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Europe in the world in 2022: The transatlantic comeback?

Strategic foresight / OUTLOOK PAPER
Amanda Paul , Ivano di Carlo , Guillaume Van der Loo , Réka Koleszár , Mihai Sebastian Chihaia , Ricardo Borges de Castro , Iana Maisuradze , Ionela Ciolan , Maxime Sierro

Date: 21/01/2022
In the first-ever edition of the EPC Outlook Paper, the Europe in the World programme presents a comprehensive overview of the main developments on the global stage in 2022 and analyses how these will impact the EU’s role in the world. It also proposes what the EU and member states can do to hold their own and wield their power more effectively in an increasingly complex and hostile environment. 

Rather than being an exercise in prediction, the Outlook Paper is an attempt to guide the EPC and EU community through the year ahead.

2022 will likely be a turbulent moment for the European Union. After a tense break-up, the US and EU are making an effort to renew their relationship, but there is still a lot to disagree over. Time will soon tell whether the transatlantic tandem has made a definitive comeback or whether the loss of trust during the Trump administration has cut too deep. Meanwhile, the EU also has to deal with an increasingly aggressive Russia that seems determined to upend Europe’s security architecture. Relations with China will remain ambivalent at best. 

Beyond these immediate challenges, the EU must also adapt to profound structural developments within global geopolitics, such as the shifting nature of power, the return of strongman politics, growing involvement from non-state actors and the waning separation between domestic and external policies. Global trends like climate change, digitalisation, changing demographics, and a worldwide decline in democracy and freedom complicate matters further and will have a major influence on EU policymaking. 

The Outlook Paper will from now on appear in yearly instalments. Each edition will have a central theme but also cover developments in a broad range of regions and countries around the world that are strategic to the EU. In-depth analysis of crucial policies, emerging challenges and chronologies of key events within and outside the EU will always be included. Future editions will furthermore collect contributions from other EPC programmes to broaden its scope. Finally, a “Look Back” section, which revisits the previous edition, will be added. This will be a critical feature to review and reassess previous assumptions and ensure the continued quality of our analysis.

Read the full paper here.
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