Reflection Paper on harnessing globalisation

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2017) 240
Publication Date 10/05/2017
Content Type


Paper presented on 10 May 2017 by the European Commission as part of a set of reflection papers accompanying the White Paper on the future of Europe.

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On 1 March 2017, the European Commission presented a White Paper on the future of Europe as the starting point for an honest and wide-ranging debate on the Union's future at 27. To further contribute to the discussion, the European Commission put forward a number of reflection papers on key topics that will define the coming years. This paper on harnessing globalisation is the second in the series. It aims to make a fair and evidence-based assessment of what globalisation means for Europe and Europeans.

Many Europeans, particularly younger ones, see how being connected to people in other countries and continents can better their lives. They are right to do so – around a third of our national income comes from trade with the rest of the world. But many Europeans are also apprehensive. They see globalisation as synonymous to job losses, social injustice or low environmental, health and privacy standards. They consider it to be a factor in the erosion of traditions and identities. These concerns need to be addressed. And it is only by confronting these issues openly that we can do so. The debate will make us stronger and better equipped to deliver sustainable and fair responses that meet the aspirations of Europeans.

Today, more than ever, local issues go global, and global issues become local. While globalisation affects nearly every aspect of our lives, our citizens and regions experience these developments very differently. Now is therefore the time to consider what the EU can do to shape globalisation in line with our shared interests and values. To ask what we can do to protect, defend and empower European citizens, especially the most vulnerable. And to agree on how the EU – from its institutions, to Member States, regions, municipalities, social partners, wider civil society, businesses, universities – and its international partners can come together to harness globalisation.

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Commentary and Analysis
EPRS: Briefing, September 2017: Reflection paper on harnessing globalisation

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Commission launches reflection on harnessing globalisation

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