Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Anna Michalski, Niklas Nilsson and Lars Oxelheim
The introductory chapter outlines the challenge presented to the European Union (EU) by an increasingly complex security environment, compounded by a diverse set of crises relating to migration, terrorism, war in the EU’s immediate vicinity, and the lingering danger of disintegration in the Eurozone. In order to put the book in context, the chapter explores the current crises and the challenge they pose to solidarity in the EU and, ultimately, to its internal cohesion. It also reviews what the EU can and should do to remain relevant as a crisis manager and sustain its credibility as a peace project. The chapter subsequently outlines nine central aspects of the crises facing the EU and policy recommendations to address them. In conclusion, the chapter argues that the EU needs to strengthen solidarity among its Member States by reforming the European asylum policy and to deepen cooperation between judicial and national security agencies. Most importantly, however, the EU needs to prioritize upholding the four freedoms that underpin it in order to remain legitimate in the eyes of its citizens.