Publications in: New Beginnings

New Beginnings: Energy

Ursula von der Leyen has chosen to make the ‘European Green Deal’ her number one priority. This crosscutting issue should federate all the services of the European Commission, and start by accelerating the transition to a clean energy future. To do so, von der Leyen needs to build a broad coalition of EU governments, Members of Parliament and citizens. We therefore argue that the European Commission should structure the ‘European Green Deal’ around three complementary policy priorities: climate ambition to set the direction, innovation-based competitiveness to help EU companies develop the clean energy solutions for Europe and the world, and social justice to ensure an inclusive transition that improves the living conditions of all Europeans. more

New Beginnings: Eurozone Reform

The new Commission should shift gears. Rather than spending ever more political capital on ever smaller technical reform steps, it should focus on fostering a political consensus on the future direction of Eurozone reform. In parallel, it should ensure that the Eurozone is prepared for the next crisis, which might just be around the corner. This means first to bring the current reform package including a mini-Eurozone budget over the finish line; second to make Banking Union work properly; and third to prepare a playbook for a joint fiscal response in a future recession. more

New Beginnings: Trade

While the geopolitical dimension of trade policy is growing in importance and multilateralism is threatened, consensus in public opinion for global trade has shrunk and value chains are shortening. In this changing context of globalisation and with the surge in support for the Greens in the new European Parliament, the new Commission, which holds an exclusive competence in trade policy, must make it more ecological and inclusive, also reinforcing the compliance of imports with European standards. This shift in EU trade policy requires a whole set of greening and social measures as well as key initiatives to strengthen multilateralism. more

New Beginnings: EU foreign and security policy

EU institutions and member states should join forces to address the capabilities-expectations gap which is widening in light of internal and external contestation. This implies, first, starting with the right institutional set-up, notably a European Security Council providing strategic direction and a Commission DG Defence driving industrial consolidation in the defence sector. Second, the EU should raise the European Defence Union to the next level by addressing divergent arms export policies, strengthening its operational arm and deepening cooperation with NATO. Third, the EU should revitalise foreign policy by taking gradual steps towards qualified majority voting, making the Council’s work more efficient, and developing a longer-term vision. more

New Beginnings: Digital Europe

Many challenges are ahead for the EU’s digital and innovation policy in the next five years. Although there are signs that the European tech ecosystem is slowly but steadily catching up, the EU is still lagging behind the US (and now also China) in tech-related measures, be it investment in AI start-ups, adoption of new business models, data usage or market valuations of technology companies. The EU will need to considerably improve the framework conditions for its start-ups and its digitalizing old industries to counter these trends. more