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Research Report

Europe:: Crises of Identity

Shada Islam
Copyright Date: Feb. 1, 2007
Pages: 21

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. None)
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  3. (pp. i-ii)
    Terje Rød-Larsen

    The International Peace Academy (IPA) is pleased to introduce a new series of Working Papers within the program Coping with Crisis, Conflict, and Change:The United Nations and Evolving Capacities for Managing Global Crises, a four-year research and policy-facilitation program designed to generate fresh thinking about global crises and capacities for effective prevention and response.

    In this series ofWorking Papers, IPA has asked leading experts to undertake a mapping exercise, presenting an assessment of critical challenges to human and international security. A first group of papers provides a horizontal perspective, examining the intersection of multiple challenges in specific regions of the...

  4. (pp. 1-1)

    The European Union’s emergence as a leading global political and economic actor is an important, exciting and inspiring development in modern history.¹ The signature in 1957 of the EU’s founding Treaty of Rome, creating the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and the European Economic Community (EEC) has been followed rapidly by a spate of initiatives designed to draw EU members into an ever closer economic and political union.

    As the world’s most sophisticated experiment in regional cooperation and collective sovereignty, the EU has long been an inspiration and model for countries seeking similar regional integration. An array of common institutions,...

  5. (pp. 1-3)

    The opening years of the twenty-first century have been especially unkind to Europe. While the 1990s were marked by landmark decisions to break down internal barriers and create a single European market, the historic introduction of a single European currency and vital moves to take in new Eastern European members, the last few years have witnessed an upbeat Europe giving way to a twenty-seven nation bloc racked by doubts and uncertainties. Many EU plans for bigger and better things – a new constitution, expanded membership, a revamped economy and global power status to rival the United States – are currently...

  6. (pp. 3-7)

    Europe’s current loss of confidence is the result of a mix of factors including the absence of strong leadership, a crisis of credibility facing most EU institutions and an acrimonious debate over the future of the constitution. Anxiety over further expansion is also increasing. In contrast to the joint drive for further integration launched in the 1990s by the iconic European Commission President Jacques Delors, French President Francois Mitterrand, and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, today’s EU leaders are often at cross purposes over the long-term destiny of the EU. The European Commission, the EU’s executive agency, headed by former Portuguese...

  7. (pp. 7-12)

    Recognizing that Europe’s security hinges on stability and prosperity on its borders, EU policymakers are using the bloc’s “soft power” instruments – diplomacy, trade and aid – to forge closer relations with key neighbors to the east and south, including Muslim countries. The focus is on promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law and encouraging economic reform. This is a question of enlightened self-interest. If such measures are not taken, warns a report by the European Defense Agency, a relatively poorer and older Europe will find itself living in a difficult and dangerously volatile neighborhood. It will also...

  8. (pp. 12-13)

    Europe at the start of the twenty-first century faces an array of complex political and economic challenges to its security. Whether or not these are tackled in a successful manner will determine the EU’s future course. As such, several scenarios are possible:

    Given the current political, economic, and social climate in Europe – not to mention ethnic and religious tensions – a worst-case scenario is unfortunately not difficult to imagine. A continuation of the existing political stalemate over the future of the failed constitution will bring discredit to all EU institutions, decrease chances of an inter-EU entente on tackling key...

  9. (pp. 14-15)
  10. (pp. 16-16)