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European populism is not a new phenomenon. It is, however, increasingly important. Populist efforts to work outside traditional political institutions are damaging both the function of European democracy and the project of European integration. This may turn out to be a good thing given the benefit of hindsight. European political institutions may emerge more resilient from the experience. Future historians could look back on our present as a punctuation between two great epochs of growth and stability. For the time being, we should be attentive to the implications of European introspection on Europe's role in the world and on the vitality of the transatlantic relationship. During much of the post Second World War era, Europe was an essential partner for the United States. Now that transatlantic partnership is largely absent.