As the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) enlarge, prospects for overall economic growth and peace are good, even if tensions both within and without the enlarged circle of EU and NATO member states could cloud the picture, as over Iraq in 2003. Continuing EU and NATO enlargement will mean an eastward shift of Europe's ‘centre of gravity’, with a major role for Germany. An intricate ‘European security architecture’ may preserve peace and co-operation via their multiple activities. Co-operation intensified following the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, leading to a broad anti-terrorism coalition spanning the Atlantic and beyond, and causing Russia to become even more involved in that architecture. Europe will be obliged to tackle, in international as well as European fora, such worldwide threats as terrorism, transnational crime, climate change, missile threats from ‘rogue states’ (also via terrorists), economic instability and democratic malfunctioning. Overall, however, Europe is experiencing a unique period of peace and integration.
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