The European Reformists

Powerful transformations will rock Europe over the next decades. The EU needs to focus on managing digital, climate, and social change. Can it rise to the challenge?

Europe’s political debates are focused on the wrong issues. Populists have succeeded in establishing migration as the dominant political issue, diverting attention from the demographic, environmental, and technological revolutions that will transform European societies and politics.

A new approach to the debate about the future of the EU is needed: one that focuses on how to direct the EU’s collective resources and unique advantages to face the greatest threats and innovations of the twenty-first century.

To step up to the challenge, the Open Society European Policy Institute and Carnegie Europe have convened the European Reformists to think realistically and positively about how our world will change over the next fifteen years and how to respond successfully.

Europe’s political debates are too focused on divisive, single-issue problems. The EU should turn its attention to three huge, transnational challenges that will shape the lives of the next generation—climate change, aging populations, and digital revolutions. If badly handled, these challenges could do irreparable damage to Europe’s economies, societies, and physical environments.

This report is a rallying cry for the EU to take on the forthcoming transitions. Europeans have a historic opportunity to pull together and use their collective capacity to generate innovative solutions. If they are successful, the EU could provide political leadership on a scale that would help not only Europeans but also the rest of the world to adapt.

Read the Report

Tomáš Valášek

Tomáš Valášek is the director of Carnegie Europe. @valasekt

Heather Grabbe

Heather Grabbe is the director of the Open Society European Policy Institute. @HeatherGrabbe

  • Alberto Alemanno
    Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law, HEC Paris
  • Stephen Boucher
    chief executive officer, Dreamocracy, Brussels
  • Piotr Buras
    head of the Warsaw Office, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Nadina Christopoulou
    co-founder and coordinator, Melissa Network, Athens
  • Catherine Fieschi
    director, Counterpoint, London
  • Monique Goyens
    director general, The European Consumer Organization, Brussels
  • Jan Havránek
    policy adviser, Policy Planning Unit, Office of the Secretary General, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Brussels
  • Dirk Holemans
    director, Oikos—Think tank for socio-ecological change, Ghent
  • Riina Kaljurand
    counsellor, Policy Planning Department, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tallinn
  • Merle Maigre
    executive vice president for government relations, CybExer, Tallinn
  • Manuel Muñiz
    dean, IE School of Global and Public Affairs, IE University, Madrid
  • Verena Ringler
    director, European Commons, Innsbruck and Vienna
  • Daniel Sachs
    chief executive officer, Proventus AB, Stockholm
  • Guna Šnore
    senior expert, NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, Riga
  • Zsuzsanna Szelényi
    ERSTE Stiftung fellow, Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna
  • Lucy Alice Thomas
    executive director, Give Something Back to Berlin
  • Shahin Vallée
    economist, former economic policy adviser, Paris
  • Jordi Vaquer
    regional director for Europe, Open Society Foundations; co-director, Open Society Initiative for Europe, Barcelona
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