A United Europe Weathers Crises, but Deeper Challenges Remain

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But there are major challenges ahead, with serious questions suppressed in the name of trans-Atlantic unity and solidarity with Ukraine.

Ukraine has been promised membership in both the European Union and NATO, but there are no realistic offers for now, and the complicated question of future security guarantees for Ukraine has been left hanging while the fighting continues. How the war will end, how Ukraine will be protected and how it will be rebuilt — and by whom and with whose money — will have major consequences for both institutions.

Then there is the looming rise of China and what that means for trans-Atlantic security, cohesion and prosperity.

Politico Europe asked the E.U. ambassadors from Sweden and the Czech Republic what they consider to be the pressing issues for 2023. Their answers are apt and revealing.

Sweden’s Lars Danielsson responded: “If and how the aggression against Ukraine will end. If energy prices will start to come down. If the rule of law will be fully respected in all E.U. member states.”

The Czech, Edita Hrda, said: “In the short term, it will be the results of the Russian war in Ukraine, and whether the current will for unity in the E.U. will last, as well as whether, in the long term, it will be proved that the E.U. is capable of assuming the role of a global player.”

“There is very little long-term strategic thinking going on in Brussels,” said Mr. Zuleeg of the European Policy Center. “We cannot be definite about outcomes, but we need to start building possible scenarios.”

Steven Erlanger is the chief diplomatic correspondent in Europe, based in Brussels. He has reported for The Times from more than 100 countries and been based in Bangkok, London, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Belgrade, Jerusalem and Washington.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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