Where Is the European Union Today? Will It Survive? Can It Thrive?
by Vivien A. Schmidt, Boston University
Over the past few years, the European Union has suffered through a cascading set of crises. The sovereign debt crisis for countries in the Euro began in 2010 with the buildup to the bailout of Greece. This was quickly followed by the refugee crisis, which hit the headlines in 2012, as thousands fled conflict in Syria and poverty in Africa. All the while, the security crisis continued, whether as a result of terrorist attacks, in particular since the Charlie Hebdo massacre of January 2015, or trouble in the neighborhood, especially with Russian incursions in the Ukraine since 2014 and the unending civil wars in the Middle East. And then there was the British vote on exit from the EU in June 2016, raising questions not only about the future of the UK but also about the EU. Finally, let us not forget the most recent potential crisis, the election of U.S. President Donald Trump, with all the uncertainties it brings for the EU in terms of transatlantic relations, trade, and security.