Europe’s leaders are not expecting a smooth ride in 2017 following a year marked by political upheaval, extremist attacks, unchecked immigration, and a rising military threat from Russia.

Britain is suing for divorce, the far-right is on the march, some former Soviet satellites seem disillusioned with the West even as Russia seeks to regain its influence, and America will soon inaugurate an untested, seemingly Russia-friendly president who has voiced doubts about the usefulness of the NATO alliance. The uncertainty is thick enough to breathe.

It all looks so different from the triumphant panorama presented more than two decades ago when the European Union was expanding. Formerly captive nations freed from Soviet control seemed eager to embrace liberal democracy, capitalism — and substantial subsidies — from their wealthier neighbors.

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