With the final post-summit briefings delivered and closing trilogue offers hashed out within the corridors of Brussels this week, the coverage bubble couldn’t wait to slam its laptops shut and retreat for the vacations.
With the previous years closely marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, nonetheless restricted dedication to fight local weather change and the latest turmoil within the Center East, the EU has adopted a relentless, exhausting disaster mode.
Sure, the world is in flames, you may say.
If there may be one takeaway from this yr, it’s that the bloc continues to be not performing strategically or decisively sufficient for the liking of many, too usually nonetheless held again by (nationwide) political constraints or taboos on the nationwide and European ranges.
Solely hardly ever does one see the braveness to not shrink back from selections, like on the final EUCO.
Many people wish to hope for a calmer 2024, however spoiler alert: It gained’t get simpler, particularly not with the nervousness of two main elections – in Europe and one other throughout the Atlantic – looming over our heads.
We would, certainly, probably see what EU’s chief Josep Borrell this week referred to as a ‘local weather of worry’ result in a far-right surge into the European Parliament subsequent yr, larger polarisation included.
Talking at a kind of notorious year-ender suppose tank meets, Borrell painted a bleak image that displays the present temper voiced in personal by a rising variety of EU diplomats I spoke to prior to now week.
Will the US, whoever is elected president subsequent yr, proceed to offer a safety umbrella for Europe? And, ought to a populist get elected into the White Home, will we be capable to ‘Trump-proof’ transatlantic relations in time?
How briskly will we safe long-term help for Ukraine, and for a way lengthy? Putin is unlikely to be discouraged quickly.
Different wars and conflicts subsequent door gained’t go away both. Sure, there was diplomatic momentum within the Center East, but it surely’s unlikely there shall be an finish to the struggling any time quickly.
Nice energy competitors is right here to remain too, and Taiwan’s January election might reignite tensions prior to anticipated.
After which enter local weather change. Sure, the COP28 summit ended with a deal committing the world to transition away from fossil fuels for the primary time.
However why are we not speaking extra in regards to the pressing measures wanted to mitigate the local weather disaster after 2023 was the most well liked yr on report with a big variety of pure disasters plaguing Europe and the remainder of the world?
A disaster makes you stronger, however what if there are too lots of them directly?
In some ways, subsequent yr’s change of management might want to discover solutions to all of these questions and safe the buy-in from residents.
For that, it’s going to want extra clear communication from their aspect, but additionally extra constructive journalism to carry energy into consideration.
We’re in for the long-haul, there’s little question about that. The perfect we will do to remain sane is take a brief break, energy down desktops for just a few days and recharge batteries. Subsequent yr shall be an power guzzler.
And with that, The Temporary is signing off for a well-deserved vacation break. Thanks for studying us over the previous yr, on your help and options, and on your constructive suggestions. This article will resume on 8 January.
Till then, Comfortable Xmas (Conflict Isn’t Over).
Member states’ ambassadors didn’t discover a majority over a platform work directive deal struck final week, dealing a heavy blow to the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU and elevating issues the file might not get by way of earlier than the tip of the mandate.
The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Affiliation (IPHA) has expressed concern to Eire’s parliament – the Oireachtas – over delayed entry to revolutionary medicines.
And don’t overlook to take a look at our round-up of the most-read transport tales in 2023.
Views are the creator’s
[Edited by Alice Taylor/Nathalie Weatherald]