The year 2019 marks one hundred and one years of relations between the United States and the countries of Central Europe that emerged from the wreckage of the First World War. After a century of work together, of tragedy and achievement, Central Europe and the United States have much to celebrate and defend, but also much to do. After accessions to NATO and the European Union, Central Europeans may have thought that their long road to the institutions of the West, and to the security and prosperity associated with them, was finished. The United States began to think so as well, concluding that its work and special role in Central Europe were complete. Now, Central Europe, the United States, and the entire transatlantic community face new internal and external challenges. As a result, the transatlantic world has seen a rise of extremist politics and forms of nationalism that many thought had been banished forever after 1989. The great achievement of a Europe whole, free, and at peace, with Central Europe an integral part of it, is again in play. The Atlantic Council and GLOBSEC’s new report “The United States and Central Europe: Tasks for a Second Century Together” examines a century of relations between the United States and Central Europe: what went right, what went wrong, and what needs to be done about it.
GLOBSEC EU Task Force aims to build a vision for a more successful and prosperous Europe through the lenses of a constructive Central (and Eastern) European perspective. In this report, the Task Force members layout their vision for the new European political cycle.
It is an obvious fact that Central Europe’s fortunes stand and fall with the European integration process. Data show that the V4 countries have grown more than the EU on average in terms of GDP, decline of unemployment and the stabilisation of the public finances.
There is a risk that in the processes of economic convergence the Central European countries will get stuck in a middle-income trap, namely due to the lack of (mostly national-level) reforms, that could transform them from countries of cheap labour to high-productivity workforces.
At the same time, there is a feeling of divergence at the EU level, whereby the EU is perceived to represent better the needs of post-industrial, postmodern, developed societies rather than those still in the convergence process. The voice of the region often seems misheard or unheard and there seems to be an institutional distance from the countries of the “new” Europe.
Can Central Europe contribute to a big plan for EU reform? What are the foundations of the success of the European Union from the perspective of the V4 countries? Can such a vision gain support in Brussels? The answers are positive and some suggestions are provided in the sections below
We live in a dynamic world, where predicting the future is becoming increasingly challenging,
because the risks we are facing are more complex than ever. Fascinating high-tech innovations and technological
disruption bring a new dimension to nearly every aspect of life on the planet from the public sphere to
strategic actors in the way we live, work, communicate, travel, and consume news. The rapid pace of
transformation has proven that the future will look nothing like the present. In order to face the challenges
of the future, we need to identify them and prepare for them now.
The top experts of the GLOBSEC Policy Institute have decided to take on this challenge, in the form of
a short experimental exercise. Based on year-round research activities at GLOBSEC, they identified major
trends related to their areas of expertise, which they believe are of utmost importance when it comes to
the future of our societies. It would be a rather hopeless task if the list had an ambition to be exhaustive or
if the trends, we are writing about were to be properly explained or described. We aim to call the readers’
attention to important trends and exciting technological disruptions already happening now or are to
come in the near future. To spark our readers’ imagination, we included a number of “what if?” scenarios
not to fully prepare you for hypothetical events, but to stimulate your mind to think ahead, be innovative,
creative, and open to solve new challenges. Therefore, this publication is a collection of essays to spark
your mind and challenge you.
Each year, several thousands of participants gather at GLOBSEC Bratislava Forum over three days to take
part in dozens of events and sessions with topics spanning from technology, innovation through trade,
to security and defence, and beyond. The level of detail and richness of debate at Central Europe’s leading
forum on international issues can indeed be overwhelming. We invite you to cluster the details around
several major trends and join GLOBSEC Policy Institute experts in discussing these strategic issues.