2017 was another bad year for the European Union even though it should have been celebrated a year of celebration 60 years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome. Many of the serious problems Europe had been wrestling with over the last years remained unsolved such as populism, Brexit and EU-Turkey relations. Regarding populism, the EU institutions and the Commission will have to respond to the populist allegations with facts and figures and not leave the floor to media pandered to the illiberal governments. The Commission also has to support civil society organisations promoting the EU. In the context of Brexit, the biggest mistake of the REMAIN campaign was that they largely omitted to explain the benefits of EU funds for the vulnerable regions in a context of austerity, even though the LEAVE campaign focused on economic aspects. However, the Brexit referendum result has several other causal features. And concerning the EU-Turkey relations the question remains, how Europe can continue to work with Turkey without (further) compromising its values and abandoning the country’s democratic opposition?
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Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union
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