Restoring peace on the continent, helping economies recover, ensuring adequate and affordable energy supplies; these are Europe’s main goals for the year ahead. Now, more than ever, it is necessary to overcome divisions in order to achieve stability and prosperity for citizens.
2023 brings with it many questions that need to be answered.
War, Energy, Climate and Economic Crises
It is impossible to say when and how the war in Ukraine will end.
Both Kyiv and Moscow are trapped in a static and mutually exhaustive conflict. The price to pay could be a heavy one for all parties involved, as the world wrestles with the economic and social consequences of Russia’s invasion. Diplomacy needs to play an active role if peace is to be achieved.
The economic consequences of the war in Ukraine are the second but equally important challenge.
Record spikes in energy prices, soaring inflation, raw material shortages, rising debt levels and borrowing costs are affecting business activities and eroding households purchasing power. These challenges require speedy and concerted action to safeguard economic stability.
In October, the ECB raised interest rates again and stated that further hikes would be forthcoming to combat rising inflation. Its president, Christine Lagarde, warned of an impending recession in the eurozone. Now more than ever, coordinated action is needed to ensure affordable energy, to safeguard economic stability and to protect vulnerable households, while preserving the sustainability of public finances.
Tackling the Climate Crisis remains a high priority for 2023.
A historic agreement reached at COP 15 in Montreal took concrete steps to reverse the loss of nature. The plan also proposes to increase aid to developing countries.
Europe will have to build on this first step if it wants to reverse the course of the planet as well as create jobs and prosperity
Migrants continue to flee war and poverty. Europe's migration policy divides European governments. Brussels has announced a plan to better coordinate the EU's response, a first step towards real and shared reform.
Elections to watch
2023 is an election year for many EU countries, including Greece.
The election season has been underway since the last months of 2022, with political leaders turning up the heat of debates and pounding the pavement to collect votes.
In the fog of war, it's not easy to predict the outcome of Ukraine's Autumn parliamentary election… or even whether it will take place at all.
Poland’s Parliamentary elections will also be held in autumn.
The explosive rise in inflation, increases in energy prices, and the government's handling of crises are expected to influence the voters.
Will 2023 be a year of political change in Spain?
Will Pedro Sanchez manage to stay in power or can the Popular Party win the elections?
The answers lie with the Spanish voters when they will go to the voting booths in December.
Key dates of 2023
The upcoming year is chock-full of important events, ranging from political to cultural. Let's take a look at some of them.
On January 1st, the Eurozone welcomes its 20th member, Croatia, in its midst. Simultaneously, Zaghreb is also joining the Schengen area.
Across the globe to Brazil, this day willalso see Lula da Silva officially take office at the head of the country following a narrow victory against Jair Bolsonaro in 2022. He faces the challenging task of uniting a deeply divided nation without a majority in Congress.
The World Economic Forum returns to Davos, Switzerland between the 16th to the 20th of January. It aspires to provide a platform for dialogue between politicians, business leaders and civil society to address the challenges facing the world.
France and Germany are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty on January 22nd, which laid the foundation for the Franco-German partnership following World War II.
However, relations between Paris and Berlin have been strained recently, particularly regarding energy and defense, which may cast a shadow on the planned meeting between President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
May 6th will mark the beginning of a new era for the British monarchy, as King Charles III will be crowned at Westminster Abbey.
According to the palace, the coronation ceremony will be simple, in light of the current economic crisis but it has been revealed that it will have a modern twist, with an eye looking to the future. The occasion will also see the Queen Consort crowned in a similar but smaller ceremony.
After Kalush Orchestra’s victory in 2022 - Eurovision Returns on May 13th. However, due to the war in Ukraine – Liverpool, a UNESCO city of music, will be hosting the ever-popular European Song Contest.
May 19th will see the Japanese city of Hiroshima, welcome the next G7 summit.
In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and hints at the possible use of nuclear weapons, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, felt that the city, known for being devastated by the first nuclear attack, was a symbolic choice to send a message of peace and to discuss nuclear disarmament.
Turkey is facing to one of the most crucial elections in its history on the 18th of June, and incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already announced that he will once again, run for office.
JULY - AUGUST
The Women’s FIFA World Cup kicks off on July 20th.
Co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, 32 teams will compete across 9 different cities and 10 different stadiums for a shot at the title.
September will usher in the G20 summit, chaired by India. Under the banner “One earth, one family, one future,” Energy and food security will be at the top of the agenda.
NOVEMBER - DECEMBER
After a disappointing COP27, The United Arab Emirates will host the COP28 from the 30th of November to the 12th of December. Abu Dhabi wants to play an important role in the fight against global warming.