© Mengxin Li
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Europe faces its most testing time in decades. Nationalist parties have increased their vote share in elections across the continent, an influx of refugees has rocked governments, and while the UK — one of its biggest economies — is negotiating to leave, a US president with questionable commitment to Europe has taken office.

This is why the Financial Times is launching a new project to brainstorm about the future of Europe. The project is a collaboration between leading FT experts and students and professors of six universities across Europe. The FT sees this as an opportunity to give voice to the brightest young minds to participate in the debate about their future. Their contribution will inform and enrich the debate among policymakers.

Over the past few weeks, in a project sponsored by the FT, professors at six universities across Europe have asked their students to write an 800-word opinion article in response to one or more of the following questions:

  • Should the next frontier for Europe be deeper integration, or handing back some power to nation states?
  • Would it be wise to reconsider the four founding freedoms in the EU treaties?
  • Is it time to concentrate on eurozone priorities rather than the broader EU27?
  • To what extent is German leadership of Europe desirable or necessary?

A panel of internal FT and external judges has chosen six winning essays from a total of 18 finalists as picked by the professors.

The Future of Europe project launches on November 13 with our own columnists’ response to the questions. The winning student essays will be published through the week of November 20. We encourage you to join the debate and offer your comments below the columns.

We are also planning several events at the universities, which will be live streamed on Facebook.

We look forward to reading your contributions and engaging with you on the Future of Europe Project.

The writer is the editor of the Financial Times

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.