Demonstrating against Facebook in Brussels, Belgium, May 2018
Frances Lenoir / Reuters

That Europe’s best days are over has become a common refrain. Journalists, analysts, and even world leaders observe that “the Continent’s grand unity project is failing, and its global influence is fading”; lament “the coming erosion of the European Union”; and explain “why Europe no longer matters.”

Such pessimism can hardly come as a surprise. Crises loom well beyond the European horizon. China has arisen as a major economic power. Russia is asserting its will across the globe. Citizens of democratic countries have responded to the lure of economic populism. And with the United States in retreat from

Finish reading this article for free.

Enter your email and we'll send a paywall-free link directly to your inbox.

In addition to your unlocked article, you will receive our flagship weekly newsletter Foreign Affairs This Week, as well as occasional updates and offers from Foreign Affairs. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, visit our user agreement and privacy policy.

Get unlimited access to all Foreign Affairs. Subscribe now.

Are you already a subscriber? Sign in.