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Policy Papers - February 14, 2007

Europe: Crises of Identity

This publication is part of the CWC Working Paper Series [read more about this publication series]

Shada Islam



This paper will present the different factors––internal and external––contributing to Europe’s current crisis of identity and the implications of this EU-wide malaise for human and international security. It will argue that the EU is weighed down by institutional and economic problems which it is still struggling to address and caution that Europe’s future stability and social harmony are also conditional on efforts to tackle uncontrolled immigration and come to grips with increasingly assertive but deeply alienated Muslim communities. It will highlight the EU’s efforts to stabilize its neighborhood and improve relations with Islamic nations, but also make the point that some aspects of EU foreign policy are contributing to Muslims’ frustrations. Based on this discussion, the paper will proceed to discuss the various actors engaged in Europe and working with the EU to defuse current security challenges and finally, outline three scenarios––catastrophic, middle, and ideal––for Europe’s future.

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