A new national debate on the future of the EU27 has been launched by the Irish Government. Contributions to this debate have been made by leading European figures, by EU Member States, and by the EU Institutions and Irish people have been called upon to discuss their own visions for the future of the EU. As part of this debate, the IIEA began a three-year project in 2017 with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The IIEA Future of the EU27 project looks at the various contributions to the Future of Europe debate emanating from the EU Institutions and from the Member States. Combined with consideration of the policy priorities of other EU Member States, this research will contribute to a more nuanced understanding of where Ireland’s strategic interests lie. For this project, the IIEA is putting together an Emerging Voices Group, which will bring together new voices to share their perspectives on the future of Europe. The group will meet monthly, and representatives of the group will be invited on a rotating basis to join meetings of the IIEA’s Future of the EU27 Expert Group, which consists of former government ministers, Irish Ambassadors, EU officials and prominent academics. We want to engage with a range of perspectives, so the panel will be gender balanced, and will aim to bring together people from different sectors, backgrounds and areas of expertise.
On Thursday 17 May, EU leaders and leaders from the 6 Western Balkans partners: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo will meet in Sofia at a summit hosted by Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council.