What vision can lead to EU reform?

The escalating debate over migration policy once again has people asking whether Europe is at all capable of concerted action on key topics for the future. Europe experts also approach the question from different angles in the media.

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La Stampa (IT) /

We need a better Europe

Andrea Mammone, professor of European history, describes in La Stampa how Europe can be saved in the midst of crises:

“The progressive thinkers should propose a radically new vision of Europe that guarantees equal opportunities and access to services (education, healthcare and the like) and propels it towards a pan-European welfare state. ... Unlike the return to the nation state proposed by the far right, this would convey a more positive image of the EU and counter the idea of a neoliberal Europe driven purely by economic motives. ... A pan-European public service system would strengthen the eroded bond between institutions and citizens. ... After all we don't need more or less Europe, we simply need a better Europe.”

Lidové noviny (CZ) /

Alliances within EU can be a good thing

Pan-European solutions are becoming increasingly rare, Lidové noviny notes, but adds that this is not a bad thing:

“The formation of groups of states with shared interests within the EU is becoming increasingly common. There are the Southern Europeans who want more money from the EU's coffers or exemptions from cutbacks. The Visegrád states attracted attention with their stance against quotas for migrants, whereby the developments have justified their position. For the supporters of closer integration, including Macron, the existence of such groups is not good news. For citizens of the EU who argue that those in favour of integration are too far removed from developments in the member states, this trend needn't be a bad thing. ”

Le Soir (BE) /

Citizens, take Europe's fate into your own hands

Change can only come from the people, believes legal expert Frédéric Mauro. He writes in Le Soir:

“We cannot wait for the heads of government and state because a change in the treaties requires the approval of all 27 individuals. There is no way this can happen. Because the heads of government and state are far more concerned with preserving their personal decision-making authority - however small - than with furthering collective action. Without any hope of agreement at the top, people must take the European project into their own hands. If those in power don't want to move the people forward, then they will be forced to follow them. Which is why it is important to set up large European political parties and offer transnational lists to the voters. Let's take our fate into our own hands!”

Le Monde (FR) /

Reform parties should introduce primaries

Fabrice Pothier of the consulting firm Rasmussen Global describes in Le Monde how to make the European elections more attractive:

“Macron should develop his strategy of a revolution from below by creating a sort of primary vote to elect the head of LRM's European list. Parties like Ciudadanos in Spain and some others allied with the new reformist group that the president intends to create could do the same. Primaries could lend additional popular support to the future leaders of the parliamentary groups in the European Parliament. And they would make it possible to mobilise grassroots supporters of the Macronian parties in the run-up to the elections. With a weak participation rate - 42.6 percent in 2014 - the ability to mobilise the grassroots could make all the difference.”