The Europe Program at the German Marshall Fund focuses on Europe and its institutions and how they affect the transatlantic relationship. The program operates on the assumption that a functioning and future-oriented transatlantic relationship needs a European Union within a continent that is whole, free, and prosperous. The EU will only be able to fulfill this role if it is willing and capable of sustaining and enforcing the principles of democracy within its member states and periphery. To this end, this program analyzes the state of democracy, security, and cohesion across the continent and assesses Europe’s role as an international actor. It does so through analysis and by engaging relevant stakeholders in dialogue.
Working in close cooperation with other GMF programs, the Europe program aims to contribute to tackling four core challenges for the future of Europe: the state of liberal democracy in wider Europe and implications for the EU as well as the future of Europe’s global role; the changing security environment in and around Europe and its implications for regional and global security; transatlantic economic relations; and migration. The program pursues its objectives through its member’s analysis and comments in the media, its outreach to a variety of stakeholders, its interactions with peers and its policy advice to decision-makers, as well as its closed-door and public convening activities.
Europe is currently in crisis and at a defining moment of its development. GMF focuses on four main challenges for the EU and Europe overall:
How to keep democracy stable and alive? The work stream on the future of democracy includes analysis of political events inside the European Union which affect its future as well as their impact on wider Europe and on transatlantic relations. Topics for analysis and regular commentary range from the debates on the future of the EU after years of successive crises, including the impact of Brexit; how national politics respond to and shape the EU agenda and transatlantic relations; and how the EU interacts with its neighbors. Current projects include the Mercator European Dialogue, an innovative framework involving national parliamentary representatives on key topics for European affairs, and transatlantic civil society support in wider Europe.
How to keep the European Union and its neighborhood safe and secure? The changing security context in and around Europe is addressed in cooperation with other GMF programs. The Europe program actively contributes to the ongoing Brussels-led debate on Europe’s security and foreign policy, its fledgling global strategy, and relations with its neighbors in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean, as well as the impact of changing transatlantic relations on areas of European interest.
How to maintain transatlantic economic relations? Transatlantic economic relations have long been a core theme for GMF. In the wake of contestation of traditional norms governing economic relations across the Atlantic, the Europe program is developing a dialogue project as well as workshops and a working group to help rethink such relations in a changing political context.
How to address the migration and refugee challenges? Migration policy projects examining European migration and foreign policies are being developed alongside flagship projects such as the Migration Strategy Group and the Integration Strategy Group. Recent publications have focused on policy coherence in the wake of the refugee crisis. The topic of migration cuts across all three policy areas outlined above.