I am going to start off by looking at Europe, defined as the region under the influence of Western Christianity and/or the European Union (not Russia or Turkey, which will be covered in a later Eurasia Report).
The Big Questions
- Demographic problems: aging, low fertility and Eurabia?
- The unsustainability of the modern welfare state?
- Cultural decline & reaction against liberal rationalism?
- The return of Great Power politics? (e.g. Mearsheimer 1990), & the decline of the EU and growing centrality of Franco-German relations, – or will the EU survive, and if so in what form?
- National trends: a secure, “flourishing” France; a troubled but powerful Germany; Poland beset on two fronts; marginalized Britain, Spain & Italy, all in decline; Sweden as preeminent Baltic power; on the outskirts, both Russia and Turkey increase their power – realistic?
- The retreat into authoritarianism and militarism? Europe as a Black Continent?
Without much exaggeration, demography is Europe’s central issue for the foreseeable future. Just to keep the labor force constant, the EU needs 1.6mn immigrants annually (current population: 500mn); to maintain a 3:1 ratio of labor force to retirees, it will need 3.1mn immigrants yearly to offset the aging of the population. These kinds of numbers are probably unrealistic due to (justified?) European xenophobia, especially in the east and center.