A collection of papers on the occasion of the Conference on the Future of Europe

Edited by Guido Montani and published under the auspices of The Altiero Spinelli Institute for Federalist Studies

The launch of the Conference on the Future of Europe comes in the year in which federalists are celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Ventotene Manifesto (drawn up in 1941 on the Mediterranean island where Mussolini imprisoned his opponents), and which will also see Glasgow hosting the COP26, the UN conference that will have to take crucial decisions to stop the human species plunging headlong into an irreversible environmental crisis. These three events taking place in 2021 present significant structural elements in common, not just a simple scheduling coincidence. This collection of short essays aims to illustrate the connections between these events and their political implications.

Our Director Brendan Donnelly has contributed a chapter on “Lessons for the Conference from Brexit”. He argues that, from a purely British perspective, a reinforced Union emerging from the Conference would be, ironically, the form of Union most likely to attract the United Kingdom into renewed membership of the Union. It should be recalled that the UK’s original membership of the EU arose from a time when the UK was politically and economically at a low ebb and the European Community seemed an anchor of prosperity and stability to which the buffeted British state could attach itself. It may well be that in the coming years the British state will be heading into stormy waters, both economically and constitutionally. If the Conference can be the start of a process whereby the Union is once again seen as a powerful and challenging neighbour from association with which the UK could benefit, the calculus of sovereignty-sharing may rapidly change for the British electorate.


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