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The Year Ahead 2019

The World Needs Europe

Having emerged from centuries of bloodshed to become the poster child for integration and collaboration, Europe has a distinct service to offer the rest of the world. With the international order coming apart and populist nationalism on the rise, now is the time for the European Union to show leadership, both at home and abroad.

BRUSSELS – As we usher in a new year, the future direction of the European Union has never been more important, both for Europe and for the rest of the world. In these increasingly tumultuous times, the EU can provide the stability and hope that the world so desperately needs.

For decades, Europe has been the poster child for integration and cooperation in a fractured world. Since the end of World War II, the continent has been living proof that multilateralism works. Europe’s troubled past has given way to a peace spanning seven decades, and to a Union of 500 million citizens living in freedom and prosperity. By any metric, Europe is now the most tolerant, free, and equal place to live anywhere in the world.

But the EU is not a given. Peace is not inevitable, and war is not implausible. The year 2018 marked the centenary of the end of World War I, the lessons of which must still be heeded. The Europeans of 1913 thought that war was impossible, that they were too interlinked to turn on one another. We Europeans have a rich tradition of ignoring premonitions of ruin at our own peril.

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