The spreading of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social consequences have radically changed the reality of the 27 EU member states. After scattered reactions at the beginning of the crisis, the EU has taken an unprecedented step towards cohesion and solidarity with the Next Generation EU. However, in order to ensure recovery and resilience, the EU will need to act simultaneously on three levels: end the pandemic in the shortest time possible through mass vaccination, implement structural reforms and address the challenges of tomorrow, including also digitalisation and the fight against climate change. To realise these objectives, citizens’ engagement and mobilisation would be essential, thus giving new urgency to the Conference on the Future of Europe, which should be turned from a consultation process into a tool for the relaunch of the Union post-Covid. Paper published as a follow-up to the 2020 edition of the German-Italian Strategic Forum on Europe, jointly organised by IAI, FES and SWP on 27 November 2020.
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