What can go wrong for Europe in 2015?

Two all-too-plausible scenarios could turn 2015 into an annus horribilis for Europe: a further erosion of integration within the EU, and a collapse of Ukraine. Both would greatly weaken Europe’s role in the world and its foreign policy resources. To be sure, the list of things that could go wrong for Europe this year is long; these two, however, would be game-changing.

Erosion within the EU is already in progress in several ways. Triggered by the bumpy road towards treaty revision and the financial crisis, the EU has become less coherent and more intergovernmental. Politics in countries of crisis as well as those doing better has become more inward-looking. A cost/benefit approach to integration has come to dominate political bargaining in Brussels. Trust among member states is on the decline, as is the confidence voters put into national and EU politics and institutions.

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(Photo: Rama)



Josef Janning of the European Council on Foreign Relations

Josef Janning joined the European Council on Foreign Relations in April 2014 as Senior Policy Fellow in the Berlin Office. 2013/2014 he was a Mercator Fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations. Prior to that he served as Director of Studies at the European Policy Centre (EPC) in Brussels. Between 2001 and 2010 Josef has lead the international policy work as Senior Director of the Bertelsmann Foundation, a major private German foundation. Earlier positions in his career include Deputy Director of the Center for Applied Policy Research (CAP) at Munich University from 1995-2007. Previously, he has held teaching positions at the University of Mainz, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and as Guest Professor at Renmin University of Beijing. He has worked with leading think tanks in Europe, the US and Asia, and engaged in and lead various international study groups, high-level groups and commissions on European affairs, global governance, transformation to democracy, security and defence policy and transatlantic relations. Josef has published widely on European Affairs, International Relations, EU foreign and security policy, German foreign and European policy as well as global affairs. On these issues he also is a frequent commentator with German and international media.