European Union had a history of overcoming crises. It is important to remember what inspired the original creation of European Union. Europe, as it plunged into civil wars in the 20th century ended up in pulling rest of the world, to a global conflagration. All the member states have been benefitted with mutual assurances that such events would not take place again.The 21st century brought some dark clouds of unprecedented changes and challenges upon European countries. Europe today needs to address multiple threats and crises ranging from the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the EU; ongoing migrant and refugee influx; resurgent Russia and lingering terrorism threat. The influx of refugees and migrants particularly from Syria captured considerable attention in Europe and all over the world. The crisis has further broadened the issue and now encompasses border management, humanitarian issues, organised crimes and sustenance of domestic issues. Consequently, it is now regarded as a national security issue in different parts of Europe.The increasing severity of the crisis in Europe has destabilised domestic politics in several of its countries. In Germany and France, there have been support for extreme right, xenophobic and populist forces pressing on the exclusion of refugee and migrants. These forces have openly bashed mainstream political parties and undermined their ability to tackle the problem. People’s wariness was aroused when some instigators of Paris attacks turned out to be Syrian migrants. These attacks, in which 130 people were killed, were followed by several attacks in Brussels, Nice and Berlin. The debate on Syrian refugees, migrants and the terrorist attacks is still a sensitive topic, but it has drawn attention to ‘home-grown lone-wolf terrorists. The latter are now in growing numbers, inspired by extremist ideologies.The growing complex political and security situation in the Middle East has a direct impact on Europe’s own security. Geographically, close to Europe, Middle East and North Africa necessitate the union to cooperate more over refugee’s flow, migrants and terrorism spreading its tentacles across the region. There is no escape for Europe from the happenings in the most volatile region in the world. A few years back, European Union was at the forefront when strikes were conducted on Libya, consequently toppling Qaddafi’s regime. It is noteworthy that Islamic State fighters filled the vacuum created after the regime, apparently becoming launch pad and recruiting ground for violent militancy of its time. Perilousness of Middle East has reverberated throughout Europe, as we see the growing numbers of recruitments flooding into the ranks of hardcore terrorists.Unlike the US and Russia, the role of EU in the region is obsolete. The European Neighbourhood Policy and the Union for the Mediterranean are indeed a few positive steps, but there are calls from the international community and from within European countries that certain measures are not enough. The repeated oscillation in policy formulation between the member states has further created discontentment between them.The EU countries fear Russia’s articulated designs in political incitement against local residents using local forces as militias, disseminating false information and deceitful propaganda campaignFor its own security and stability, European countries are yet to manage and reconsider their relationship with Russia — whose assertiveness has been evident from its Crimean and Syrian manoeuvres. The EU countries fear Russia’s articulated designs in political incitement against local residents using local forces as militias, disseminating false information and deceitful propaganda campaign. In response, NATO now eyes on its effectiveness in defence.The Readiness Action Plan (RAP) and decisions adopted in Warsaw summit to deploy forces could not deter Russia. The prevailing nightmare for European countries is that the situation can be escalated in future. Entangled ina financial crunch, these countries started raising their defence budgets to counter Russia’s overt and covert designs, but unsuccessful.Ironically, some fundamental differences also exist amongst the European Union countries in isolating or integrating Russia, as its stability and security lie with integrating extensively with Moscow. Commercial ties with Germany and Italy is one fact while relying on Russian oil and gas is another. Policymakers opine that cooperation with Russia is now essential for European Union to address its unfolding challenges. The response and how the EU deals with these challenges will not only have far-reaching implications for itself as well as for the EU’s key economic and strategic partner, the United States. The litmus test began for the EU after Donald Trump entered the embroiled international arena. Now, it is upon the EU to pick and hedge its bets accordingly.It may bandwagon with the super power or part ways in policy formation, considering the national security of the 27 countries.What future holds for EU is hard to sum up. In a nutshell, no succinct strategy is visible. Analysing contemporary trends, some future scenarios might unfold with time. Firstly, the EU will emerge more integrated and aligned especially after the Brexit, as the countries would chart out concrete plan to cover up past loopholes. Secondly, the division of Europe as ‘Core’ and ‘Periphery’ countries, where the former maybe more united and later would be free to opt-out for any policy mechanism. Thirdly, the disintegration of the EU which already started in case of Brexit and Grexit, which is also expected by many analysts. The Eurosceptic and reform-driven parties are expected to set the ball rolling in such direction. Lastly, a conglomerate of challenges would grow further and deteriorate the Union which faced the odds and overcame for decades.The writer works as a Researcher at Institute of Strategic Studies, Research and Analysis, NDUPublished in Daily Times, May 21st 2018.