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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world


Europe in a Global Age

[Cover of Europe in a Global Age]

Douglas Alexander MP

October 2005

Download Europe in a Global Age (200 kilobyte PDF)

Europe is coming of age. The European Union has focussed its energies inwards for the past fifty years – developing the Common Market and harmonising laws and practices across the continent. Now, however, it faces new challenges: a global market that is ever more crowded; competition ever more intense and innovative; pressures on society ever more divisive; and new forms of threats and dangers which are no longer contained largely within our border. To survive and prosper in the twenty-first century, Europe must now address its own problems from this global perspective.

This pamphlet is a contribution to the debate on the future direction of Europe. It sets out why the traditional case for Europe is failing to convince. It explains why pro-Europeans in Britain need not just to rehearse the EU's past achievements, but must also confidently and clearly explain the relevance of the EU to the challenges of the future, and in particular to the dramatic changes in the external political and economic environment provoked by globalisation. And it describes how the European Union can secure its objectives of peace, prosperity, and democracy and become a vehicle for economic progress and social justice for all the citizens of Europe – but only if it embraces rather than avoids change.