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13th Jun 2021

Magazine

Europe in Review 2015

Attacks in Paris, Copenhagen, and on a Thalys train in France this year startled the European public and revealed gaps in EU security cooperation.

EUobserver, in its third annual review, looks back at these and other main events which shaped European affairs in 2015.

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  • EUobserver's Europe in Review Magazine each year sums up the major events, richly illustrated with photos, in 36 pages in print or free-to-download. (Photo: EUobserver)

Europe witnessed the largest refugee crisis since World War II, when more than 1 million people came fleeing conflict and poverty, hundreds of whom, including children, drowned trying to reach Greece or Italy.

They came on rickety boats and dinghies, spurred on by smugglers. Most walked from Greece, via the Western Balkans, into mainland EU, crossing first Hungary, then Croatia, and Slovenia, en route to Germany and Sweden.

The chaos prompted razor wire fences and angry debate on the future of EU borders.

Terrorism and refugees marked 2015.

Over 12 months, the EU held eight formal, informal, or "mini" summits on the refugee crisis, including one with Balkan leaders and two with Turkey.

But as recently as July, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras was a hair's breadth away from leading his country out of the eurozone, and, possibly, the EU itself.

Meanwhile, in the east, EU leaders have had to learn to live with a resurgent Russia, using both hard power, as in Ukraine, and soft power, as in Moldova, to create creeping instability.

Europe is still an oasis of prosperity and rule of law. But it is struggling as never before to contain internal and external challenges.

A big one next year will be the UK referendum, potentially ripping one of the wealthiest and strongest EU states out of the club.

EUobserver's Europe in Review Magazine each year sums up the major events, richly illustrated with photos, in print and digital.

Click here to read previous editions of Europe in Review magazines.

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