Wednesday 13 September 2017

European Parliament: Future of Europe and SOTEU

Since there is just a little time, before the plenary debate about the future of Europe #FutureOfEurope and the state of the European Union #SOTEU address begins in the European Parliament, I am going to direct your attention to earlier blog articles on Eurooppaoikeus (FI), Grahnblawg (SV) and Grahnlaw (EN). In the Grahnblawg post Hopkok om EU:s framtid you can find direct or indirect references to 31 blog articles in Finnish, Swedish or English about the publications and the discussion, and in Europaparlamentet om tillståndet i EU 2017 we already approached the European Parliament as the host of the debate.

SOTEU press release   
The European Parliament has published an informative press release with useful links about the future and the state of the union debate, especially the references under Shaping Europe’s future.

Still, it is astonishing that the press release did not mention the European Commission’s so called white paper (so called, because it contained no concrete proposals):

White Paper on the Future of Europe - Reflections and scenarios for the EU27 by 2015; Brussels, 1.3.2017 COM(2017) 2025 final

Annexed to the press release is a four-page presentation of Eurobarometer results on selected topics, with EU citizens generally ahead of the heads of state or government.

EPRS briefings

In June the European Parliamentary Research Service EPRS published a short note Mapping the ‘Future of the EU’ debate, which summarised four resolutions from the European Parliament about the future of EU27. The second page described the invitation by the Juncker Commission to a debate about the future of the European Union, notably the general white paper and the five subsequent thematic reflection papers, but also recorded the process of the EU27 leaders from the Brexit vote to the Rome declaration.

A few days ago, the post The 2017 State Of The Union Debate In The European Parliament on the European Parliamentary Research Service Blog reminded readers about the role of the SOTEU debate for the adoption of the annual Commission Work Programme (CWP). The article highlighted a fresh blog post Next Steps In The Debate On The Future Of Europe, which recalled the white paper and the five reflection papers, and it linked to an updated briefing note about the future: The 2017 State of the Union Debate in the European Parliament (September 2017; 6 pages).

The briefing relates the discussion based on the white paper and reflection papers, but also contains reminders of the birth of the State of the European Union  debate, SOTEU’s role in the annual legislative programming, its constitutional significance and an outlook on the role of the president of the European Commission.

Ralf Grahn

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