This Whitehall Paper contends that Europe is undergoing a balance of power crisis set in motion by three structural developments: US retrenchment in Europe; Germany’s emerging leadership position within the EU; and Russia’s push to recreate a sphere of influence in Eastern Europe. It analyses what these changes mean for Europe’s geopolitics, and the role that the UK and France can play in stabilising the regional order.
Table of Contents
I Balance and Order in Europe
Europe’s Framers: Britain, the US and the Changing of the Guard
The Role of Institutions in Managing the European Balance
The End of the Cold War: Whither the European Balance?
Influence vs. Control: Anglo–American, Russian and German
Perspectives on the European Balance
Back to Square One? Europe and the Looming Shadow of US Retrenchment
II Legitimacy and Order: The US, Germany and Russia
US Strategy and European Security: Light Footprint, Heavy Burden
Russia’s Comeback: Strength from Weakness
Germany as a Reluctant Leader: Weakness in Strength
The Evolving US–German–Russian Triangle
III. Restoring Balance
How to Restore the European Balance
Keeping Europe United in Diversity, Open and Atlantic-Oriented
Re-Centring the EU?
Germany, Russia and the Space Between
Luis Simón is a Research Professor of International Security at the Institute for European Studies of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Director of the Brussels Office of the Elcano Royal Institute. He is also an associate fellow at RUSI and the Baltic Defence College, and a member of the editorial board of Parameters: The US Army War College Quarterly. Professor Simón has been a visiting research and fellow at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University (2012–13), RUSI (2009–10), the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University (2008), and the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (2008). In 2008–09, he was a fellow of the European Foreign and Security Policy Studies Programme of the VolkswagenStiftung, Germany, the Compagnia di San Paolo, Turin, and the Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Stockholm. He holds degrees from Royal Holloway College (University of London) and the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). He is the author of Geopolitical Change, Grand Strategy and European Security: The EU-NATO Conundrum in Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014). His articles have appeared in leading journals such as Security Studies, International Affairs, Journal of Strategic Studies, Survival, Geopolitics, Orbis, Parameters: The US Army War College Quarterly, RUSI Journal, Comparative Strategy, and International Spectator.