A New Year Brings Familiar Challenges for the EU

Dec 11, 2017 | 08:00 GMT

The EU flag flies over the stock exchange building in Brussels.



  • In 2018 the European Union will try to close the free trade agreements it has been negotiating in recent years and to sign new deals with additional countries.
  • The European Union will continue pressuring Russia to cooperate on a solution for the conflict in Ukraine but will be reluctant to increase its sanctions on Moscow.
  • Initiatives to cooperate with the countries migrants hail from and travel through will be easier to approve than will plans to reform the bloc's rules on migration.

The European Union will face numerous foreign policy challenges next year, ranging from negotiating new trade deals to dealing with problematic neighbors such as Russia and Turkey. The bloc will also continue its efforts to reduce the number of migrants arriving in Europe, both by cooperating with countries of origin and transit states and by trying to reform its asylum policies. As the European Union takes on these issues, it will strive to stay as united as possible -- no small feat considering that its foreign policy is the product of compromise between member states with differing interests and priorities. Consequently, the Continental bloc is likely to operate as a reactive force, responding to events and adapting to new realities rather than taking the initiative....

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