Though Europe may never return to that grandeur of yore, it has the unmatched European Union(EU) and the proof effective systems of government in the Nordics that have accorded the continent the opportunity to establish and to maintain, some of the best standards of living for its people within serene settings, which remain dreams and hopes of many people in other places on Planet Earth.
That the theater of two World Wars in the last century has been able to maintain and to sustain above average stability in recent times, must be attributed to its security and economic viability. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) takes full credit for ensuring a secure Europe, while the EU has added the economic stability to enable dynamic developed societies and communities. These two organizations, coupled with the resilience of many of the continent's nations, will affirm continuity of peace and prosperity in 2017 for Europe.
Europe's expected safe security and stability in 2017 has not yet been etched in stone because of real threats that lurk, which could upend the continent's run of serenity. A rising far right threatens to undo much of Europe's accomplishments over the years. Extremism, as witnessed via prior events in France, Belgium and Germany, remains a valid threat. Meddling from Russia's attempts to destabilize the continent remains real. Immigration issues from the United Kingdom's Brexit from the EU, to Hungary's Orban's disdain for migrants, to Germany's hospitality to hundreds of thousands of refugees, could all figure very high in 2017.
Elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands in 2017 could affirm European continuity to prosperity or the said elections could adversely effect the status-quo of European leadership. Though the election in the Netherlands might have mixed returns for Dutch support of the the EU, France's election should support the establishment of the EU, while a re-election of Angela Merkel in Germany, would affirm the EU system and ascend the German leader to leader of the free world in light of much uncertainties over the United States(US) President-elect.
Migrant issues concerning Syrian, Afghan and other refugees that became a crisis in Europe over the past two years should abate in 2017. But fresh immigration issues stirred up by the UK's vote to leave the EU will focus high as EU residents in the UK challenge any policy that threatens to deport them from the UK as other nations consider and seek to define UK citizens' status within other EU states. Scotland and Northern Ireland might seek a hard-possible different EU plan than that of Britain. Real estate matters and rising housing costs could demand that the Ireland enact laws to protect its citizens from lenders in 2017.
Italy's banking system could return to soundness in 2017 after a couple of jitters amid bailout plans and policies. Greece will continue to struggle with harsh austerity measures, but it will weather 2017 better than it did 2016. Spain and Portugal will continue to make fiscal adjustments in 2017 in order to cope with financial issues.
France and Belgium will reap better success at stamping out extremism in 2017 as both nations pay greater vigilance to preemptive action as a means of maintaining public safety.
The Nordics - Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, while sustaining high standards of living in 2017, will also seek to enhance their cooperation to hedge against Russian interference. NATO's security will have to reassure the sovereignty of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in 2017. The people of Poland will demand that their government not resort to the abridging of rights as in the past soviet era.
Luxembourg and Switzerland should continue to prosper as financial centers in 2017 with the opportunity to expand even further should some European banking interests depart London before the final Brexit.
The Balkans will have to hedge against Russian interference and agitations from the far right, so will Austria and the Netherlands in 2017.
Russia might be looking forward to the inauguration of the US President-elect with a false sense of security of having a "comrade" in the White House. Very soon, Moscow will realize that the institutions of US government and policy do not stop at the Executive Office, but transcend to the Congress and to the people who do not trust or share the antics of the Kremlin. Russia will be kept in check in 2017 by the strength of NATO.