The White Paper sets out five scenarios, each offering a glimpse into the potential state of the Union by 2025 depending on the choices Europe will make. The scenarios cover a range of possibilities and are illustrative in nature. They are neither mutually exclusive, nor exhaustive.
- Scenario 1: Carrying On – The EU27 focuses on delivering its positive reform agenda in the spirit of the Commission’s New Start for Europe from 2014 and of the Bratislava Declaration agreed by all 27 Member States in 2016. By 2025 this could mean:
- Europeans can drive automated and connected cars but can encounter problems when crossing borders as some legal and technical obstacles persist.
- Europeans mostly travel across borders without having to stop for checks. Reinforced security controls mean having to arrive at airports and train stations well in advance of departure.
- Scenario 2: Nothing but the Single Market – The EU27 is gradually re-centred on the single market as the 27 Member States are not able to find common ground on an increasing number of policy areas. By 2025 this could mean:
- Crossing borders for business or tourism becomes difficult due to regular checks. Finding a job abroad is harder and the transfer of pension rights to another country not guaranteed. Those falling ill abroad face expensive medical bills.
- Europeans are reluctant to use connected cars due to the absence of EU-wide rules and technical standards.
- Scenario 3: Those Who Want More Do More – The EU27 proceeds as today but allows willing Member States to do more together in specific areas such as defence, internal security or social matters. One or several “coalitions of the willing” emerge. By 2025 this could mean that:
- 15 Member States set up a police and magistrates corps to tackle cross-border criminal activities. Security information is immediately exchanged as national databases are fully interconnected.
- Connected cars are used widely in 12 Member States which have agreed to harmonise their liability rules and technical standards.
- Scenario 4: Doing Less More Efficiently – The EU27 focuses on delivering more and faster in selected policy areas, while doing less where it is perceived not to have an added value. Attention and limited resources are focused on selected policy areas. By 2025 this could mean
- A European Telecoms Authority will have the power to free up frequencies for cross-border communication services, such as the ones used by connected cars. It will also protect the rights of mobile and Internet users wherever they are in the EU.
- A new European Counter-terrorism Agency helps to deter and prevent serious attacks through a systematic tracking and flagging of suspects.
- Scenario 5: Doing Much More Together – Member States decide to share more power, resources and decision-making across the board. Decisions are agreed faster at European level and rapidly enforced. By 2025 this could mean:
- Europeans who want to complain about a proposed EU-funded wind turbine project in their local area cannot reach the responsible authority as they are told to contact the competent European authorities.
- Connected cars drive seamlessly across Europe as clear EU-wide rules exist. Drivers can rely on an EU agency to enforce the rules.
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