With far-right nationalist parties on the rise across the continent and the United Kingdom planning for Brexit, the European Union is in disarray and plagued by doubts as never before. The challenges threatening Europe’s survival are myriad: political destabilization sparked by the more than 1.3 million migrants from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia; the spread of right-wing populism (taking into account the election of Donald Trump in the United States), and the thorny issues facing member states on the eastern flank of the EU (including the threat posed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia). Some reflections on the ominous political, economic, and geopolitical future that would await the continent if the Union itself begins to disintegrate.
Ivan Krastev is Chair of the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, Bulgaria, and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna. He is a contributing opinion writer for the International New York Times and author of Democracy Disrupted: The Politics of Global Protest, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.