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White Paper on the Future of Europe

Young Researchers as drivers of Europe’s Future

19.02.2019 · C·A·P

Young researchers present their findings on the future of the European Union

Europe is at a crossroad and needs to decide how to tackle challenges such as the impact of increased use of technology and automation, climate change, migration, ageing population, the rise of populist and nationalist rhetoric. In regards to the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome White Paper on the future of the European Union was initiated by the European Commission in 2017. Since then, the Commission has been actively in contact with communities around the European Union to gauge their views on their priorities for Europe. Citizens should get integrated trough dialogues, parliaments and expert panels into the discussion about challenges and the reorientation of the EU. The debate starts with the White paper in 2017 and ends with the European Parliament elections in 2019.

Against this background, a Junior Research Group of 12 students at the Centre for Applied Policy Research (C·A·P) of the Ludwig Maximilians University was founded in cooperation with the Representation of the European Commission in Munich.

Members of the Bavarian Parliaments Frank Siekmann (Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen), Tobias Gotthardt (Freie Wähler), Eva Feldmann-Wojtachnia (CAP) und Diana Stachowitz (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands) comment on the results of the Reserach Group.

The research group focused on the following topics from the White Paper:

  • Foreign affairs and defence policy

  • Schengen, migration and security

  • Economic and Monetary Union

After a Summer School at the C·A·P, the topical introduction and the textual specification of research questions in October 2018, the research started. The students conducted interviews with experts from politics, economics and society and evaluated the results in own findings. The highlight of the project was the final and public event on February 8th in 2019. The introduction about the status quo of the White Paper by Jürgen Gmelch (Representation of the European Commission in Munich), was followed up by the presentation of the results by the student research group. Afterwards there was a discussion in small-group of experts, students and parliamentarians from the Bavarian Parliament on the topics "Migration", "Economics" and "Security".

The dialogue group "Economics" around Diana Stachowitz (SPD) focused on the question regarding social equality, rights and obligations in future of the European Union. The members concluded, that existing measures in order to combat tax avoidance or to reduce youth unemployment in the EU need to be strengthened and binding minimum standards of professional education have to be created.

The dialogue group "Security" around Tobias Gotthard (Freie Wähler) discussed the issue of closer cooperation within the energy market among EU-members for safety matters with regard to North Stream 2. The aim must be the cohesion of the European Union, close ties to states such as Ukraine and maintaining power against Russia.

The dialogue group "Migration" around Florian Siekmann (Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen) focused on the topics human rights, enforceability and effectiveness with regard to the Common European Asylum System and the European Border and Cost Guard Agency FRONTEX. There must be a strong emphasis on the protection of human rights and a clear distribution of responsibilities to control violations human rights.

The day ended with the handover of the certificates to the young researchers and an outlook by Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Werner Weidenfeld towards the present challenges of the European Union. According to his analysis, the ability to act and the negotiation of the political framework of the Economic and Monetary Union, the common handling of security issues is groundbreaking for him. It is important to get involved in a timely and critical exchange between the political actors, different stakeholders and the citizens.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Werner Weidenfeld (Director of the C·A·P) draws a strategic conclusion on the future of the EU

The initiative of the EU Commission for the establishment of a student research group at the LMU, which deals with current issues of European policy, has in the unanimous opinion of all participants fallen on fertile ground. It showed once again how important it is to offer young people structures and formats that enable them to engage in dialogues with political actors on an equal footing. University settings and accompanying scientific guidiance provide students with a helpful and supportive framework for the qualified examination of the future of the EU.


White Paper on the Future of Europe

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