60 years on from the Treaty of Rome, the European Union (EU) is today an economic and political power to be reckoned with. But yet, it is tackling some of its greatest challenges ever. Whilst 2017 presents itself as a turnaround year, with positive growth forecasts for all EU member states, much work remains to safeguard the future course of a stronger and more united EU.
The recovery of the European economy has shed light on the differences that remain across EU member states. These disparities, coupled by an unprecedented migrant influx, within a wider region that is far from stable, have placed Southern Europe in a highly susceptible position. In the wake of Brexit, and with Euro-skepticism on the rise, what is clear is that increased dialogue and collective actions are needed for the long-term sustainability of the EU model, reigniting the founding principles on which the European Union was cemented: freedom, equality, solidarity and rule of law.
Within this context, the signing of the Athens Declaration in September 2016 following the first South EU Summit between the government leaders of France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Malta (SEUS countries) – marked the beginning of a landmark initiative. Through high-level dialogue, these strategic summits endeavor to act as a catalyst to increase EU cooperation, a pro-growth agenda – targeting investment and employment – as well as stronger EU coordination on joint challenges such as security and migration. Subsequent summits in Lisbon and Madrid took the South EU Summit to the next level, with the following gathering programmed for January, 2018 in Rome.
Whilst the emergence of the South EU Summit is based on similarities across member states within the scope of their geopolitical challenges, their economic and social models, as well as cultural similarities, its ultimate objective is to contribute towards uniting and strengthening the EU. Today, it is widely understood by the European Community that there can be no new vision for Europe without an outlook for peace, cooperation and development in Southern European countries.
With SEUS countries jointly representing close to 40% of total EU population and GDP, along with half of its coastline, the South EU Summit is a proposal for a united direction by the few that can reap benefits for the many. The launch of South EU Summit magazine (SEUS magazine) is a bold proposal that aims to be part of the paradigm shift that Europe lives today. By capitalizing on the gatherings of 7 European Heads of state, we provide a unique and exclusive print and online media platform to reach an elite audience of decision makers in government, business and the academic community. SEUS magazine brings together experts and opinion-shapers with distinguished audiences from around the world to shed light on the goals and collective actions of SEUS Countries, and evaluate the challenges ahead.