What's in store for Europe in 2020?

Commentators look ahead to the next twelve months: which people, trends and debates will shape the new year?

Open/close all quotes
News.bg (BG) /

Macron is taking over at the helm

With the Brexit and the approaching end of the Merkel era, 2020 will be the year of Emmanuel Macron, writes news.bg:

“Macron is increasingly turning Gaullism on its head by interpreting it less as a traditionalist and more as a progressive project. ... He has foreign policy visions, he's pushing through domestic reforms and leads a country equipped with nuclear weapons and a strong defence industry. ... He could hardly wait to be rid of Boris Johnson and with him the British blockade mentality regarding a federalist EU under French-German leadership. In Paris, an attempt is already being made to ready Europe for the post-Merkel era through social engineering.”

Irish Examiner (IE) /

Time for more diplomacy

The Irish Examiner demands more appreciation - especially from Britain and the US - for an art that has been neglected of late:

“It seems more than ironic that the two countries that secured hegemony through, among many things, all-seeing diplomacy are pulling up drawbridges. President Donald Trump sidelines diplomacy and mutually beneficial international agreements. He has downgraded America's state department and attacked its committed staff. He has welched on international trade, nuclear and environmental deals. ... The same dynamic applies to Brexit. This, a profound rejection of diplomacy, an implosion in the face of complexity will weaken the European Union and especially Britain. ... These, and many other examples, suggest an urgent rebalancing. This should be a decade of real, grown-up diplomacy.”

Hürriyet (TR) /

The future belongs to women

2020 will be even more female-oriented than 2019, Hürriyet is convinced:

“Think of the female climate activists of all ages, the Chilean women who shook the world with their Las Tesis dance [against sexual aggression], New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who taught the world a lesson in how to lead a state after the terrible attack on a mosque, and Sanna Marin in Finland, the youngest prime minister in the world. ... Think of Carola Rackete, who defied the law, listened to her conscience and saved refugees from the Mediterranean, becoming a symbol of those who stand up for the weak and desperate. You'll see, in 2020 we'll witness ever more women becoming active in politics, social life and the economy.”

Blick (CH) /

A new cold war with China

Digitalisation, the climate crisis and the growing conflict between China and the West will be the dominant issues of the 2020s, Blick predicts:

“A new cold war between the US and China has long since broken out. Two systems are colliding: on the one side the liberal system, regardless of who is currently US president, and on the other the autocratic system that keeps its citizens under total surveillance. Which of the two systems will win the battle is completely open. So should we be concerned about the decade ahead? Of course we must keep an eye on risky developments. But to lapse into inaction out of fear or panic would be wrong for two reasons: first, we should enjoy the present. And second, we should use it to do the right thing now.”

Landesecho (CZ) /

A dystopia on saving the climate

The Landesecho publishes its traditional annual prediction of the most unlikely developments for the coming twelve months:

“As wind and solar energy can't cover its needs, Germany announces a return to nuclear energy, which is enthusiastically supported by the EU Commission. In May, the EU Parliament adopts a pan-European plan at the request of the Greens. ... From 2021 onwards all new homes in Europe are to be energy-independent thanks to mandatory household nuclear power plants. Czech nuclear power plant manufacturer Škoda Jaderné strojírenství becomes world market leader. The climate summit in December in the Moldovan capital of Chișinău declares that the problem of global warming has in fact been solved by the massive switch. ... The optimistic tone of the conference is marred only by a few small explosions at hastily constructed nuclear power plants. But these are not mentioned in the final declaration.”