Great Britain’s Brexit vote was just one of the threats to the European Union.

Again this year the Arizona Senior Academy is hosting the Foreign Policy Association’s “Great Decisions” series. The first session will discuss “The Future of Europe,” focusing on the recent struggles of the European Union: migration and refugees, the growing strength of nationalism in several member countries, monetary and economic issues, and a bureaucracy-heavy structure – and the possibility of an evolving American policy toward the organization under Donald Trump’s presidency.

It will be held at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday (Jan. 25) in the ASA Great Room. The facilitator for this session is Dennis Anderson, an ASA member and a retired professor of European and German history.

The outcome of the United Kingdom referendum on European Union membership sent shockwaves across the globe. It even caught British voters by surprise. The EU has helped secure peace in Europe for the past 70 years. Now it faces an uncertain future.

The flood of refugees from Syria and other Middle Eastern countries has fueled nationalist sentiments throughout Europe.

Amid a refugee crisis, lingering financial recession and the constant specter of terrorism, unity seems more imperative than ever. But the Brexit vote underscores the complexities of integrating an extremely diverse continent. What will post-Brexit Europe look like, and how can U.S. foreign policy adapt?

Designed to elicit constructive ideas from those who attend, the 2017 series focuses on the theme “Continuity and Change in American Foreign Policy,” a theme especially relevant in this year of presidential transition.

The eight topics for the “Great Decisions” series include energy, trade, nuclear security and regional issues around the globe.  Each session will include comments by a facilitator, giving a context to the topic, a DVD presentation on the topic (provided by the Foreign Policy Association), and a discussion of relevant questions.

Written by Dennis Anderson, Academy Village Volunteer

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Assessing Europe’s Uncertain Future: January 2017