Reflecting on the future of the European Union - The view from local and regional authorities
If there is one thing that everybody seems to agree on, it is that the European Union is at a juncture. What started as a relatively small scale dream after the Second World War is now a largely mature political system of half a billion citizens, spanning much of the continent that it is named after and with competences in a wide range of policies. What emerged as an elite driven process now belongs to citizens who are increasingly demanding about the levels of democracy, transparency, and accountability of the political system which determines or influences so many of their rights and duties. What once seemed unanimous and generic is now open to the traditional debates of all decision making processes, with rife disagreements on conceptions of regulation, solidarity, and efficiency, as well as competition for ideas and power between various people, various parties.
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.