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New stars

The end of the year is usually a time for speculation. Prediction is difficult; it is easier to imagine.

Never has there been so much financial liquidity in the world: will it continue to flow into loans, which are also debts?

For a long time now, dictatorships have not been so assertive about their form of government, which they consider more efficient than democracies: will freedoms triumph once again?

More recently, rivalries between powers have taken on the flavour of conflict: will cooperation, dialogue and the best interests of nations always win the day?

As we celebrate Christmas, let us rejoice in the appearance of new stars in the European sky.

Europe has shown solidarity with its citizens who were most affected by a tenacious virus. It decided quickly, borrowed together and stood firm against new enemies. These new practices led it to take a leap towards integration; out of necessity as well as wisdom. Mobilising all its forces and assuming its power are the best ways to create the pride of belonging that would allow it to accelerate.

Despite new health constraints, democracies remain the daydream of the people who oppose autocrats liberticidal measures. Dictatorships, for example in Asia, have shown that they have everything to envy from Western democracies. They have hidden the virus and locked up their citizens. For a result they prefer not to reveal.

If many are showing their muscles in the great international game, few are willing to take the risk of triggering a conflict. Who can boast that they have recently won a war? No one can. It is still time for cooperation, forced or desired, and not for the testosterone of macho speeches. We talk to each other across borders. Caution is the order of the day. Europe's womanhood is its superiority.

Thus the European Union, often so quickly decried, might add new stars to its flag, which embodies its inspiration. It continues to lead the way and to shine in the sky. It now needs to create an optimism that its protected, pampered and spoiled citizens seem to find hard to bear. And yet, on closer inspection, our future is far from bleak. A little more effort: the light is at the end of the road.

Merry Christmas!