60 Ideas for Europe

Keep up the good work

My idea for Europe is simple. The EU should keep up the good work.

If the pre-Lisbon time in EU affairs was almost solely about solving the EU’s institutional problems, then the post-Lisbon period should be about getting on with the business of running the integration process. This idea runs counter-intuitive to the history of the EU because its history is full of profound ideas and changes. Nothing is wrong with this (we wouldn’t have the Union that we do if not for its visionaries). However, the citizens who voted against the Constitutional Treaty were more concerned with every day issues and concerns than they were about reversing the process of integration.

So, moving forward, the EU after Lisbon should get down to the hard business of making the EU work instead of figuring out the next big idea and selling it to the voters. They’re sold on the idea of integration. What they are not sold on is the Union functioning in the interests of the average person. By making the Union work more effectively and efficiently, the EU will garner more support than was evidenced during the ratification of the Constitution.

The EU has achieved incredible progress in the last 50 years. It also achieves real progress everyday in the lives of its citizens. Another big idea will come along someday, but for the moment, keep up the good work!

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  1. Why should practical progress and institutional reform be mutually exclusive?

    The European Commission seems to have grasped the importance of making it easier to work, move and live across national borders within the European Union.

    But a long history of integration and harmonisation has shown that real progress mostly is dependent on the right tools to reach meaningful decisions.

    The Treaty of Lisbon (if it enters into force) makes some advances, but solid democratic legitimacy and effective decision making still face huge ‘black holes’: CFSP, CSDP and all the unanimity requirements (special legislative procedures).

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