Europe after 50: Policy implications for Britain

This project was designed to challenge British thinking about the future of its relationship with the EU fifty years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome. 

A commission of experts, chaired by Sir Stephen Wall, was established to address five different dimensions of British interests and EU policy:

  • Foreign and security risks.
  • Opportunities and pitfalls of EU enlargement.
  • New threats to British domestic security from illegal migration, terrorism and organised crime.
  • Britain's future global economic competitiveness.
  • New challenges to British and European energy security.

The Commission published its findings in its 2008 report, A British Agenda for Europe.

Main conclusions

  • The sterile debate about Europe is compromising future British prosperity and security.
  • British thinking on international challenges will evolve closer to its EU partners than to the US.
  • British leadership is needed, for example, on energy security, to better handle Russia's dominant position.
  • The political thinking behind the island mentality that dominates the British debate on domestic security disregards the increasingly mobile nature of 21st century threats.
Project details


Grant holder

Dr Robin Niblett, Director, Chatham House

Grant amount and duration


July 2007 - April 2008

Project website


Project page on the Chatham House website



A British Agenda for Europe: Designing Our Own Future, A Chatham House Commission Report, September 2008

Download executive summary (PDF)

Download full report (PDF)