With the vote for a British exodus from the EU, Donald Trump elected as the next president of the United States, and important European elections on the horizon, it is time to reexamine the political climate in Europe and its international relations.
2017 could be a year of political transformation, with the French presidential election in April, the Czech in October, German parliamentary elections in August, and a new Catalonian independence referendum in September. There is also an Austrian re-vote taking place on the 4th of December, 2016, with a possible win for Norbert Hofer, the leader of the Freedom Party of Austria. Members of 'the old guard' and the European ruling class are already feeling the anger from their citizens, with the Dutch Freedom Party enjoying the same support as the governing liberal party, and French President Françios Hollande's Approval rating at just 4% according to the Economist. The current situation in Europe is largely due to a failed joint foreign policy with the United States, a refugee crisis stemming from that foreign policy, and a strong dislike for the current bureaucratic system. These contribute heavily to right-wing nationalist movements. Many Europeans will be faced with the same choice that the British and American people were faced with, and if current trends have any prevalence, European policies could be quite different within a short time.
Perhaps within the first year of Donald Trump's presidency, there will be new leadership in the most powerful European countries. This would cause most Trump versus EU rhetoric to stop. The best possible scenario is a reexamination of NATO and the US's foreign policy and relationship with Russia. Currently, there is a policy of interventionism, disregard of international law, russophobia, and a complete lack of morals when involved in any geopolitical crisis. It would be great to see a modernized 'NATO' that focuses on the true threats, that respects sovereignty, and works with Russia to ensure peace in Europe and the United States.
The uniqueness of the current situation, starts with Donald Trump. He has on multiple occasions denounced policies of interventionism and U.S. provocation of Russia. Ideally, he would be able to set a new path for American foreign policy, defending America, while avoiding any stupid wars.
However, the chances of something like this happening are still slim. It is unclear whether Donald Trump's camp is unified in their geopolitical ambitions, and many republicans certainly disagree. By just looking at the information given by his people, there are major holes and inconsistencies (like with a number of Trump views) to any doctrine. Finally, one must always expect the unexpected with a man like Donald Trump, and the unexpected can be deadly in international politics.