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Maximilian Gebhardt explores the implications and challenges of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for European Union infrastructure investments in the latest issue brief from the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative: "Journey to the West: Chinese Opportunities in European Infrastructure Expansion."

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Turkey, a NATO ally, bridges a region spanning from Central Asia to Central Europe and the Levant that is marred by centuries of division and conflict, but whose nations and people are also bound together. Following an attempted military coup in 2016 and widespread government crackdowns across Turkish society, where Turkey is headed is uncertain. In Turkey’s European Journey, Sir Peter Westmacott, who recently retired as one of the United Kingdom’s most revered diplomats, provides his first-hand account of Turkey’s recent history—helping us understand how Turkey got to where it is today, and providing clues about where the country might be headed. 

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Once again, authoritarians are challenging the world’s leading democracies, using twenty-first century versions of aggression, propaganda, and subversion.  The very notion of a rules-based, democratic-leaning international order—the Free World—seems in doubt, questioned also by newly-emboldened nationalists on both sides of the Atlantic.  In “The Free World,” Ambassador Dan Fried, who retired this year as the United States’ longest-serving diplomat, reminds us what the Free World achieved, where it has gone wrong, and what democratic forces can do to restore the momentum of ideas that still represent the best hope for American interests, democratic values, and the world.

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France’s geopolitical power in Europe is unique. It combines a positive legacy of global leadership, a rich diplomatic network, universal aspirations, global military reach, cultural influence, and economic heft. The authors, Atlantic Council Senior Fellows Jérémie Gallon and Jeff Lightfoot, of this paper, “France: Europe’s Swing State: Foreign Policy Begins at Home,” argue that France is the pivotal swing state in shaping the contours of a stronger European Union (EU) and a reinforced transatlantic alliance at a crucial moment in the history of the West. 

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Throughout much of the 1990s, progress was the order of the day. NATO enlargement under the Clinton administration was part of a broader global strategy, presenting democratic and entrepreneurial opportunity. This process was coupled with the prospect of new cooperation with Russia to create an undivided, free, and prosperous Europe. A decade and a half later, Central Europe faces severe challenges and signs of particular vulnerability to backlash against the very ideals this period set out to establish and the values expected to endure. 

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Cloud computing, which relies on automatically available services, including storage, that can be shared among devices, is considered crucial to the digital transformation of industry and the economy. But fundamental questions remain on the role of cloud computing in Europe and the best strategies for fostering the conditions necessary for a barrier-free transatlantic digital economy. Is cloud computing being used to its optimum advantage across Europe, and how does that usage differ from country to country? What are the motivations behind cloud adoption—or behind the failure to adopt? And finally, what effect does the adoption of new forms of digital technology have on small and medium enterprises (SMEs)? Into the Clouds: European SMEs and the Digital Age, authored by Tyson Barker, addresses these and other questions.

The United States and the European Union (EU) have a historic opportunity—perhaps their last—to be leaders in building the digital market of the future. To do so, they must seize the opportunity to create a transatlantic digital single market stretching from Silicon Valley to Tallinn, Estonia. Together, they can give a new burst of energy to a global Internet economy centered on thriving digital commerce, innovation, creativity, online security, and citizens’ rights. The newest report of the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative, “Building a Transatlantic Digital Marketplace: Twenty Steps Toward 2020,” evaluates the state of play on the most pressing digital policy issues across five interlocking areas, and identifies twenty steps that the United States and the EU can begin to take between now and 2020 to build a transatlantic marketplace, encourage trust, and preserve the Internet as a global commercial commons and a public good.


A new Atlantic Council report warns against the tendency of Europe and the United States to sideline political and economic reform in the Middle East while they pursue urgent security priorities in this turbulent region. Instead, the transatlantic partners should forge a shared strategy to encourage political systems that can protect Arab citizens' basic rights, provide security, deliver broad prosperity, and mitigate violent extremism.
Today, June 6th, 2014, veterans and national leaders gather in Normandy to commemorate the Allied landings seventy years ago that began the liberation of France and the western half of Europe. Later this year, on November 9th, the world will observe the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Communism, which made Europe "whole and free."

How France and the United States Can Help Each Other Succeed in the Twenty-first Century

The Atlantic Council’s Transatlantic Relations Program’s new report, Companions in Competitiveness: How France and the United States Can Help Each Other Succeed in the Twenty-first Century, examines the factors needed for the two allies to thrive the globalized world of the twenty-first century and prospects for cooperation to seize emerging opportunities.

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