EPIN_2CU aims to contribute to the debate on current EU issues, the future of European integration and provide a thorough understanding of national debates.
The EU has already been weakened by a series of referenda, most spectacularly in the UK. Whereas the message from the anti-EU party leaders is one of ‘taking back control’, recent Eurobarometer polls suggest that European citizens support the euro and overwhelmingly want to see a better functioning EU in core areas such as migration, internal and external security (a ‘Europe that protects’), and public investment. This evidence speaks for citizens ‘taking control’ of ‘their’ European Union. How the EU responds to this challenge will partly define the next era of integration. By showing value added and strengthening the participation of citizens and their representatives in decision-making, as indeed the accountability of their governments of the commitments made, the EU can steal the demagogues’ thunder. It is this action which energises the European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN) to reinforce its network activities on the ‘citizens’ union’. The “Towards a Citizens’ Union” (2CU) project is carried out by a consortium of 20 EPIN partners from 16 different countries.
Each partner will produce one policy brief per phase, covering the three clusters of research topics of this project and cumulating to a total of 60 papers. Researchers from each think tank will cover the study from their member state’s perspective. Phase one will deal with Participatory democracy in the EU, phase two with Representative democracy in the EU and phase three with Democratic accountability in the EU. The final synthesis report will contain concrete and actionable policy recommendations for main stakeholders.