World leaders including Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz during the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau (Image: AAP/dpa/Michael Kappeler)

As Europe's political leaders shuttled this past fortnight from the European Commission in Brussels to the G7 in Bavaria and then on to NATO in Madrid, they finally talked themselves into committing to seeing the war in Ukraine through to the end -- despite the uncertainty of just what that “end” may look like.

It’s been the first post-Angela Merkel summit, offering the first tentative read of how the new, more collective leadership of the continent will handle the improvisational politics demanded by the rolling crises that the continent’s institutions have faced since 2008.

It’s offered an opportunity, too, to exorcise Europe’s post-Trump caution about the Americans with a commitment to a significant expansion of US forces in central and eastern Europe.