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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 10 July 2013

“New Narrative for Europe”: General Assembly launched in Warsaw

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Donald Tusk, will tomorrow launch the General assembly of the New Narrative for Europe. The assembly will gather around 250 personalities from the cultural, intellectual and scientific worlds to discuss the challenges facing Europe. It will serve as an inspiration to jointly explore the history, values, symbols and cultural aspects that unite citizens and to come up with a new narrative for Europe.

President Barroso said: “We need a new narrative for a self-confident and open European Union because only then we will be able to rise up to the challenges of today's globalized world. The New Narrative for Europe aims to bring new inspiration into the debate on Europe's future. We can and must embrace the challenges of a new world while holding back Europe's old demons. We don't want a mediocre, defensive Europe that tries to bury its head in the sand to avoid the realities of the 21st century."

Participants will discuss on three topics:

  • What cultural values do we need to make a common story?

  • Europe’s soft power: the arts, heritage and sciences

  • The image and role of Europe in a global and interdependent world

President Barroso will also take part in the final debate: an open dialogue with participants about the question what symbols, imaginaries and events give shape to Europe’s New Narrative.


The New Narrative project aims to encourage greater involvement of European intellectuals, artists and scientists to invite them to a long-term public discussion about Europe. It responds in particular to President Barroso's call which he made in his speech on the State of the Union in September 2012 for 'more and better Europe'.

The project was launched in Brussels on the 23rd April 2013. The "New Narrative for Europe" initiative will be carried out over three meetings in the form of "general assembly". The meeting in Warsaw will be followed by the assemblies in France and in Germany.

The General Assemblies should lead to the publication by the participants and other interested parties of a manifesto on the “New Narrative for Europe”. The manifesto shall gather elements relating to the values, culture and history that represent the connecting link between Europeans. The purpose is to develop a vision for Europe which can be adapted to the current challenges such as solidarity, strengthening the democratic legitimacy of the EU and the role of Europe in the age of globalisation and interdependence. The manifesto is to be delivered before the European Elections of 2014.

How to contribute?

The project aims to involve a large number of European citizens. The European Union would like to invite them to contribute in writing to provide their own vision of a possible new narrative for Europe. Contributions can be uploaded on the website:

For more information

Read President Barroso's speech on "New Narrative for Europe" delivered on 23.04.2013 in Brussels

2012 State of the Union Address: President Barroso calls for a federation of nation states and announces blueprint for deeper economic and monetary union

Speech at the Brussels Think Tank Dialogue: "The State of the EU in 2013: Heading towards Federalism or Fragmentation?"  

Contacts :

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen (+32 2 295 30 70)

Cezary Lewanowicz (+32 2 299 30 50)

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