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2018: Challenges and choices [What Think Tanks are thinking]

Written by Marcin Grajewski,

© christianchan / Fotolia

After 2017 brought optimism for the European Union, 2018 has proved a year of tougher challenges and choices. It was a time of slower growth, with the spectre of a global trade war. Turbulent negotiations on Brexit brought an agreement, but the chances of its approval by the UK House of Commons look unpromising. It was a year of uncertainty for transatlantic ties and for US global leadership. Tensions re-emerged over migration. Progress in overhauling the euro-area was limited. The simmering Russia-Ukrainian conflict erupted again. These and other developments form the backdrop for the European elections in 2019.

This note offers links to recent selected commentaries, studies and reports from major international think tanks on the state of the EU in 2018 and its outlook in several important areas.


The proposed UK-EU Brexit deal: An explainer
Open Europe, December 2018

Le Brexit dans tous ses états
Institut français des relations internationales, December 2018

Brexit brief: Special edition
Institute of International and European Affairs, November 2018

New research shows economic and fiscal consequences of the Brexit deal
The UK in a Changing Europe, November 2018

The November Draft Withdrawal Agreement
Institute for Government, November 2018

The Brexit deal and the UK-EU security relationship
DCU Brexit Institute, November 2018

What happens if Parliament rejects May’s Brexit deal?
Centre for European Reform, November 2018

What impact would a No Deal Brexit have on European Parliament elections?
Institut Jacques Delors, November 2018

LSE blog: Brexit
London School of Economics, November 2018

Brexit: Next steps in UK’s withdrawal from the EU
House of Commons Library, 2018

More think tank papers on Brexit
What think tanks are thinking, EPRS, December 2018

Trump and trade

Trump, Xi reach trade war truce… for now
Atlantic Council, December 2018

The Trump-Xi meeting at G-20: Kicking the can down the road
Rand Corporation, December 2018

What the 2018 (and 2020) elections mean for U.S. trade policy
European Centre for International Political Economy, December 2018

What might a Trump withdrawal from the World Trade Organization mean for US tariffs?
Peterson Institute of International Economics, November 2018

Consequences of U.S. trade policy on EU-U.S. trade relations and the global trading system
German Marshall Fund, November 2018

Disciplining China’s trade practices at the WTO: How WTO complaints can help make China more market-oriented
Cato Institute, November 2018

The EU response to US trade tariffs
Bruegel, October 2018

Crisis in the WTO: Restoring the dispute settlement function
Centre for International Government Innovation, October 2018

How the United States should confront China without threatening the global trading system
Peterson Institute of International Economics, August 2018

Power in the international trading system: Trump Administration risks destroying world trade order
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, July 2018

More papers on Trump’s presidency, trade and international policies
What think tanks are thinking, EPRS, September 2018

Foreign policy, defence

New realities in foreign affairs: Diplomacy in the 21st century
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, December 2018

American climate leadership without American government
Brookings Institution, December 2018

Strategic autonomy: Towards ‘European sovereignty’ in defence?
European Union Institute for Security Studies, November 2018

Western countries must rethink how to deter Russian aggression against Ukraine
Chatham House, December 2018

The EU and NATO: A partnership with a glass ceiling
Istituto Affari Internazionali, December 2018

From the Azov Sea to Washington DC: How Russophobia became Russia’s leading export
Atlantic Council, November 2018

Under the gun: Rearmament for arms control in Europe
European Council on Foreign Relations, November 2018

Fighting terrorism and radicalisation in Europe’s neighbourhood: How to scale up EU efforts
European Policy Centre, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, November 2018

NATO in the Trump era: Surviving the crisis
Clingendael, September 2018

The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy
Real Instituto Elcano, July 2018

More think tank papers on global trends
What think tanks are thinking, EPRS, December 2018

More think tanks papers on climate
What think tanks are thinking, EPRS, December 2018

More think tank papers on China
What think tanks are thinking, EPRS, September 2018

More think tank papers on Russia
What think tanks are thinking, EPRS, September 2018

More think tank papers on NATO
What think tanks are thinking, EPRS, July 2018

EMU reform, economy, institutions

Euro area reform: An anatomy of the debate
Centre for Economic Policy Research, Bruegel, November 2018

The European Parliament after the elections
Clingendael, November 2018

European fiscal rules require a major overhaul
Bruegel, October 2018

Reform of the international monetary system and new global economic governance: How the EU may contribute
Egmont, October 2018

The Italian budget: A case of contractionary fiscal expansion?
Peterson Institute for International Economics, October 2018

European Parliament elections 2019: The litmus test for the Spitzenkandidaten process
Centre for European Reform, December 2018

ESM reform: No need to reinvent the wheel
Jacques Delors Institut, Bertelsmann Stiftung, August 2018

Competing visions of Europe are threatening to tear the Union apart
Chatham House, August 2018

Europe’s surprising economic success story
Centre for European Policy Studies, July 2018

The future of the Economic and Monetary Union
Swedish Institute for European Policy Studies, Clingendael, June 2018

More think tanks papers on EMU reform
What think tanks are thinking, EPRS, November 2018

More think tanks papers on the State of the Union
What think tanks are thinking, EPRS, November 2018


The Global Compact for Migration and the EU: Global effects of a regional backlash
Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale, December 2018

À propos du Pacte mondial pour des migrations sûres, ordonnées et régulières
Institut des relations internationales et stratégiques, October 2018

EU migration policies in the Sahel-stagnation in a mode of crisis
Clingendael, December 2018

Three years into the refugee displacement crisis
German Marshall Fund, December 2018

For a European policy on asylum, migration and mobility
Institut Jacques Delors, November 2018

EU migration policy bears no relation to reality
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, November 2018

In search of a new equilibrium: Immigration policymaking in the newest era of nativist populism
Migration Policy Institute, November 2018

It’s not a refugee crisis: It’s a crisis of shrinking humanity and inequality
Friends of Europe, November 2018

Reforming Europe’s refugee policies: Austrian-Danish plan will not work
Centre for European Policy Studies, October 2018

State of play in the debate on migration management in Europe
Clingendael, October 2018

More think tanks papers on migration
What think tanks are thinking, EPRS, December 2018

Read this briefing on ‘2018: Challenges and choices‘ on the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.

Visit the European Parliament page on ‘Migration in Europe‘.

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