From Brexit to the election of Emmanuel Macron, it has been an eventful year for the European Union. When trying to gauge the overall health of the union, one is confronted with a variety of mixed signals. Economic conditions have stabilized and are improving in many countries, but at the same time a persistent migrant crisis and outbreaks of terrorism represent a threat to security. With much happening, we asked Wilson Global Fellow George Kopits to provide an overview on the future of the EU. That’s the focus of this edition of Wilson Center NOW.



George Kopits is a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where his primary research interest is policymaking in the European Union. He is a member of Portugal’s Public Finance Council and is on the adjunct faculty of Central European University. In 2014-15, he was an advisor at the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office. In 2012-13, he chaired the OECD Reference Group on Independent Fiscal Institutions and participated in Peru’s Commission on Strengthening the Macro-Fiscal Framework. From 2009 to 2011, Kopits served as the first chair of the Fiscal Council in Hungary—elected unanimously by Parliament. From 2004 to 2009, he was a member of the Monetary Council, National Bank of Hungary. Previous positions include assistant director at the International Monetary Fund, and financial economist at the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Treasury Department. In addition to involvement in fiscal and monetary policymaking in Hungary and the United States, Kopits headed technical assistance teams on economic policy issues to Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Hungary, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Also, he has been invited to provide advice to the authorities of Argentina, China, Colombia, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Nigeria, South Africa, Slovakia, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom, and Venezuela. Kopits has held visiting academic appointments at Bocconi, Budapest, Cape Town, Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Siena, and Vienna universities. He authored numerous publications and is an occasional contributor to media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.


John Milewski is the executive producer and managing editor of Wilson Center NOW and also serves as director of Wilson Center ON DEMAND digital programming. Previously he served as host and producer of Dialogue at the Wilson Center and Close Up on C-SPAN. He also teaches a course on politics and media for Penn State’s Washington Program.