logo-Global Policy Center-green-white

Launch of the Madrid & Barcelona Future of Europe Debates in collaboration with FES Madrid and CIDOB

February 15, 2024

On February 15th, 2024, we had the pleasure to launch the first event of the Madrid & Barcelona Future of Europe Debates in partnership with Barcelona Centre for International Affairs (CIDOB) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Madrid (FES). A group of scholars, diplomats, think-tankers, journalists and national and European policymakers gatheres at the IE Tower to discuss the question of the EU’s “Enlargement and Institutional Reform: Rethinking the European Union of the 21st Century”.

Thanks to the shared knowledge and expertise of the gathered group, the profound discussion on EU reform (including deepening) and enlargement in times of war led to many takeaways, but the following deserves underlining:

  • Enlargement and reform in parallel? How can we increase the EU’s capacity to act while responding to the geopolitical imperative on the continent?
  • Public opinion, fears, and political actors: Both in member states and in candidate countries, politicians will need to create a narrative for the public opinion between the concentrated costs and the diffused benefits of enlargement and reform to prevent the further expansion of populist parties that capitalise on their society’s fears.
  • The question of enlarging to countries at war: the EU accession of candidate countries with territorial disputes (and active state of war) will require the re-configuration of security relations and enhanced deterrence.

We are very grateful to the embassies of Germany, France, Italy and Poland for their participation in the event and well as their support for the initiative.