2018 is a year to reflect on the energy-climate priorities of the next European Commission. JC Juncker's Commission will publish a communication on the energy-climate priorities on the horizon of 2025. In this context this paper lays out the work that might be undertaken by the next Commission to turn the Union's ecological leadership into a lever for industrial development, growth and sustainable jobs.
The invention of a "sustainable, accountable business model" in Europe is now establishing a new kind of reality in the world economic landscape. It should be encouraged so that it becomes a decisive pillar in the European contribution to solving future challenges. The extremely progressive integration of responsibility and sustainability into governance and business projects in Europe is opening the way for a model that is committed to society. Even though it is still in the minority, this model is taking hold in the EU, which has encouraged it via several fundamental measures (extra-financial reporting, responsible investment, respect of fundamental rights). It may lead to "an exemplary European model" within capitalism and globalisation, whose poor regulation is leading to an increase in systemic challenges in the world.
In 2050 Europe might stagnate at around 500 million inhabitants and lose 49 million people of working age in the 20-64 age group. We shall need arms and brains to compensate for this loss in number. At the same time, the population of Africa is due to increase by 1.3 billion. This means that migratory pressure on Europe will be stronger than ever before. This demographic shock (internal implosion and external explosion), is never spoken of in Europe and we are not preparing for it. The demographic suicide of old Europe is now imminent but we still have time: good forecasting is not necessarily the one that is made but the one that leads to action to avoid it.
Accession by the Western Balkans to the European Union is one of the priorities of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council that has just started. Pierre Mirel recalls the vital conditions required for regional stabilisation and integration into the European Union.
The Franco-German rapprochement regarding defence issues is the result of mid-term trends and more economic factors. In addition to the opportunities that Brexit provides, the election of Emmanuel Macron in France has led to a strengthening of the Franco-German relation and a clearer inclusion of it in the European framework than was previously possible. And the German openness to these issues will not be challenged by the new coalition. Mid-term the analysis of limited threats means that both countries agree on the need for a more coherent and better coordinated security response at multilateral level. In this context however France and Germany are also to be distinguished because of their differences.