2018 has been a banner year for populists. From the US, to Italy, to Brazil, populist politicians now hold the levers of power in many countries. No longer can they paint themselves as anti-establishment outsiders; they’re now shaping policy and making the big decisions. The buck stops with them.

How have the populists conducted themselves in office? So far, we’ve seen the rumblings of a trade war between China and America (not to mention the threat of a real war with North Korea); the media have come under attack as the ‘enemy of the people’; there have been controversial policies designed to discourage illegal immigration, from separating children from their parents to turning away migrant vessels from ports. In general, economies have been growing, though things have started to stutter a bit towards the end of the year.

That’s not to say there haven’t been a few bumps along the way. Brexit, which was originally supposed to be about “taking back control”, is now apparently turning Britain into a “vassal state” of Brussels (though at least we had a royal wedding to distract us). In the US, the midterm elections delivered a thumping to US President Donald Trump, and a Democrat-controlled Congress promises greater scrutiny of his administration in 2019.

2018 was not, however, a great year for human rights. Dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was brutally murdered by alleged Saudi agents, and former Russian spy Sergei Skripal was poisoned in Salisbury. Mass atrocities have been reported in countries such as Yemen, Myanmar, South Sudan, and Syria.

What about Europe? Lots of talk: discussions about Eurozone reform, negotiations over Brexit, wranglings over sharing refugees, concerns about eroding democracy and civil rights in some Member States. Some important votes: Ireland held a referendum on abortion; Angela Merkel’s party suffered at the polls, and she agreed to step down as party chair; Italy elected a populist government and put itself on a collision course with EU debt and deficit rules. And France won the World Cup.

Was 2018 a good year for Europe? And what will 2019 bring? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: (c) European Union


36 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Γεώργιος

    Υes because EU came closer to its end

    • avatar
      Resistanceisnotfutile

      No way. You underestimate the EU totally.

    • avatar
      Anonymous

      EU is only the stupid shell. Real aim is total collapse and division of Europe by the superpower axis of global power-holders. Soon, from Athens to Brussels and Lisbon to Stockholm will be a war-playground of nothing, only occupied by China, US and Russia. RIP EU!!!!

  2. avatar
    Richard

    Who is the guy behind May?

    • avatar
      Richard

      And who is behind the guy?

    • avatar
      Mario

      un euroburocrate

  3. avatar
    Péter

    Yes, for Europe, but bad for Little England

    • avatar
      Mario

      Péter una Benedizione per la Gran Bretagna, beati i britannici!!!
      Péter a blessing for Britain, blessed the British!!!

    • avatar
      Alice

      Péter yes for Europe OMG so you don’t mind being dictated by the EU….. the EU is a dictatorship good luck

  4. avatar
    catherine benning

    Was 2018 a good year for Europe?

    For the people of Europe it was a year of enlightenment. And regardless of the result, insight has to be good. Insight is the catalyst allowing a people to move forward. It starts with awareness. To then be able to use a free thinking mind. To have the sense to observe and judge on ones own behalf.

    So, yes, 2018 is a good year for Europe.

  5. avatar
    Gemma

    Europe needs a real changes especially about the rights civil social ang human will be common in all europe. And need a profundly know all the regions and nacion that exist in Europe, give more power to eu and less power to big countries, helping the nacions and regions who are the adn of the eu

  6. avatar
    Rita

    United we stand seems UK has not understood

  7. avatar
    Manuel

    No, it has not been a good year for Europe, populist and nationalist movements are making a dent in the European spirit of union.

    We have the Brexit in the United Kingdom, where a second referendum is not allowed because it is not “democratic”, when the British know that populism has lied to them.

    Then we have the crisis in Catalonia, a movement that wants to balkanize Spain, which is supported by other secessionist movements in Europe, which implies a destabilization of the European Union’s global role, something that benefits Russia and the US.

  8. avatar
    Nadeem

    Democracy 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  9. avatar
    Nadeem

    Now we have a EU army signed and sealed. Welcome folks, the nightmare is creeping up on you🤫

    • avatar
      EU Reform- Proactive

      Nadeem- really?

      Back in 1952 “some” tried already to form an “European Army”.

      Today “some” try to push for an “EU army.

      “Some” wish & hope it will remain a forever EU pipe-dream.

      “Some” suggest to improve the life and happiness of all Europeans by educational and economical means, smart innovations, fair competition & ethical behavior.

      https://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-perils-eu-army-14770

  10. avatar
    Emilio

    No. I think it is not good because the FASCISM progress…!!!

  11. avatar
    Ioana

    Cred ca asa cum se termina!!!!!! Asa va continua
    I think as it ends!!!!!! This will continue

  12. avatar
    Robin

    Mixed.

    Internally, we’re drifting towards populism and illiberalism.

    Externally, we are watching the drama in Yemen, Ukraine and Rohingya, but are helpless to do anything remotely constructive.

    We did, however, have significant progress on trade, with Japan, Mexico and Canada.

  13. avatar
    Michele

    Bad year, especially the ending of QE and Brexit closer and closer

  14. avatar
    George Yiannitsiotis, PhD

    Europe is coming closer to its dissolution since Mrs Merkel’s blunder back in 2010 to throw the PIIGS to the garbage. Germany (for the 3rd time within the last 100 years) is a catastrophe to Europe. For the EU periphery, 2018 shows clearly the need to seek alliances that would deter German supremacy within the EU and secure their existence as sovereign, equal EU-member states.

  15. avatar
    Sárdi

    2019 will start…with roumenia to the council :D

    • avatar
      Andreea

      meaning what, Exactly?

    • avatar
      Sárdi

      meaning they will do a job just like your bathroom or your apartment in general. It will sure be fun tough..don’t worry, people like dumbasses, just look how many fans Trump has over the ocean ;)

    • avatar
      Andreea

      and what EU country would you recommend for the job? One that would really do something for the use of the Eu people ?

    • avatar
      Sárdi

      well actually, Finland is already prepared to replace roumenia in case it messes all up.

  16. avatar
    Andreea

    Is spelling Romania incorrectly and not with a capital letter another sign of disregarding a people? Nicely done mate!

  17. avatar
    Montarcilio

    I am not shure! Problems are increasing.

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