The security situation in Europe has obviously changed out of all recognition since the collapse of Communism that began in 1989. The principal change is that economic issues have taken precedence over military ones. Up until 1989 the key issue remained the division of the continent into east and west. As the second Cold War thawed, policy shifted from the need to contain the USSR to the aim of reducing the military confrontation between the two armed blocs of NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Now the most advanced postcommunist states - the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia - are predominantly concerned with economic reconstruction and with seeking support from and eventual membership of the EU. Neutral states like Austria, Finland and Sweden face a fundamental reappraisal with the demise of the blocs, the development of major domestic economic problems, and the objective of EU membership in the near future. Thus the future of European security can best be considered by concentrating on the policy of the EU as it defines its relations with the rest of Europe. These relations are predominantly economic, and it is the pace of the Union's own political and economic integration that will define the security situation in the next two decades.