The process of European integration that resulted in the European Union (EU) is often perceived as a ‘peace project’. However, over recent years the EU and its ‘peace project’ have increasingly come under pressure. This growing uncertainty about the future direction of the EU raises many questions about what the EU as a ‘peace project’ will look like, for instance in 2040, and what that will mean for Europe in that year.
Four scenarios were built for the EU as a ‘peace project’ in 2040 on the basis of scenario-building meetings in Utrecht (the Netherlands), Belgrade (Serbia) and Kyiv (Ukraine), plus desk-top research and extensive reviews. The scenario-building meetings were held in November and December 2018 and involved 52 people (30 men and 22 women). Two key uncertainties lie at the core of the four scenarios:
- Will respect for EU values (e.g. democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights) remain, or will they increasingly be disregarded?
- Will the EU integrate further or disintegrate?