Future of the European Union in 2030

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Team Composition


The Flag of the European Union
European Union 2009
Candidate countries
Likely Future Enlargements

The European Union was formally established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force on 1 November 1993. It was based on the foundations of earlier treaties made after the second world war in order to integrate the continent and escape from the extreme forms of nationalism which had caused devastating war in the first half of the 20th Century. Over time the EU has grown to become much more than a peace treaty or trade agreement. Its creation has enabled a single market through a standardized system of laws which apply in all member states, ensuring the freedom of movement of people, goods, services, and capital. The common currency of the Euro has grown in power and many consider it to be the replacement of the dollar as the world's reserve currency.<br\>

However, current world events have put the union under severe stress. Many factors ranging from the financial crisis to the EU's growing energy dependency and the inclusion of Turkey into the Union are causing disturbances and necessitating decisions which will have far reaching consequences on its future. This scenario project is an attempt to utilize these and several other uncertainties to create three very different futures for the EU.

Research Questions

EU & Europe Definitions

  1. What is the definition of Europe?
  2. What countries are part of the European Union?
  3. What is the history of the European Union?
  4. What are the candidate countries that want to be part of the European Union?
  5. What is the euro zone?


  1. How is the European Union Governed?
  2. What are the main bodies of the EU?
  3. How is the European parliament elected?
  4. How is the European parliament structured?
  5. How do the countries work together?
  6. How does the EU take decisions?
  7. How does the EU tick?
  8. How is the EU budget managed?
  9. What is the main driver for the EU expansion?
  10. Will the expansion of the EU now come to a halt?
  11. Is public opinion in the EU in favour of more enlargement?


  1. What are the Agriculture policies of the EU?
  2. What are the Energy policies of the EU?
  3. What are the Regional policies of the EU?
  4. What are the Environment policies of the EU?
  5. What are the Educational policies of the EU?
  6. What are the foreign policies of the EU?
  7. What does the Treaty of Lisbon mean for EU?


  1. What has been EU's environmental policy over past 5 years?
  2. EU's response to climate change?
  3. What are EU's actions after the financial crisis?


  1. What is the GDP and Growth Rate of the EU?
  2. How is monetary policy governed within the EU?
  3. What can cause the instability of the Euro?
  4. What are trade statistics for the EU?
  5. What is the energy profile of the EU?


  1. Does European Union really bond its members together?
  2. How do European inhabitants feel about EU?
  3. What are the immigration trends to EU for EU and Non-EU citizens?


  1. What has been the impact of terrorism on the EU?
  2. How the recent rebirth of radical nationalist movements influences the EU?
  3. European countries are fighting against terrorism but, what about separatist groups like IRA and ETA?


  1. What is the population of the EU and how is it distributed?
  2. What are the main religions practiced in the EU?
  3. What are the main languages spoken in the EU?
  4. What are other key demographic statistics for the EU?
  5. What is the level of immigration and emigration?


  1. Do non EU countries prefer to deal with EU or to deal directly with individual members?
  2. Enlargement of EU?
  3. The future of European Union: Managing Globalization
  4. The future of European Union: Future Trends
  5. Can the EU disintegrate like the USSR?
  6. EU and Asia?
  7. EU and India?
  8. EU and China?
  9. EU and Japan?
  10. EU and South Korea?
  11. EU and US?
  12. EU and Canada?
  13. EU and Africa?
  14. EU and Latin America?
  15. EU and Russia?
  16. EU and Middle East?
  17. What if Primakov's triangle becomes a reality?

Numbers that Matter

As part of the scenario building we have validated a few claims made about the future of the European union. Here are our summary presentations.

Driving Forces

Political Driving Forces

Technological Driving Forces

Environmental Driving Forces

Economic Driving Forces

Societal Driving Forces

System Diagram

Systems Diagram

Inference matrix

The Blame Game New Beginning The Gilded Cage
Governance National Network Supranational union
Economy Recession Fast Growth Slow Growth
Identity Inward Outward -
Immigration Closed Border Open Border As is
Boundary Break Up Expansion Slow Decline
Financial System Socialism Mix Capitalism
Commerce/Trade Restricted Free Free
Resources/Energy Energy Scarcity in Europe Alternative sources of energy Energy Scarcity in Europe
Political Alignment Reactive Liberal / Progressive Liberal / Progressive
Population Change Aging Europe Increasing Mobility/Immigration Aging Europe

Scenario Tree

Scenario Tree for the Future of Europe


These are the three scenarios that are likely to be the future of Europe in 2030. Each scenario consist of a story that tell about how the future looks in 2030. Following that comes a section that gives all background information, illustrating in detail how this future came to be.

The Blame Game
The European unification has come to an end after many attempts to unify it under a new Constitution to give more power to Brussels.

The Gilded Cage
The EU establishes good governance and is quite strongly bonded. With greater co-operation and merger of cultures it is able to sustain its growth. But, in the wider geo-political scene it loses its political clout to the emerging markets. The EU is prosperous but its glory is part of history.

New Beginning
The "New Beginning" scenario focus on an European Union based on policies of similarities among countries and that those similarities will be able to create a movement of renewal and growth within the area. Policies of integration and open borders, helped the expansion of the European Union to a new level. This new EU has more global influence and has free trade as its main selling point.


Scenario Reports

Economic Reports & Statistics


Research Papers and Books

  • Anderson, M. (2000) States and nationalism in Europe. London
  • Bauman, Z., 1989, Modernity and the Holocaust. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Bauman, Z., 1993, Postmodern Ethics. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Bauman, Z., 1991. Modernity and Ambivalence. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Bauman., Z., 1995. Life in Fragments: Essays in Postmodern Morality. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Bauman/Europe: An Unfinished Adventure. Final Proof 18/08/2004
  • Drake, G. (1994) Issues in the new Europe. London
  • Foucher, M. (1995) The new faces of Europe. Strasbourg
  • Hermet, G. (1998) A history of nations and nationalism in Europe. London
  • Lichtenberger, H. (2000) Studying Europe: challenges and prospects for European studies. Baden-Baden
  • Marsden, W.E and V.M. (1989) Going into Europe. Edinburgh
  • Morin, E. (1991) Europa denken. Frankfurt
  • Morris, J. (1998) Fifty years of Europe. London

News & Other Sources