Europe’s Flight from Futility

In the coming decades, Europe’s share of the world population and global GDP is expected to fall considerably. To prevent inexorable decline, Europe must reach clear decisions in three crucial areas: how to pull the eurozone out of crisis, how much national sovereignty to cede to the EU, and how far to take enlargement.

PARIS – In the next 25 years, Europe’s share of the world population and global GDP is expected to fall considerably. Does that mean that a weakened Europe will fall prey to the rising powers of 2040?

Given that Europe’s prospects are highly dependent on external factors, any speculation about its future must account for global conditions. One thing seems certain: although the 2008 global financial crisis exposed dangerous flaws in the free-market system, the market economy appears likely to remain the norm in the coming decades.

Moreover, in view of the difficulty of opting out of international markets, large-scale protectionism is unlikely. But there is little doubt that new regulations – including financial and commercial regulations, as well as social-welfare rules and tax reforms – will include protective measures for some countries and blocs.

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