2023 Christmas Letter

As we approach the end of another eventful year, I am writing to you from the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies (WMCES) to express our heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering support and cooperation throughout 2023.

This year has been marked by both challenges and opportunities. It seems that the Russian war against Ukraine is gradually transforming from the aggression of one country, Russia, into a global geopolitical contest between West and East. We can expect that China will “feed” Russia as much and as long as needed to protract the war, profit from it, and exhaust the West.

Moreover, on October 7, the world witnessed an unprecedented Hamas attack against Israel, which indicates an even more dangerous axis: Hamas/Hezbollah – Iran – Russia – China. In this threat scenario, China stands inconspicuously on the sidelines, playing with its money and influence.

Both events have immediate consequences for European politics and underline the need for strong and united democratic forces to uphold our values and principles.

However, in these times, security is not our only preoccupation. We are also focused on economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the green transition, growing migratory flows, but also the lagging rule of law, the fears and concerns of the European middle class, and the worrying polarisation in our societies.

In this respect, I am satisfied that the WMCES has continued to advance its mission of strengthening the European project and came up with the strategic document titled the 7Ds for Sustainability, in which we bring concrete recommendations for seven essential policy areas for the next EU institutional period.

Our work has been enriched by our great collaboration with the European People’s Party (EPP), our Academic Council and experts, our member foundations and our partner members. Together, we have tried to demonstrate the power of cooperation to achieve common goals and promote a more democratic, prosperous, and secure Europe.

Looking ahead to the New Year and the upcoming European Parliament elections, we are full of renewed determination, and with your continued support, we can make a significant contribution to shaping a better future for all Europeans.

But before we plunge into the new challenges and work ahead, on behalf of the entire WMCES team, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year. May the spirit of the season, the togetherness in your families and communities fill you with joy, peace, and happiness.

With warmest regards,

Mikuláš Dzurinda

President of the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies