Why We Need a European Policy of Change and What It Should Look Like

Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union
Place of publication
Brussels, Belgium
Date of Publication
November 2014
Number of Pages
7
Licence
All rights reserved.
Language of publication
English
Series

The new European Parliament has been elected and has taken up its work; the (structure of the) new Commission college has been proposed and is waiting for the Parliament’s approval. Hailed by some as the most significant shake-up of the European Commission's organisational structure in years, the Parliament was less amused and MEPs threatened “to get tough” on some of the candidates. Notwithstanding the outcome of this confrontation, a “shake-up” of European politics and some “toughness” do not seem out of place in Europe’s current political and economic situation. The recent European elections have clearly demonstrated that (too) many people have lost faith in Europe and its politicians. They do no longer trust their ability to make things better. But, is Europe’s decline really irreversible? In order to decide how to get things right in Europe, we have to think about what exactly went wrong and set our priorities. In his recent book “European Spring – Why Our Economies and Politics are in a Mess and How to Put Them Right” Philippe Legrain, former independent economic advisor to Commission President Barroso, spells out his ideas about a fair and decisive solution to the banking and debt crisis; the necessity to dispel “bad ideas” and hurtful myths; fundamental economic and political reforms and changes to institutions to make them work better, and a more accountable and democratic EU with genuine political choice. He came to Brussels to be questioned by journalist Annette Riedel and a curious audience.