The changing of the guard in the European Union confronts the new leadership with a series of urgent challenges as the Brussels-based Bruegel Institute reminds us.

Addressing the new leadership it underlines that it is urgent for the EU to prepare for the prospect of a new recession and that they must promote a green restructuring of economies and promote social justice.

Beyond that triptych it notes that fiscal policy is crucial and that one must pay attention to unbending rules.

It is this obstinate devotion to unbending rules which over the last years has nurtured the monster of populism.

There can be no doubt that this monster can be defeated only with a prudent management of new challenges.

That can be accomplished only if the new chiefs of the European Commission and the ECB do not address these problems with old prescriptions, as that would presage an even greater failure than that which the EU experienced with the rise of populist and nationalist forces which oppose the European project.

The institutes’ recommendations must be seriously taken into account by the new leaders of the EU who will hold our fate in their hands over the coming years.

Otherwise the EU cannot win the battles that lie ahead.