Policy Paper 78
 
Meeting Europe’s resource challenge within and beyond EU borders
Annika Ahtonen, Policy Analyst and Andrea Frontini, Programme Assistant, European Policy Centre (EPC) ? The European Union (EU) faces a serious resource challenge. It is dependent on external sources of energy and other raw materials, and this makes it vulnerable to resource availability and price fluctuations. If not managed, this could have serious implications for Europe and its competitiveness, for public and private sectors, for citizens and for overall European well-being.

The EU takes environmental challenges seriously, at least on paper, and has developed a number of internal policies and initiatives to tackle problems related to loss of biodiversity, inefficient use of resources and poor waste management. It is widely recognized that the EU should work together to tackle the energy challenge. At the same time, the EU has a two-fold approach to the external dimensions of resource challenges. Firstly, the EU has made sustainable development a fully-fledged component of its own narrative worldwide. Secondly, as do all actors, it has an interest in protecting its self-interests amidst increasing global competition over resources. However, in order to tackle the resource challenge effectively, the EU must both turn words into action within Europe and clarify its external strategy and the means to implement it.




Reforms are needed, and the question is whether migration can help address these issues. It can, but only if the European economies are capable of growing enough to create the jobs, meaning that migrants can be integrated into the labour market and thus contribute to financing the welfare system. This will pose challenges as the countries with a population surplus are also those countries which have revealed to be difficult to integrate . This calls for a change – and a drastic improvement - in Europe’s integration policies, including not only a public debate about the benefits, or necessity, of migration and integration, but also a series of Europe-wide initiatives.
|   04/03/2013             |   Annika Ahtonen             |   Energy and environment
Policy Paper

This Policy
Paper is a contribution of Annika Ahtonen and Andrea Frontini (EPC), to the project Think Global – Act European (TGAE). Thinking strategically
about the EU’s external action
directed by Notre Europe –
Jacques Delors Institute
(report available in May 2013, dir. Elvire Fabry, Senior Research Fellow, Notre
Europe – Jacques Delors Institute).

The European Union (EU)
faces a serious resource challenge. It is dependent on external sources of
energy and other raw materials, and this makes it vulnerable to resource
availability and price fluctuations. If not managed, this could have serious
implications for Europe and its competitiveness, for public and private
sectors, for citizens and for overall European well-being.

The EU takes
environmental challenges seriously, at least on paper, and has developed a
number of internal policies and initiatives to tackle problems related to loss
of biodiversity, inefficient use of resources and poor waste management. It is
widely recognized that the EU should work together to tackle the energy
challenge. At the same time, the EU has a two-fold approach to the external
dimensions of resource challenges. Firstly, the EU has made sustainable
development a fully-fledged component of its own narrative worldwide. Secondly,
as do all actors, it has an interest in protecting its self-interests amidst
increasing global competition over resources. However, in order to tackle the
resource challenge effectively, the EU must both turn words into action within
Europe and clarify its external strategy and the means to implement it.

Before the publication of the final report presenting the key recommendations of the 16 think tanks involved in the project, 5 series of policy papers address the following key challenges: migration, EU neighbourhood, CSDP, strategic resources and economic policy (publication on March 12th).

This Policy Paper is part of the series entitled “EU resource management: what European external action strategy?” which
includes contributions by Sami Andoura (Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute), Clémentine d’Oultremont (Egmont), Gonzalo Escribano (Elcano), Nadège Chambon (Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute) et Stephen Tindale (CER).
Go to the other contributions of the resource management series >>

This project is led with the contribution of