The Atlantic

The Foreign Policy Milestones of 2017

A look ahead to some of the major global anniversaries in the coming year
Source: Alexander Zemlianichenko / Reuters

Anniversaries mark the passage of time, recall our triumphs, and honor our losses. 2016 witnessed many significant historical anniversaries: the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the 50th anniversary of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and the 25th anniversary of the Gulf War, to name a few. 2017 will also see anniversaries of many significant events. Here are ten of note:

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of the Signing of the Maastricht Treaty, February 7, 1992

The European Union finds itself in the midst of an identity crisis these days. Economic growth is limping along, the British want out, and Euroskepticism is gaining ground. Perhaps the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty will help the EU regain its mojo. What the 12 members of the “European Economic Community” (EEC) committed themselves to a quarter century ago was remarkable. They weren’t content with having a common economic market. They wanted deeper economic, legal, and political integration. In advancing this “European Project,” Maastricht called for enhancing greater economic cooperation, developing a unified European foreign policy, and generating common judicial policies. The experiment with deeper integration worked—for a time. The EU grew to 28 member countries, created the euro, and had serious people talking about how Europe would run the 21st century. Then came the Great Recession. Seven years of tough economic times have exposed deep divisions across the continent about the European project. The EU’s fans say that its past stumbles have always led to more and deeper integration. Perhaps. But sometimes past performance is a poor indicator of future behavior.

Centennial of the Russian Revolutions, March 8-November 7, 1917

The Russian Revolution was actually two revolutions, one that gave hope to the dream that Russia might embrace liberal democracy and another that crushed it. The February Revolution began on March 8, 1917, when workers went on strike to protest food shortages in St. Petersburg. (Russia at the time used the Julian rather than Gregorian calendar

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