State of the Union Conference 2018
25 Jan 2018 - 10:13

Reflecting on Europe’s Future

In cooperation with the European Parliament information office in the Netherlands and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Clingendael Institute organised the 'State of the Union Conference 2018', a high-level reflection on the future of the European Union (EU). On January 25 more than 100 EU experts gathered in The Hague (Sociëteit De Witte).

Recent initiatives by key European politicians and officials underline that the EU needs to change. The EU needs to find effective responses to challenges that have become apparent during the Euro crisis as well as those resulting from the changes in the EU’s geopolitical environment. The Union is facing a full agenda concerning the stabilisation of the Euro, looming Brexit, a changing transatlantic relationship, growing Great Power rivalries, persistent public expectations regarding an effective and humane migration policy, and EU budget reform. In addition, discussions revolving around the European elections in 2019 will commence. Yet it is far from clear what reforms should look like and many questions are still unanswered.

Our conference brought together EU and national officials, opinion leaders and EU experts to reflect on the future of the European Union, focusing on six topics: 

  • The Future of European Defence Cooperation
  • Managing Globalisation - EU Trade Policy in the Trump era
  • Social Europe in the context of deepening European Integration
  • The European Monetary Fund - Financial Risks and Political Consequences
  • EU Migration Policies - From Crisis to Strategy?
  • The State of the Union - Prospects for 2018

Video registration and report
During the public closing session Monika Sie Dhian Ho presented Clingendael's Reflection Report 'State of the Union 2018: Towards better European integration' to Thijs van der Plas (DG European Cooperation, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Next, Klaus Welle, Secretary-General European Parliament, delivered his closing speech 'Preparing Europe for the next 25 years'. You are invited to watch the video registration. Twitter: #SotEU2018.