In the aftermath of the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), following the referendum of June 2016, the EU launched a profound reflection on the Future of Europe, which continues in various fora and institutions.
The debate has gained new momentum: the acceleration of the negotiations with the UK on its withdrawal from the EU, the electoral results in some EU Member States, and the forthcoming European Parliament elections in May 2019, have all deepened the discussion and increased the visibility of the positions of the various actors involved.
In this context, since the beginning of 2018, the European Parliament has been organising plenary debates on the ‘Future of Europe’ with Heads of State or Government – so far with the Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, in January; the Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković, in February; and the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, in March. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, is due to deliver a speech during the Parliament’s April 2018 plenary session. The Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, and the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, have confirmed their participation in early May, in Brussels, and at the end of May, in Strasbourg, respectively. This Briefing gives an overview of where the current debate stands in a number of key policy areas, such as the future of economic and monetary union (EMU) and the EU’s social dimension, as well as recent developments in EU migration policy, and security and defence. It also includes some preliminary analysis about the future, post-2020, Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and discussions on broader institutional matters.