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The Year Ahead 2017

Europe’s Values Are Its Best Defense

If Europe gives in to external pressure and internal weakness, the changes it faces may thwart its main political discovery: the unique ability of democracy, the rule of law, and limited government to guarantee human freedom. This is why Europeans must consistently defy those who threaten their unity, whether from within or without.

BRUSSELS – The year 2016 will go down in European history as a time of striving to maintain the political, systemic, and social unity of the European Union as a community of countries, people, and values. It was a time of uncertainty and highly visible failures. But it was also a year marked by real achievements.

Above all, the United Kingdom’s vote in June to exit the EU stands out as a bitter disappointment. And yet a new pan-European consensus on the protection of the EU’s external borders, together with the conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Canada, warrants cautious optimism.

Most of the problems the EU has been grappling with for some time now have not been fully resolved. The migration crisis, tensions with Russia over Ukraine, and other external and internal security threats continue to test our unity and efficiency – and will continue to do so in the year ahead.

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