What are the Main Challenges Facing the European Union in 2017?


2016 was the year the fissures in the structure of the EU became visible even for those who had preferred to ignore them. The UK has decided to leave Europe and in many other countries the Eurosceptic and populist voices are getting stronger. In 2017 people in the Netherlands, in France and in Germany will have to decide about their countries’ (and Europe’s) future. What will their verdict be? Also, will Europe succeed in pulling itself together or will it give in to pressures, interferences and provocations from its powerful neighbours in a situation where not much support, moral or otherwise, can be expected from the other side of the Atlantic? With an unsolved refugee crisis on our hands, a simmering eurozone crisis and the threat of further terror attacks hanging over the continent, the prospects for 2017 are bleak. We can no longer downplay the seriousness of the situation, neither is it helpful to look for a scapegoat. It doesn’t matter who or what got us into this mess, what is important is to get out of it together fast. Of all the serious problems the EU has to face up to at the beginning 2017 what are the three most serious challenges? This is the question we asked the three speakers invited to this 2017 kick-off event of the series ‘Reconnecting Europe’.


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Date of Publication
February 2017
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung European Union
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