Strategic Foresight

Reports and papers

The state of the Union: the EU in 2023

12 Dec 2018 - 13:10
Source: EU2018BG Bulgarian Presidency-Borissov/Wikimedia Commons

This report is part of the Strategic Monitor 2018 - 2019, which monitors the international system and assesses risks to Dutch national security.  The Dutch version of the synthesis report Interregnum was published in February 2019. The English version is expected in March 2019.

In this report author Jan Rood presents the state of the (European) Union and future developments over the next five years.

In the years ahead, the European Union is expected to remain under constant pressure due to the continuing crisis of trust within the member states and the lack of cohesion between them. This will have a major impact on the European Union as a political system. This observation is significant given that the next five years may prove decisive for the EU’s continued existence as a functioning system of cooperation. For the Netherlands major interests are at stake, both economically and politically. The European Union has always been of vital economic interest for the Netherlands. But in a world composed of shifting tectonic plates, European cooperation in the broad area of security has become ever more important. Against this backdrop, fundamental questions arise with regard to Dutch foreign and security policy. First, in response to the departure of the UK – always seen as a natural partner of the Netherlands – the question arises of what this means for the positioning of the Netherlands within the European coalition landscape. Second, there is the question of whether the Netherlands should (further) relinquish its traditional Atlantic orientation in favour of a more continental European focus with regard to its security.