As part of an expanded collaboration between the Brookings Institution and the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Transatlantic Initiative is a comprehensive multi-year project of applied research and programming. The aim of the initiative is to create synergies and originate new activities that reinvigorate transatlantic collaboration on global issues.
Estonia in an evolving Europe
Europe, multilateralism, and great power competition
Brexit has been bad for Europe thus far.
The most immediate problem is bandwidth, particularly in London but also in EU-27 capitals, as endless Brexit debates distract attention from other challenges. For example, leaders scrapped a discussion on China at the March European Council to discuss Brexit deadlines. Even if a divorce is agreed, negotiations on the future relationship could take years.
Despite historic British resistance to deeper integration, the U.K. is a global player whose participation has benefitted EU policymaking. Although protracted Brexit arguments have strained relations, European diplomats lament the impending loss of regular contact with their British counterparts on a myriad of issues.
In economic terms, Brexit will affect the U.K. more than the EU. Yet the nature and extent of Brexit’s impact on all member states will depend on how Britain leaves the EU and the future degree of regulatory alignment. A no-deal departure would hinder continental supply chains and markets, whereas continued British participation in the Customs Union and/or Single Market would minimize disruption. Beyond quarrels about the backstop, Brexit has destabilized politics in Northern Ireland by resurfacing contentious identity and constitutional questions.
No other country has been so deeply in denial about the tension between its high-minded normative convictions and its own selective compliance with them. Germany today is - for all its wealth and power, including soft power - also increasingly lonely, overwhelmed and beset by internal rifts.