The white paper looks at how Europe will change in the next decade, from the impact of new technologies on society and jobs, to doubts about globalisation, security concerns and the rise of populism. It spells out the choice we face: being swept along by those trends, or embracing them and seizing the new opportunities they bring.

These are difficult times but Europe has always been able to adapt. This time, too, we need to respond better to the changing reality and to transform challenges into opportunities.

These are some of the issues we face:

New technologies:

  • the impact of increased use of technology and automation on the job market and industry

Climate change:

  • the need to bring innovative environmental solutions to market, at home and abroad


  • protecting our borders while preserving the right to free movement within Europe

Security threats at our doors and within our Union:

  • the build-up of troops at our eastern borders, war and terrorism in the Middle East and Africa

Europe's changing place in an evolving world:

  • shrinking population and waning economic power

Legacy of the economic crisis:

  • long-term unemployment, especially among young people, and high public and private debt

Ageing population:

  • the need to modernise our social welfare systems

Rise of populist and nationalist rhetoric:

  • the need to restore people's trust, deliver according to expectations and build consensus between member states