An excerpt from the article in Europe’s World by UNU-CRIS Director Luk Van Langenhove:
“Today, the EU faces a series of external and internal challenges. First of all, the economic centre of gravity has shifted east, putting pressure on the performance of European companies as well as on state budgets. Second, there is a belt of weak and failed states in Europe’s neighbourhood, and the conflicts related to them put pressure on the EU’s external borders. At the same time, the EU as a governance system also faces internal challenges from the complexity of its decision-making procedures and the fact that the now 28 member states have very different positions on many issues. And then there is the waning legitimacy of the European project towards the citizens.
“There is obviously no panacea for dealing with these current problems and challenges. But perhaps it is time to go back to the original peace and security dream. The issue is thankfully no longer about maintaining peace within Europe, but how to export that peace and security to the European neighbourhood. The original European project only became a success because of the Marshall Plan, which provided the necessary funds to rebuild Europe after the Second World War. Today, we need a similar Marshall Plan to stabilise the European neighbourhood and to give incentives to political transformations in the region that are in line with the universal principles of human rights.”