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Roundtable with Dr. André Sapir, Senior Fellow at Bruegel

Roundtable with
Dr. André Sapir,
Senior Fellow at Bruegel
October 3, 2017


On October 3, 2017, GRF organized a roundtable meeting with Dr. André Sapir, a senior fellow at the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel, as part of its Task Force on the Future of the European Union and Turkey.

Dr. Sapir, who has served at the European Commission in various positions – including as Chief Economic Advisor, shared his assessments on the European economy and the future of the European Union.

In his remarks, Dr. Sapir defined our era as a period where two time dimensions collided to create great difficulties: a long-term “great transformation” that encompasses serious challenges such as globalization, digitization and climate change; and short-term crises such as the financial crisis and the euro crisis. He argued that masses increasingly distrust the elite due to their conviction that these crises were not tackled properly and efficiently. Dr. Sapir suggested that while this social crisis is not unique to the European Union, the EU nonetheless is an exception as it is not a nation-state.

Dr. Sapir underlined that the European project is increasingly fragile due to being perceived as an “elite project” and underlined the importance of ensuring that ordinary citizens begin to perceive the EU as a project that delivers.

As part of his speech, Dr. Sapir also touched upon the “multi-speed Europe” model and discussed that it is not likely for the EU to adopt this model in areas where policy already exists. Meanwhile, Dr. Sapir suggested that areas such as defense, where common policy has not been shaped yet, could be viable for this model.

Following his speech, Dr. Sapir answered the participants’ questions.