Europe Program

The Europe program works to inform policymakers, academics, business leaders, and the general public about the implications of unfolding political and economic developments in Europe. On topics ranging from the eurozone crisis to NATO's future to Europe's relationship with Russia, the program looks to help experts and the public alike understand transatlantic relations and European affairs in a shifting global environment.

Long host to some of the world's most destructive conflicts, Europe over the past sixty years has relied on economic and political integration to evolve into a zone of peace and prosperity. The European Union (EU) is today the world's largest market, it has adopted a single currency, and it has extended stability eastward by integrating new members and by working closely with neighbors. At the same time, Europe faces many challenges. The euro crisis weighs on financial stability and growth. The Balkans, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe's periphery still struggle to overcome geopolitical and ethnic divides. And Europe's relationship with Russia is steadily deteriorating.

On the economic front, the 2008 global recession exposed the unsustainability of a eurozone monetary union unaccompanied by a fiscal union. The consequent stress of economic adjustment demanded by creditor countries of the eurozone’s indebted periphery and the EU's continued economic malaise threaten the social and political stability of member states. The EU is in the midst of trying to fashion new banking and fiscal unions. Meanwhile, uncertainty within the eurozone over its heavy debt burden and weak growth across the EU continue to weigh down the world economy.

The EU's internal problems are distracting attention from its external challenges, which include dealing with a more assertive Russia. The West's relationship with Moscow has been strained by the March 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea and subsequent Russian support for separatist groups in eastern Ukraine. Fashioning a response to the Ukraine crisis on both the economic and political fronts, as well as dealing with the potential for further Russian assertiveness, has proven a challenge for the transatlantic relationship.

Through publications, blogs, meetings, conferences, and public speaking, the Europe program studies the changing transatlantic and European landscape and informs policymakers, experts, opinion leaders and the general public on these developments. The program also forges exchanges among the public and private sectors through workshops and roundtables in order to help shape transatlantic commercial relations. Media appearances and public speaking by the senior fellows help keep experts and the public informed on pressing issues and evolving trends in Europe.

Roundtable Series

George F. Kennan Roundtable on Russia and Eurasia

Director: Stephen Sestanovich, George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies
October 1, 2001—Present

The Kennan Roundtable is an on-going series of meetings that focus on the major policy questions posed by changing U.S. relationships with Russia and the former Soviet states of Eurasia. Whether measured by the near-alliance between Presidents Bush and Putin, the establishment of bases in Central Asia, or Ukraine's decision to seek NATO membership, there has been significant enhancement of these relationships since September 11. Understanding their durability and direction is the principal aim.

Meetings examine areas of expanding cooperation, such as Moscow's unfolding energy strategy and the security of sensitive nuclear materials. We will also look at emerging areas of discord. In the case of Russia, these include the tensions associated with its recurrent pressures on Georgia; in the case of Ukraine and Central Asia, the continuing emphasis placed by U.S. policy on democratization and human rights.


View All Publications

Europe Experts