2017 has to be the ‘year of resilience’ for the European Union, the year Europe bounces back from crises, pessimism, frustration and negativity. But will it? With elections in crucial Member States a further rise of populist and Eurosceptic forces was feared, but the general election in the Netherlands and the presidential election in France have given rise to cautious optimism. However, there is no reason for complacency: populism has not been defeated – it can rear its ugly head any time. And it does, not only in Hungary and in Poland, two Member States who seem to be slithering relentlessly towards illiberalism, but also in other countries where elections will be held soon, Austria and Italy. Almost half-way into 2017 the relationship between Turkey and the EU and its Member States has deteriorated so badly that it seems to be beyond repair for the foreseeable future, which spells disaster for the ‘refugee deal’ and is a worrying development in the EU’s already tumultuous neighbourhood. In fact, none of the problems which haunted Europe last year have been resolved. The first months of 2017 may have provided some glimpses of hope, but Europe is still stuck in a tunnel, it can only emerge from with maximal effort and willpower.
The film is a project of the Green European Foundation for the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament. It was realised in cooperation with the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung and with the financial support of the European Parliament.