Can Europe’s center hold?
The trans-Atlantic agenda in 2021—is deeper cooperation possible?
Over the past three decades, Europe and the United States have made extraordinary progress toward the goal of a Europe “whole and free.” But Europe’s future is, once again, troubled and uncertain. European integration and reform are deeply contested, with Brexit still unresolved. As last month’s European Parliament elections demonstrate, nationalist and populist parties are here to stay, while the centrist majority has fragmented. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has actively sought to disrupt the European project. All of this occurs against the backdrop of an international system that is increasingly competitive and multipolar.
On June 13, the Brookings Institution held two panels to discuss these topics. The first looked at competing visions for Europe’s future. The second looked ahead to 2021 and asked if we can expect the trans-Atlantic relationship to be characterized by disagreements over defense spending, the Middle East, energy, and trade or if deeper cooperation on the international order is possible. Participants included Brookings scholars Célia Belin, Victoria Nuland, Alina Polyakova, Amanda Sloat, Constanze Stelzenmüller, and Thomas Wright, as well as Benjamin Haddad of the Atlantic Council, Walter Russell Mead of the Hudson Institute, Yascha Mounk of the SNF Agora Institute, and Edward Luce of the Financial Times.
This event was part of the Brookings – Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative, which aims to build up and expand resilient networks and trans-Atlantic activities to analyze and work on issues concerning trans-Atlantic relations and social cohesion in Europe and the United States.
Former Brookings Expert
Under Secretary for Political Affairs - United States Department of State
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