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McKinsey Center for the EU

Partnering with EU institutions to address the major challenges of our times

For many decades, the EU has enjoyed cross-sectoral and cross-regional cooperation across institutions, member states, and citizens. However, as climate, technology, and demography change rapidly, so does the way society operates.

The European Commission 2019-2024 has set its ambition to strengthen the link between people, nations, and institutions to take the global lead on tackling the major challenges of our times, including sustainability, innovation, and digitization. Combined with responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is repairing and preparing for the next generation, building a more resilient EU.

We are committed to working with EU institutions to harness their strengths, talent, and potential to transform the continent into a driver of positive global change, shaping the European path forward and creating sustainable impact.

What we do

Climate change and sustainability: Supporting the EU to lead a global sustainability transformation across clean energy, circular economy, water resources, clean air and soil, and biodiversity.

Digital transformation and AI: Working with EU Institutions, member states, and the private sector to help them capture the value of the digital revolution to the benefit of all citizens and achieve technological sovereignty in critical technology areas..

Transport, mobility, and airspace: Covering passenger transport, cities, freight, infrastructure, and utilities, helping industry leaders and policymakers lead change and accelerate the shift to sustainability and smart mobility.

Future of work, skills, and education: Supporting the European workforce to acquire new skills to ensure employability and fuel European economies’ competitiveness and growth.

Healthcare: Supporting European institutions in increasing the resilience of the European health system by advising on the changing healthcare needs of communities and the evolving role of technology and automation.

Innovation in financial institutions: Helping EU financial institutions meet a wide range of strategic, organizational, and operational demands, such as information technology, risk management, marketing, and customer relationship management.

Leadership and organizational transformation: Supporting EU institutions to design the most effective structures, management processes, talent, and governance to align with their strategic and operational requirements.

Collaboration on defense and security: Helping defense ministries, intelligence agencies, and other national security organizations address their most difficult challenges and important opportunities such as transforming security programs to enable and de-risk digital business strategies, and building capabilities to prepare for and respond to cybersecurity incidents.

Economic development and aid: Helping EU institutions design and implement economic development strategies, and drive job creation, growth, inclusiveness, and resilience across Europe and beyond.

Examples of our work

Assisting the EU’s response to COVID-19

Helped the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) think through how to most effectively contribute to the COVID-19 response, via a strategic analysis of operational challenges.

Assessing climate change-related credit risk

Supported the European Investment Bank (EIB) to incorporate risks from climate change into its risk framework, and developed a methodology to objectively and efficiently assess the Paris Alignment of its counterparts.

Assessing the use of hydrogen and fuel cells for aircraft propulsion

Developed concept studies of various hydrogen propulsion technologies for the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), and provided recommendations to advance the field towards the final adoption of hydrogen technologies to power and decarbonize parts of the aviation sector.

Shaping the digital transformation in Europe

Supported the European Commission (DG CONNECT) in the analysis of  economic, technological, and social dimensions of disruptive digital developments - including AI, robots, augmented and virtual reality, industrial platform, and blockchain - to identify strategies to manage this transformation and maximize its benefits for Europe.

Analyzing artificial intelligence and Europe’s response

Supported the European Commission (DG CONNECT) to increase Europe’s competitiveness in critical industrial applications of AI by analyzing systemic shifts in value chains caused by AI, exploring the conditions for a full rollout of critical industrial AI applications, identifying policy measures to support the acceleration of AI deployment, and raising awareness among SMEs and citizens about the benefits and limitations of AI.

Supporting structural reforms in member states

Worked with the European Commission Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS), which helps EU countries to design and implement reforms to support job creation and sustainable growth.

Featured Insights

Government data management for the digital age

September 20, 2021 — Public institutions can make more of their data resources. Five actions can help them modernize their data infrastructures and unlock significant value across state, economy, and society.

How keeping health a priority is a prescription for European prosperity

May 19, 2021 — As Europe emerges from the pandemic, investing in health can not only save lives and build greater resilience but underpin economic growth and prosperity.

How the European Union could achieve net-zero emissions at net-zero cost

December 3, 2020 — The decarbonization pathways to a net-zero Europe are countless, but not all are cost optimal. We explore one pathway that could reduce the EU’s emissions 55 percent by 2030 while delivering broad economic benefits.

Shaping the digital transformation in Europe

September 22, 2020 — This report outlines nine potential signature initiatives for Europe: bold actions that set a high bar and that directly address the four objectives for Europe’s digital transformation.

Prioritizing health: A prescription for prosperity

July 8, 2020 — Could 65 be the new 55? Each year, poor health takes a heavy societal and economic toll. Improving the health of the world’s population would add 10 healthy years in midlife—and much more.

The future of work in Europe

June 10, 2020 — Beyond COVID-19, automation, migration, and shrinking labor supply are shifting the geography of employment.

Tackling Europe’s gap in digital and AI

February 7, 2019 — Europe’s average digital gap with the world’s leaders is now being compounded by an emerging gap in artificial intelligence.

Featured experts

Hauke Engel
Partner, Frankfurt
Partner in McKinsey's Sustainability Practice. Co-leads work on climate change globally and supports businesses across sectors with challenges involving strategy and sustainability
Solveigh Hieronimus
Senior Partner, Munich
Serves public sector clients on a broad range of topics, with a special focus on structural reforms and the Future of Work. Coleads McKinsey's global Center for Government (MCG).
Caroline Henricson
Partner, Stockholm
Leads work in the European healthcare and public health sectors with a regional focus on Nordic countries and a specialization in provider transformation and organizational topics such as change management and talent management
David Chinn
Managing Partner, Tel Aviv
Leads our Israel office; helps clients in Israel and across Europe in the government, armed forces, and industrial sectors make substantial operational improvements and manage crises
Dr. Angela Spatharou
Partner, London
Leads some of the largest healthcare-transformation programmes in the United Kingdom and Spain, focusing on digital innovation, productivity, service redesign, integrated care, and advanced analytics
Paul Jenkins
Senior Partner, Oslo
Expert in digital transformation and helping clients develop new digital ventures, grow existing revenues, and improve efficiency of core operations
Nicolas Denis
Partner, Brussels
Advises government institutions on sustainable economic development and serves leading companies in agribusiness, fisheries, forestry, and biotech

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