Walter Schwimmer, Secretary General of the Council of Europe (1999 – 2004), and Co-founder of the DOC Research Institute talks to DOC TV about the European Union, its challenges and opportunities, and the current role of new member states.

He discusses the directions in which the EU and Europe more broadly need to develop. This is, he says, a crucial point in Europe’s history. In particular, he focuses on the relations between the EU and Europe as a whole, what EU nation states want to see the EU become, and the need for a more united position in Europe on security, defence, and foreign policy. This will help ensure that migration issues are solved internationally – before they arise – by preventing situations from escalating to the point at which you see mass migration.

Schwimmer notes the central role that common values – human rights, gender equality, pluralist democracy, rule of law – play in Europe, the EU and European identity. He stresses that his vision of the EU and Europe is one of convergence. But at the same time he highlights those areas, such as pictures on cigarette packets, which are better dealt with at a local level.