A pivotal year for the European Union – opinion

2019 will be a pivotal year for the European Union, Magyar Idők columnist László Szőcs writes.

editor: REMIX NEWS

Try as we might, we cannot see every single point of the globe at once. In a famous anecdote at a New Year’s Eve party in 1989 two people debated which was the most important event of the year. The German, of course, said it was the fall of the Berlin wall, while the Japanese insists that on the contrary, it was the death of Emperor Hirohito.

The same is also true for the present. Let us first take a look at the European elections. While George Friedman – one of the most original strategic thinkers of our time – says the European Parliament has no real power, he is also an American. The elections will not only decide the future composition of the parliament, but also the succession of last year’s model, the verbose Jean-Claude Juncker.

By summer, the new arena in which Hungary has to fight its coming battles will have been defined. Conservatives hope it will be one more conducive to national interests while the opposition sees it as a difficult period for Viktor Orbán.

There are also the many unresolved issues around Brexit, where the conditions and outcomes of an unprecedented political event – a member state leaving the Union – have yet to be established. Be that as it may, it now looks like in three months time Britain will no longer be a member.

But we must also keep an eye on the world’s and Europe’s most important countries: in the United States the question is how will Donald Trump’s presidency – entering its second half – be able to withstand growing pressures. In Europe, the big question is how long Merkel’s rule will last and how a possible change in leadership will affect its relations with Hungary.

While another Hungarian analyst said recently that 2018 was worse than 2017 but better than 2019 will be, we remain optimistic.


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