The Report on the State of the European Union, which is carried out every year by two European foundations – the Spanish Fundación Alternativas and the German Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung – Situation in 2021 to a European Union facing a period of transition.
The Report is divided this year into three main blocks: European democracy and the Conference on the future of Europe; economic recovery and the EU's next generation recovery funds; and the need to make progress on three axes such as foreign policy, the migration and asylum system, and the 'Europe of health', the importance of which has been highlighted by the pandemic.
The crisis caused by the pandemic has opened the door to a new paradigm of economic governance within the Union, illustrated by the Next Generation EU fund, whose potential the Member States will try to exploit through their candidate plans for recovery, transformation and resilience. However, we do not yet know whether the step forward – in terms of the continent's economic and political integration – represented by this historic issuance of EU debt will be the seed of a definitive turnaround, or whether it is more of a cyclical response.
The global landscape is changing rapidly and the European Union is still seeking its place in the geopolitical arena, pending progress in the construction of its strategic autonomy at a summit announced by President Von der Leyen for 2022. Challenges such as the major challenge of climate change, health protection against this and future pandemics, and the management of migratory flows also require coordinated action by the Member States.
The European Union's political agenda in these and many other areas will have to take into account the conclusions and recommendations of the Conference on the Future of Europe, a democratic exercise that should not remain a mere consultative operation. This Conference will produce proposals debated and agreed upon by European citizens, giving them an important value when it comes to drawing up some of the lines to be followed in the construction of the European project. In the same way, this Report – the tenth Report on the State of the EU – offers analyses and recommendations for the development of the European Union.