Europe’s Obsession With Its Future

Robert Chaouad

Duodecim Astra, Issue 1, 2021, pp. 2 – 11

Author description

About the author: Robert Chaouad is an adjunct assistant professor of political science at the City University of New York (CUNY). He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the European Studies Institute of the University Paris 8. He edited several issues of La Revue internationale et stratégique (including “National Interest,” 2017; “Forgiveness and Reconciliation in IR,” 2013).


Since the beginning of the 2000s, European Union institutions have launched several initiatives to reflect on and shape the future of the European project. Among them, we can mention the Convention on the Future of Europe in 2001; the Reflection Group on the Future of the EU 2030, created in 2007; the initiative of the European Commission concerning the future of Europe in September 2016; and more recently, the Conference on the Future of Europe, officially launched in May 2021. What I will argue in this article is the fact that all these initiatives on the future of Europe and the omnipresence of the future in EU rhetoric and on the European agenda these past two decades tell us more about the present state of the EU than of its future. These initiatives reveal the state of uncertainties in which the European project has entered since the 2000s, while the constant and explicit reference to the future of the EU in the public sphere also suggests a new articulation between the time-categories of the past, the present and the future in the European integration project.


Keywords: Initiatives on Europe’s future, regime of historicity, European Union, legitimacy, European project

Full article: Europe’s Obsession With Its Future (PDF)

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