The period to 2020 offers a real opportunity for transformation towards a more inclusive, peaceful, prosperous and equitable world - and Europe has a central role to play. The basic building blocks are in place and include the Lisbon Treaty, the Europe 2020 strategy, the 2005 European Consensus of Development, and the 2012 EU Agenda for Change.
The authors identify five global challenges which will shape the future of the EU and the world, and in relation to which the EUs performance as a global actor can be judged. These are:
- The world economy. Is the world economy becoming more equitable, resilient and democratic? Is the EU contributing to better and more inclusive trade and finance regimes which allow for full participation by all?
- Environmental sustainability. Is the world set on a more sustainable path, in which the EU is playing its part internally and externally, especially with regard to climate change and the necessity of a green economy?
- Peace and security. Is the world becoming more peaceful and secure? And is the EU contributing to the prevention of violent conflict and to peaceful societies?
- Democracy and human rights. Is the world better governed and more democratic? Is there greater respect for human rights around the world? And is the EU acting effectively to understand and support democratic political change?
- Poverty and inequality. Have poverty and inequality declined? And is the EU acting effectively to understand and tackle the drivers of poverty and inequality?