Once again, Europe is at the crossroads: in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, rising eurosceptic voices and foreign powers questioning Europe’s role in the world, the EU has to find answers to these unprecedented challenges. It is time to Reshape Europe!
With the German EU Council-Presidency ahead, the European Dialogue Programme will explore a variety of pressing issues on the EU agenda, including infrastructure, digitisation, rule of law, human rights, economy and the environment. While the list of challenges seems never ending, the EU needs to foster increased public dialogue and promote sustainable joint approaches to strengthen its role at home and abroad.
Let us channel the power of freedom and open societies together, and join us on the path to #ReshapeEurope.
Refugee policy has gained momentum. In the run-up to the EU summit, the EU Commission wants to accommodate the representatives of the Central European countries of the Visegrad Group (V4): “Flexible solidarity” is the motto. A compulsory quota and distribution system of refugees among all EU countries will not be implemented. For too long the V4 had opposed the proposal favoured by Germany.
In Southern Europe, reactions to the EU Commission’s proposal are mixed. In Spain in particular, there is little enthusiasm for the fact that key positions of the country have not been taken into account. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of the PSOE party (“Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party”) is preparing for tough negotiations in Brussels and has asked the three relevant ministries (interior/exterior/migration) to analyse the proposal beforehand. In Italy, on the other hand, the reactions are more positive.
The mood was tense when Margaritis Schinas and Ylva Johansson appeared before the press on Wednesday 23 September with their migration pact. “Nobody will be satisfied,” predicted the EU Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, foreseeing reactions to the more than 300-page proposals, even before the Visegrád heads of government, as expected, began their chorus of critics on Friday.
On the agenda of the European Council: the Multiannual Financial Framework and the “Next Generation EU” programme for the rebuilding of the EU after the Corona health crisis. EU-expert Thomas Ilka has the latest news on the content of the negotiations, lines of conflict, actors and timeframes.
Estonia’s Prime Minister Jüri Ratas has resigned over a corruption investigation in his party. He paved the way for the opposition Reform Party to form
At long last, the EU and the UK agreed on a Brexit deal just before Christmas. Most importantly, this meant that a no-deal scenario, which would have dramatic consequences for the UK and EU economies, had been avoided. But is that enough to make it a good agreement for Liberals on both sides of the Channel?