The European Peninsula is facing two interlocking crises: first, the fragmentation in the European Union and, second, a shift in the relationship between the peninsula and the rest of Eurasia. At its core, the European Union’s crisis revolves around the challenges of diverging national interests. European nation-states joined the European Union due to its promise of prosperity, but the bloc’s integration masked an underlying reality of fragmented nations, each facing its own unique political, economic and geographic challenges.
European institutions have been unable to overcome these differences in national interests. The financial crisis and the uptick in refugee flows to Europe have led to significant disagreements among the bloc’s member states, further undermining the European Union’s cohesion. At the same time, a conflict is underway between the peninsula and the Eurasian mainland. Here, we use the term mainland to refer to the part of Eurasia that is west of the European Penin