified as priorities in European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union address and/or have been included on the Leader’s Agenda.

Building on the Spitzenkandidaten Model

Issue 1
16 February 2018
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 Double-Hatted President

Issue 2
16 February 2018
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.

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