For the first time in more than 20 years, the European Parliament elections in May reflected a real engagement of voters within the European Union (EU).
The next step in the reframing of the EU took place with the selection of the four key positions at the EU helm: the European Commission, the European Council, European Central Bank and foreign policy.
Never before has the selection of a president of the European Commission been so visibly fought over both in the European Parliament and at the Council level; i.e., the member states.
Following the rejection of several lead candidates, the former German defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, was confirmed as president-elect by a slim majority of nine votes.
The Commission is the union's executive arm responsible for proposing laws and implementing policies.
Von der Leyen grew up in Brussels, her father was an EU civil servant and she went to a European School. A true European, she once stated her wish that her grandchildren grow up in a "United States of Europe" modelled on the federalist models of Germany, Switzerland and the US.
She had also called for the formation of an EU army. "Long live Europe" was her rallying cry to her European Parliament colleagues just before her election.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel is the nominee for the presidency of the European Council. The Council sets the EU's overall political direction but does not have legislative power.
Josep Borrell, Spain's foreign minister, has been nominated High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, responsible for conducting the EU's foreign and security policy. He has voiced his wish for a "political union", noting that the UK has "been an obstacle to further integration".
In November, Christine Lagarde will assume the role of the next president of the European Central Bank, the central bank of eurozone economies. Being neither a central banker nor an economist, Lagarde was not an immediately obvious choice, but her politician experience and eight years at the helm of the International Monetary Fund stand her in good stead.
The convergence of a markedly pro-EU make-up of key European posts, combined with the shift in voting power after the UK secedes from the EU on 31 October, will open up the way for significant eurozone reform.
A challenging geopolitical backdrop will intensify a closer alliance between EU member states. Relations have cooled with the EU's two biggest trading partners, the US and China. The US is increasingly unilateralist and transactional in its approach to foreign affairs, while the European Commission has recently changed its tone on China, branding it a "systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance".