Will Europe Survive the Crisis?
Among the four eurozone countries which have managed to retain their prized AAA credit rating, Finland is an increasingly influential voice in finding a solution to the euro crisis. On March 12, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings (CUSE) and the Heinrich Boell Foundation will host Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade Alexander Stubb for an address on the European economic crisis.
Minister Stubb has overseen Finland’s Ministry of European Affairs and Foreign Trade since June 2011. He served as minister for foreign affairs from 2008 to 2011, and was a member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2008. Previously, Stubb was also a visiting professor at the College of Europe in Bruges and an adviser to the president of the European Commission.
Brookings Senior Fellow Fiona Hill, director of CUSE, will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion. After the program, Minister Stubb will take audience questions.
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I question whether the U.K. and EU will become political and economic rivals, as geography, history, financial interests, security concerns, and shared values will necessitate continued close cooperation in some form for the foreseeable future. My bigger concern is the all-consuming nature of Brexit, which could prevent the U.K. especially and the EU from engaging effectively against international rivals. Brexit already dominates debates in London, with a divided Cabinet and parliament having limited bandwidth to engage on global challenges. Even if the U.K. parliament ratifies a Brexit deal, the two sides must then embark on equally complicated and domestically contentious negotiations about their future relationship. In some form, Brexit will afflict Europe for years and risks detracting attention from emerging threats.