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The Spectre of a Westphalian Europe?

Luis Simón
Whitehall Papers, 7 March 2018
NATO, Germany, European Union, Russia, France, UK, Defence Policy, UK Defence, Europe
European geopolitics is undergoing a major structural revision.

This Whitehall Paper discusses the cohesion of Europe’s geopolitical architecture, and offers a new way of understanding the contemporary regional balance. Luis Simón 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.

Although post-war Europe appears to have overcome its historical security dilemma, this Whitehall Paper argues that the principle of the balance of power remains at the heart of the region’s geopolitical order. As global attention shifts to other regions, Simón argues that the UK and its continental allies must not underestimate the need to maintain European stability.

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