European Balance of Power


The European balance of power is justified by the idea of defending the freedom of all in the face of any individual power’s ambition to dominate. It has been a constant point of reference in European political life since the 16th century, although its forms and its guarantors changed over time. Europe’s great powers are those most involved in the preservation of this balance, even if their own quests for power can also put it at risk.

Honoré Daumier “L’Équilibre européen” [The European Balance], plate n° 231 in the series “Actualités”, 1866, lithograph, published in Le Charivari, 1 December 1866.