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EU Democracy

Middle-Class Concerns and European Challenges

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Friday, September 15, 2023
Abstract in English: 
This report studies the position, aspirations, expectations and fears of Europe’s middle classes concerning some of the key challenges that the EU is facing. It is based on an extensive online survey carried out in all 27 EU member states. It reveals an acute economic insecurity and fear of falling behind among EU citizens, especially in the lower social strata. It also shows that this crisis of citizens’ expectations and prospects is a threat to political stability, as it feeds into a dangerous crisis of legitimacy and trust in public institutions and political parties. Concerns may be most strongly expressed in the economic field, but also extend to the possible consequences of the war in Ukraine and the broader geopolitical realignments it entails. In particular, the combination of middle-class insecurity and relatively high levels of trust in Russia in parts of Southern and Eastern Europe should be highlighted. However, citizens also think that most challenges can be tackled and reversed through adequate political and policy action. In particular, the centre–right’s approaches to security, immigration and the economy retain great appeal among the European middle classes; there is a need to better connect with the lower middle classes though. Citizens also have a high estimation of the problem-solving capacity of civil-society actors and a relatively high level of trust in the EU. An inclusive narrative addressing European challenges on the basis of safety, stability, justice, freedom and cooperation could help to reassure Europe’s middle classes. Centre–right forces have a fundamental role to 1 play in this process.
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72
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The European Economic and Social Committee in 2040

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Monday, December 12, 2022
Abstract in English: 
Based on the evaluation of previous research and other documents, stakeholder interviews and consultation as well as an online survey, this report drafts possible futures of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).
The EESC is confronted with multiple challenges, including an uncertain future relevance of the EU and acceptance of the “Project Europe” by citizens, socioeconomic transformation processes and new participation possibilities as well as a changed structure of civil society. Against this, questions of representation and legitimacy as well as of impact and added value of the Committee must be asked.
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54
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Broken Embraces: Is Central Europe Falling Out of Love with the West?

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Abstract in English: 
Throughout much of the 1990s, progress was the order of the day. NATO enlargement under the Clinton administration was part of a broader global strategy, presenting democratic and entrepreneurial opportunity. This process was coupled with the prospect of new cooperation with Russia to create an undivided, free, and prosperous Europe. A decade and a half later, Central Europe faces severe challenges and signs of particular vulnerability to backlash against the very ideals this period set out to establish and the values expected to endure.
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10
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Global Trendometer - Essays on medium- and long-term global trends

Date of Editorial Board meeting: 
Publication date: 
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Abstract in English: 
The EU faces challenges from the outside and the inside. Most of those are the symptoms of big underlying trends, and handling them needs foresight. The Global Trendometer tries to provide foresight for decision makers in the EU by analysing the changes in these long-term trends. This publication does not offer answers or make recommendations. It presents summarised information derived from a range of carefully selected sources. This issue of the Global Trendometer analyses long-term trends on India, the labour-share of income, and democracy and artificial intelligence. It also features two-pagers on geoengineering, remittances, food security in China, economic waves, the US after Trump, public procurement and deep fakes.
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56
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