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Europe’s future is not what it used to be. Ever since the global financial crisis broke out nearly a decade ago, Europe has been hit by one crisis after another. There has been a debt crisis, an economic crisis, an Arab Spring gone bad, a Ukraine conflict, a migration and refugee crisis, a subsequent wave of populism and nationalism running through much of Europe and a Brexit crisis. And now there is a Trump crisis, putting vital transatlantic ties into question.
Granted, the mood seems to have changed recently. Economic growth is back. And the election of Emmanuel Macron as French President has brought a fresh, energising approach to discussions on the future of Europe. This could well create new political momentum to tackle some of the structural challenges faced by Europe. However, whether the new drive will lead to changes beyond the level of the symbolic remains to be seen. There are deepseated, fundamental divisions in Europe over economic philosophies, foreign and security priorities and migration.
As the fulcrum of global power shifts away from Europe and the Atlantic, and given the ongoing uncertainty about the future of US foreign policy and engagement in Europe, the European order looks increasingly fragile, as do the institutions that embody that order. Beyond Europe proper, conflict and geopolitical competition are back and globalisation – with its vision of benign, harmonious global governance – appears to be under threat.
An Atlantic revival, by James Rogers – Page 19
Read the full paper on Real Instituto Elcano