Summary of How Can We Make Europe Popular Again?

Fondation Robert Schuman,

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How Can We Make Europe Popular Again? summary
Until the European Union tackles its ambiguity problem, it won’t win any popularity contests.


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In a new analysis for the Fondation Robert Schuman, former director general of the EU Council’s legal service Jean-Claude Piris examines how the EU can push back against Euroskepticism and restore Europe’s popularity. Alas, most of Piris’s analysis describes which options are no longer viable. In the end, he prescribes to the EU small steps, more clarity in its vision and straightforward responsibilities. While always politically neutral, getAbstract recommends this article to EU political junkies.


In this summary, you will learn

  • Why the EU should better articulate its goals and aspirations,
  • Why it’s time to rule out treaty revisions, and
  • How differing budgetary and economic policies rule out a “Franco-German initiative.”


Euroskepticism is on the rise, and belief in the European Union among its citizens waning. People are weary of the Union’s wishy-washy goals and unclear responsibilities. That became evident when citizens of France and the Netherlands dismissed the draft of an EU constitution, a “masterpiece of ambiguity,” at the ballot. People take for granted the benefits the EU brings, among them peace and thriving trade, and feel, at the same time, that the EU is not handling economic, monetary and immigration problems well. In trying to “make Europe popular again,” four options are no longer viable:

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About the Author

Jean-Claude Piris, the former director general of the EU Council’s legal service, is a member of the Robert Schuman Foundation’s scientific committee.

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