Future of Europe debates II: Parliament hosts Heads of State or Government

Briefing 19-10-2018

Against the background of the many challenges faced by the European Union (EU) in recent years, and with the May 2019 European Parliament elections approaching, the future of the European project has come back on the agenda of public discourse. At the European Council of October 2017, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, announced his intention to host a series of Future of Europe debates during plenary sessions, as a democratic and open forum in which the Heads of State or Government of EU Member States would be invited to express their vision of the future, starting in early 2018. Intended to run for the whole of 2018 and beyond, the 'Future of Europe' debates in the European Parliament have thus far featured the leaders of ten Member States. They have used the opportunity to set out their personal vision, highlighting priorities, pointing to areas for better development, and revisiting accomplishments so far. (See the timeline of speakers below.) This is the second edition of a Briefing designed to provide an overview of the Future of Europe debate in a number of key policy areas. While the first edition covered the first six speakers, the present one focuses on the most recent four. It also contains insights on climate change and international trade, in addition to the areas of economic and monetary union (EMU), the EU social dimension, migration policy, security and defence, and the multiannual financial framework (MFF), covered in the first edition.