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The World in 2015 - Europe

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) will continue to be Europe's most effective security umbrella in 2015. NATO will provide Europe the vast security protection the continent needs from Russia. Under NATO's broad protection in 2015, the nation states of free Europe will be accorded   the opportunity in their individual states to allocate local resources and manpower to address extremism and a growing danger posed by far-right hatred groups that if left unchecked, could spread at a pace reminiscent of the bigotry of 1930s Europe.

The European Union(EU) in 2015 will remain as Europe's foundation to economic stability. But in 2015, pressures will be brought upon the EU from nationalism advocates, from immigration detractors and from nations seeking their own variation of EU policy to protect  their unilateral benefit. On occasions in 2015, expect EU commissioners to remind members of the vitality and of the purpose of the February 7, 1992 Maastricht Treaty as a girder to Europe's economic well being. EU members should be reminded in 2015 that their strength lie in the unity of the organization.

France:

Budgetary concerns relating to EU standards, the lure of French youth to Jihadism and the deployment of more French troops to Africa will figure high on the agenda of Paris in 2015. Later in the year, climate and environmental issues could headline news as a final United Nations(UN) conference on Climate change is ratified in the French capital. The compassion, the tenacity and le amour of the French people will weather all instability issues of 2015.

United Kingdom:

As Scotland reaffirmed its alliance with the United Kingdom in 2014, 2015 could emerge as a period on nation strengthening for the former Empire. Yet, Great Britain should examine the issues and the concerns that led to the Scottish question with a view to improving the entire relationship of Kingdom members. A benchmark of any success in this respect will be gauged by the continued peace of Northern Ireland and accepted engagement of Sinn Fein into the political process.

The UK's desired exceptions to EU immigration policies should be tempered against the well being of the greater economic pact. British concerns of welfare to to new immigrants are warranted, yet, London should exercise great caution that its expressed exceptions do not alienate new immigrants giving rise to similar conditions and attitudes held by some older immigrants resulting in a lure to Jihadism.

Germany:

As a mainstay of the EU, the Germany economy will continue its adjustment phase into 2015 as debate surfaces relating to diminished business with sanctioned Russia. Large energy imports from Russia will place pressure on Germans in 2015 to consider easing of some sanctions on the misbehaved Vladimir Putin. But the strength of German engineering and its ability to adapt economically are sufficient to keep the land of Angela Merkel true to the unity of the EU in 2015.

However, a rising right-wing element represents a real threat to Germany in 2015. Fueled by Islamic extremism, far right-wing bigotry groups are re-emerging and Germany will have to monitor their activities closely in 2015. 

Belgium and the Netherlands:

Far right-wing sentiments need to be monitored in both these countries in 2015.

Ireland:

The luck of the Irish will seek to counter austerity policies and increase water rates in 2015.

Russia:

Like Vladimir Putin, many Russians will continue to blame the West in 2015 for Russia's contracting economy brought on by sanctions for Putin's actions in Ukraine and in Crimea and by falling oil prices. Though the ruble which has lost some 40 percent of its value in 2014 would briefly appear to be stabilizing in early 2015 because of government protection to prevent a farther slide, the Russian economy will suffer as a result of the stubbornness of Putin.

A new Russian doctrine that deems NATO the greatest threat to Russia amounts to another Kremlin ploy to detract attention and scrutiny of Russian real home affairs from Putin's actions to be blamed on outside forces. However, 2015 should provide answers to the Russian people as to the causes of their economic woes. 

More Putin scouting on the seas, in the air and on the land could be expected in 2015. Ukraine will remain Putin's most significant prize to retake or to finally concede in 2015. Russia will continue to meddle with the security of the former soviet republic. Moreover, Putin's just inked Customs Union pact with a few former soviet republics is already causing some concerns to members less than week after start-up.

Belarus:

Belarus, Russia's main partner in the new Putin Customs Union, has already lodged complaints against Russia for blocking its exports to Russia. The Belarus president has dismissed his prime minister and other minsters over financial and trade issues and similar events will continue to plague Belarus into 2015 as it forges a deeper relationship with Russia.

The Balkans:

From a Hungarian leader who wants to tax the Internet and to drug test journalists, to the re-emergence of right wing groups in Bosnia Herzegovina, to austerity re-assessments and immigration concerns in Greece, the Balkans will continue to attempt some kind of lasting stability in 2015.

The Baltics:

NATO's security protection will provide stability to Latvia, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in 2015.

Poland:

Polish complaints of lost revenue from Russia's ban of millions of dollars of imports will be offset in 2015 by the security and economic stability Poland enjoys from its EU and NATO memberships.

Italy:

Italian rescue of thousands of refugees from Libya and north Africa will continue into 2015 as the country debates settling or re-settling the flow of displaced persons.

Portugal and Spain:

Spain will eventually have to face the prospect of independence to Catalonia in 2015. Portugal will continue to make adjustments to its economy.

The Nordics:

Sweden's agreement between the ruling coalition parties to avert a snap election is indicative of the Nordic ability to find solutions to problems other nations might teeter with for lengthy periods. Eased immigration policies should remain in Sweden into 2015 just like Norway and Switzerland. Yet, all three countries must monitor right-wing activities closely.

Ukraine:

Ukraine's manifested destiny has not been respected by Russia. Prospects to a peace in 2015 of fighting between the Kiev government and pro-Russian rebels in the east remain possible. Yet, elements to any peace deal with the eastern rebels could weaken Ukraine's sovereign territory. Crimea has been lost. How much more of Ukraine does Russia seek before stability can reign in Kiev and Lviv?

[Tomorrow, The World in 2015 - Asia]