The new report of Russia Direct explores what could change in Europe after Brexit and to what extent this political crisis might affect the EU’s relations with Moscow.

To understand the implications of Brexit for the world, the new report looks at the problem from three perspectives: from the position of the EU, Russia and North America. Photo: Russia Direct

Europe is now mired in one of the deepest crises in its history. Faced with complex economic problems, the refugee crisis and the terrorist threat, the European Union should also address how it will respond to the desire of member states for greater sovereignty.

Now that one of its most influential members  – the United Kingdom – has voted to leave the EU, the question now is how the Union should change and what should be done to prevent other states from choosing sovereignty over further integration. The decisions made in the coming months will not only determine the future trajectory of the EU’s development but also have an impact on its foreign policy in general, and position towards Moscow in particular.

Bringing together prominent Russian and foreign thinkers, Russia Direct explores these questions in its new issue, “Is Europe Unraveling?" Examining how the Brexit vote might change the EU and its relations with the world and Russia, the issue offers three different perspectives: Russian, North American and European.

Timofey Bordachev, associate professor in the Department of International Affairs at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, points out four important trends forming the character of the Europe of the future.

“The Europe of the future might be relatively united in terms of economy, but capable of political unity on only a very limited range of questions, namely those that cannot do any damage to trans-Atlantic solidarity,” he writes.

Bordachev also explains why the EU in its new form will not be an easier partner for Russia and which areas might potentially be attractive as areas for cooperation.

Jack Goldstone, American sociologist and political scientist, explores the implications of the Brexit, taking into account the interests of Washington. He argues that a disintegrated Europe is not in the interests of any country, including Russia and the U.S. Offering his recommendations on how Europe and the U.S. should interact to prevent further disintegration, he points out that, “The EU needs to enrich, protect, and inspire pride in Europeans.”

Unless steps are taken, he warns, Brexit will be just the first step in a total dismantling of the single union.

Aurel Braun, professor of International Relations and Political Science at the University of Toronto, looks at the problem from the perspective of sovereignty and globalization, “both of which are adapting to the new demands of the 21st century.” Braun explains why the Brexit vote is not a wholesale repudiation of interconnection, integration and cross-border communication and how Brexit has influenced cooperation between members of the EU and NATO.

This Russia Direct report features a review of the book “The Politics of Everyday Europe: Constructing Authority in the European Union” by Georgetown Professor Kathleen McNamara, as well as thought-provoking interviews with the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, Dmitri Trenin, and the head of the Brussels office of the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), Vivien Pertusot. These two experts explain which countries in the EU have the most leverage to determine the future debate over Russia and why it is now too early to talk about what future actions the EU might take to address its crisis.

Will the EU be able to face the challenges of the 21st century? Why is Russia not interested in Europe’s disintegration? Download the report and find out.