Great power competition has returned to Europe in ways that challenge American power and U.S. relationships in Europe. Following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, the Kremlin has stepped up its efforts to disrupt Europe’s democracies. China is also entering into the fray—expanding its influence through economic investment, particularly in Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
In addition to competition for power, there are other factors converging at an unprecedented pace to shape the future of Europe. Continued conflict and instability in the Middle East and North Africa will continue to send refugees and migrants to Europe. Weak economic growth, an ageing workforce, and rising inequality threaten to increase citizen dissatisfaction with government and disillusion with mainstream politics. Technology is accelerating progress but also fueling polarization and aggravating existing divisions within Europe. European responses to these challenges will determine whether the European project unravels or remains resilient.
The Transatlantic Security Program helps policy and decision makers get a handle on this change and the threats and opportunities that come with it. The Program examines the long-term trends that are shaping Europe’s future. In today’s environment of constant crisis, the Future of Europe pillar of our program looks beyond daily headlines and focuses on deeper trends to see what lies around the corner and over the horizon in European affairs. Our research and analysis help US and European policymakers to think ahead and plan for the future of the Transatlantic relationship.