The European Union (EU) faces a critical juncture marked by geopolitical shifts, transnational crises, and internal complexities. For geopolitical reasons, EU enlargement is high on the political agenda, but the EU is not ready yet to welcome new members, neither institutionally nor policy wise. Against this backdrop, a ‘working group on EU institutional reforms’ was convened by the French and German governments. In September 2023, after several months of deliberation, ‘The Group of Twelve’ submitted the results of its work with this report.
Recognising the complexity of aligning diverse Member States' visions for the EU, the report recommends a flexible EU reform and enlargement process. It highlights the need for immediate action to improve the EU's functionality, proposing a list of initial steps before the next European elections. More substantial reforms – including preparations for treaty revisions – should be implemented during the new legislative term (2024 to 2029).
The report’s recommendations are aimed at achieving three goals: increasing the EU’s capacity to act, getting the EU enlargement ready, and strengthening the rule of law and the EU’s democratic legitimacy. The report is structured into three main sections, dealing with the rule of law, institutional reforms, and the process to reform, deepen and enlarge the EU.
I. Protecting the rule of law
II. Addressing institutional challenges
III.Deepening and widening the EU
I. Better protect a fundamental principle: the rule of law
II. Addressing institutional challenges: five key areas of reform
1. Making the EU institutions enlargement-ready
2. Decision-making in the Council
3. EU-level democracy
4. Powers and competences
5. EU resources
III.How to manage progress: Deepening and widening the EU
1. Six options for Treaty change
3. Managing the enlargement process
A Push towards the 2024 European Parliamentary Elections
Stay tuned here and on our social media as we kick off the "Make Your Vote!" project, as part of the European Commission's CERV Programme.
Credits: Michael Swan via Creative Commons
Stand Up for Europe is a movement of citizens reclaiming their hope for a better future, something only a united Europe can provide. Stand Up for Europe unites citizens from across the continent who are ready to build such a future through a more democratic and federal Europe, a Europe more in touch with the needs of its people, and thus a Europe that is better equipped to tackle global challenges.
With the occasion of the Conference on the Future of Europe (2021-2022), Stand Up for Europe has been active in creating information flows between citizens and European civil servants, civil society organizations, the EU institutions, and has supported and coordinated the creation of spaces (online and in-person) for citizens to voice their opinions and share their ideas about this European project. The Conference on the Future of Europe is an unprecedented occasion to increase deliberative democracy in the EU.
Join us to discover ways to actively participate in citizens' activities and stay up to date with the latest developments at our shared European transnational spaces. The future is yours!
By Layla Brener
In the twenty-first century, western culture has seen revolutionary growth in acceptance of sexuality and sexual behavior - the sex-positive movement. In particular, pornography has become less taboo and shameful over the years, flipping into something more regular and liberating. Some may applaud this greater acceptance of pornography, but in Pornography: Men Possessing Women by Andrea Dworkin, it is argued to be an aggressor in women's sexual enslavement. In the introduction and opening chapter -titled "Power"- of her societal critique, she proclaims it to be a tool of male dominance; Hateful and dangerous to the true liberation of women from subjugation and violence.
By Mariia Orudzhova
The history of humanity demonstrates that democracy has intensive development, and nations adjust to emerging trends. If some changes associated with the formation of information societies contribute to democracy, the growing economic, social, and cultural differentiation erects new barriers to democratic regimes, testing their strength. It turns out that democracy creates conditions under which people can establish a decent life, elect their own government, and exercise control over its activities (Sartori, 2000).
By Laura Nolasco Espino
DISCLAIMER: all opinions in this article reflect the views of the author, not the position of STAND UP FOR EUROPE.
Au moins, l'Europe n'a pas à subir la fameuse plaisanterie de Henry Kissinger (ancien secrétaire d'État américain) lorsqu'il a déclaré qu'il ne savait pas qui appeler lorsqu'il voulait appeler l'Europe. De toutes façons, personne n’appelle.
Ces derniers temps, nous avons vu l'Europe passer du statut d'acteur international pertinent et utile à la transformation du monde, à celui d'ONG bien intentionnée ; dont les actions humanitaires sont bienvenues, mais dont tout le reste est relégué à l'arrière-plan.
By Asia Menendez
The gender gap is a persistent and widespread issue worldwide. It concerns the inequalities between men and women in various aspects of life, including work, education, and political participation.
Over the past years, these issues have become more prominent in the socio-political level. Beginning with an initial motivation tied to upholding human dignity without any form of discrimination, this topic has gradually gained importance as a fundamental pillar for constructing a healthier society and a stronger, more effective work and business environment.
Despite progress made in recent decades, the gender gap remains a significant problem that requires a deep analysis and decisive actions.
By Jordy Benooit
The recent release of the Franco-German Report on EU Institutional Reform signals a growing momentum for institutional reform within the EU, the kind we have not seen in almost two decades. The Lisbon Treaty (2007-2009) ushered in the European Union (EU) as we know it today, and with it its current decision making procedures. One significant innovation introduced under the Lisbon Treaty is the simplified revision procedure, which grants the EU a degree of flexibility to adapt if need be by allowing the European Council to change parts of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) through unanimous agreement. Regrettably, the EU’s overreliance on the procedure has pushed back the incentives for substantial institutional reform whilst making any reform efforts conditional on institutional and societal crises.
By Asia Menendez
In a world characterised by rapid technological advancement and shifting societal norms, one of the most promising developments we've witnessed is the heightened awareness and open dialogue surrounding mental health. The new generations referred to as Generation Z and Millennials, have emerged as trailblazers in this crucial arena. They are reshaping the conversation around mental health, debunking stigma, and demonstrating an inspiring resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges such as Covid, global war, high rates of unemployment and financial instability.
By Asia Menendez
The week from 17 to 23 September we celebrate World clean and green week, what better time to talk about it! In fact, Fast fashion has a very strong environmental impact. For example, according to a recent report by CNBC, “Just one pair of regular jeans requires 3,625 litres of water which equals to the same amount of water one person requires for surviving for around 2.5 years. Before diving any further, let's start from the beginning.
In the first part, this article will analyse the historical origin of the term ‘Fast fashion’, deepening its development over time. It will continue then by focusing on the issues originated from this phenomenon and the duality that can be perceived towards this industry from the point of view of Generation Z.