What do Member states want from the European Union?

2016-05-26 Institute News

Brussels, 28 April 2016 - Under the coordination of the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri), this unique report presents what all Member states think about the European Union. 

This publication entitled The European Union in the fog is the outcome of an EU-wide project aiming to shed light on each Member state’s motivation to participate in the Union. A timely effort in a challenging period for Europe. Both educational and analytical, this volume is an ideal reference guide for journalists, practitioners, experts, students and citizens. Prof. Gediminas Vitkus represented our Institute.

Multiple crises have anchored the EU in domestic politics. Never before has it been discussed so much within Member states, but never before has the tone been so negative. Looking at national perspectives on the European project, this report explores ways to strengthen its legitimacy in the eyes of citizens. 

While no single initiative or narrative stands out that could rekindle enthusiasm for the EU, three major trends emerge from the contributions: 


  • The EU is expected to show results and deliver on concrete projects.
  • Solving the economic crisis is a priority but views remain divergent on the recipes to do so. 
  • The EU should play a greater role in foreign and security policy.


Other issues are also put forward such as the need for a greater social dimension of the EU and the necessity to tackle the asylum and migration crisis. Overall these contributions agree that the EU should be more talked about and highlight the crucial role of education and of the media in that matter.  

“Whatever happens at the European level should be justified on the basis that it would improve the European Union, the Member States’ trajectory and citizens’ lives”, says Vivien Pertusot, project coordinator and Head of Ifri Brussels. “A failure to bridge today’s concerns with plans for tomorrow could be disastrous for the European Union”. 

  • To download the report The EU in the fog, click here.
  • To download the country papers, click here
  • To download the list of contributors, click here.

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