Jean-Claude Juncker at European Parliament. European Parliament/Flickr

Managing Europe’s Perfect Storm

The Chinese often point out that in their language the character for crisis and opportunity are one and the same. But, while it is indeed true that crisis and opportunity often go hand in hand, it is difficult to see much opportunity in Europe’s current circumstances.

NEW YORK – The Chinese often point out that in their language the character for crisis and opportunity are one and the same. But, while it is indeed true that crisis and opportunity often go hand in hand, it is difficult to see much opportunity in Europe’s current circumstances.

One reason the current situation facing Europe is so difficult is that it was so unexpected. Here we are, 70 years after the end of World War II, a quarter-century after the end of the Cold War, and some two decades after the Balkan wars, and suddenly Europe’s political, economic, and strategic future seems much more uncertain than anyone predicted as recently as a year ago.

Another reason to be worried is that Europe faces not one crisis, but several. The first is economic: not just the current reality of slow growth, but the prospect that slow growth will continue without respite, owing above all to policies that often discourage businesses from investing and hiring. The rise of populist political parties of both the left and the right across the continent attests to popular frustrations and fears.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/iqFp9fu;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.