The European Commission released a white paper about the future of Europe last week, through which it aims to trigger a full range of bottom-up debates on social, defense, finance and monetary issues that will define the 28-member bloc's destiny after the United Kingdom leaves it.
The white paper, in which the commission has mapped out five future scenarios for the 60-year-old union, came after EC President Jean-Claude Juncker stressed during his annual state of the union address in September that the European Union was having "existential crises". Juncker will sum up a new policy portfolio in his address in September after the half-year debates have ended.
To achieve this, the EC has set a very clear timetable for the various debates, while elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany, which, dangerously, could result in far-right or populist leaders forming governments, will take place on another track in the coming months. Thus the debates could lead to a decision to either widely consolidate the union, or make it focus only on foreign policy, defense measures and fiscal and monetary regulations.