Germany's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is to elect its new leader on Saturday. Europe's press stresses the significance of the decision beyond party politics and Germany's borders. Commentators are doubtful that any of the three candidates has what it takes to succeed not just current CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, but also Angela Merkel as the new chancellor.
Greece and Turkey have agreed to begin talks on 25 January - but with wildly different expectations. Athens only wants to discuss the "exclusive economic zone" and the gas reserves there; Ankara is determined to also tackle the maritime borders around the Greek islands near the Turkish coast. The media in both countries warn about their respective governments backing down.
The Danish public broadcaster DR has caused an uproar with a new children's cartoon series about a man with a giant penis. According to the title song John Dillermand (whose name translates as "penis man"), has the longest penis in the world and has many adventures with it. For some the show is a monstrosity; for others it's a welcome break with taboos.
Italy's four-party government has collapsed. On Wednesday evening, Italia Viva leader Matteo Renzi pulled out of the centre-left coalition, claiming that Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was unfit to lead the country in these difficult times. The dispute was sparked mainly by disagreements over the distribution of EU coronavirus funds. Commentators examine the repercussions beyond Italy's borders.
Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (of the Centre Party) has tended his resignation after his party came under investigation for corruption in connection with the granting of a government loan for a real estate project. Kaja Kallas - leader of the liberal Reform Party, leader of the opposition, and the real winner of the elections two years ago - has been tasked with forming a new government.
The Democrat-dominated US House of Representatives has initiated impeachment proceedings against Trump for "incitement of insurrection." Ten out of 207 Republicans also voted for the move. The proceedings will now be handed over to the Senate, where Democrats need several Republican votes to achieve the necessary two-thirds majority.
Alexei Navalny announced his return to Russia on Sunday, after having recovered almost completely from the poison attack. The Kremlin critic was flown to Berlin in August and has remained in Germany for treatment and recovery. Commentators speculate about Moscow's reaction to his return and how much of a threat Navalny actually poses to Putin.
The Ice Hockey World Championship is scheduled to start in Riga and Minsk in May, but for political reasons there are strong reservations about Belarus hosting the event. Observers had speculated that the International Ice Hockey Federation might use the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to cancel the event in Minsk. But after the organisation's president René Fasel travelled to Minsk for a meeting with Lukashenka, he has come under heavy fire in the press.
After a brief sense of relief that the coronavirus vaccines had been approved, uncertainty about how long the pandemic will last is again on the rise, fuelled by ongoing high infection rates and the emergence of new, more contagious strains of the virus. This makes it all the more important, commentators say, to ensure that vaccination programmes are well organised and to gain the trust of the population.
A report has been released in Ireland by a commission investigating the conditions in homes for unmarried mothers and their babies between 1922 and 1998. It showed that the child mortality rate in the homes was 15 percent. The Irish government has issued an official apology that speaks of "an oppressive and brutally misogynistic culture." Irish media are now debating the role of the Church.
Three days after the storming of the Capitol, Twitter permanently blocked Donald Trump's private account in a bid to stop the president from inciting further violence. But for Europe's press, this is not the end of the matter. The question now is whether constructive debate on social media is a pipe dream.
Lithuania marks the 30th anniversary of Vilnius's Bloody Sunday today. This is the name given to the events of 13 January 1991, when Soviet troops attempted to stage a coup in Lithuania, which had declared independence the previous year in March. More than a thousand people were injured by tanks and gunfire and fourteen people died.