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The European Union now faces challenges different from those of its early years. This paper suggests that the time is ripe for a reorientation of the EU narrative. With profound developments underway in many areas, from banking to foreign policy, and as the institutions restructure in 2014, the moment has come for new thinking: for a determined reaching out to the citizens, to involve them and to listen to their desires; and for a renewal of respect for the values that the European Union has claimed.
This paper is the fruit of discussions within the IIEA Working Group on Values and Narrative in the EU since March 2013. The membership of the Group is varied, including participants who have made significant contributions to social, cultural and political life in Ireland and Europe.