Many countries are experiencing that globalisation does not only bring benefits, but can cause unexpected changes in society. The global financial crisis of 2008 has exposed shortcomings in the international economic system. The arc of conflicts surrounding Europe as well as terrorism have created new security challenges. In the search for the appropriate response to these developments a new ideological struggle appears to be emerging: between liberal democracy and national populism. This divide also affects the debate about the principles that should govern the process of European integration. My intention is to comment on these phenomena from my 38 years experience with diplomatic negotiations and crisis management in the relevant fields.