By Lili Bayer
Prince Klemens von Metternich, the architect of the European continental system that emerged after Napoleon’s defeat, once remarked that any plan conceived in moderation must fail when the circumstances are set in extremes. The European Union developed and expanded during a time of relative prosperity. A new Russia, emerging from the ruins of the former Soviet Union, transformed as energy prices rose. But the favorable circumstances of the past decades no longer exist. Europe is now entering the new phase in a set of interrelated crises that the continent’s current system was never effectively designed to address.
Our 2016 forecast predicted that Europe will grapple with three interlocking challenges this year: the European Union’s economic problems, the refugee crisis and Russia’s relationship with Europe and the U.S. We noted that Germany is key to all three of Europe’s dilemmas and that 2016 will be a year of significant fragmentation in Europe. Thi