Print version

What role should southern Europe play after the pandemic and the war in Ukraine? Towards a shared agenda for EU reform


Relations between southern European member states have often been marked by a loose cooperation or, worse, by logics of competition. Precisely when regional groupings within the EU are increasingly shaping the agenda, these dynamics have hindered the capacity of France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain to pursue shared interests and objectives, while acting as a force for good for the European integration project. Recent events such as the post-pandemic recovery or the war in Ukraine show that, when cooperation occurs, positive results can be achieved. Southern member states can capitalise on a certain ideological affinity and a pro-European vision, despite their governments belonging to different political groups. They share converging interests in the areas of fiscal policy and economic governance, strategic autonomy in energy and technology and even foreign policy priorities, particularly towards the Mediterranean and relations with other global powers. This joint publication by six southern European think tanks identifies several policy areas for fruitful cooperation between southern European member states.