2018 will be remembered as a difficult year for the Eurozone. From the economy to politics and sport, the region will remember the year as a turbulent time in its existence.
It is yet another year when the European Union had to grapple with the effects of an imminent detachment of the United Kingdom; one of its most active members, from the bloc. The act, albeit tricky for Britain itself, threatened the very existence of the union, as it set a precedent for other countries to start re-evaluating how much benefit they get from remaining within the umbrella body.
At the same time, the region’s currency, the euro, experienced great trembles from significant world currencies in the exchange market. The US dollar, in particular, took 2018 as a year to give the euro a major hammering on every day the sun came up. It is the year when the euro experienced probably its lowest rate against the dollar in the present decade.
Besides Brexit, financial strains in member countries, such as Italy and Greece, continued to cause a headache for the union. The famous saying, that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, meaning the general EU economy was relatively weak in 2018.
On the sporting front, 2018 will be remembered as a year when Europe had to make some mostly unpopular decisions in the region’s most popular team sport, that of football. Yes, it is the same year when the continent managed to defend the World Cup, but that is no news given that European teams have won the trophy since 2006.
Instead, the decision to introduce a competition known as the UEFA Nations League will be remembered as the highlight of sporting occurrences throughout the year. For starters, the decision was frowned upon by footballing nations across the world, who viewed it as Europe’s selfish way of segregating itself from the football fraternity. This is because the league largely reduces the chances of countries outside Europe, landing friendlies with European nations.
Secondly, some countries within the confederation were less than amused by the method used to divide them into groups. It means that teams with a low ranking, have less chance of playing top sides at any time.
Immigration and national security remained a concern in 2018.
Well, Europe is a mostly stable continent, and will always recover from setbacks, but all disciplines within the region will be glad to see the back of 2018 and hope for a friendlier 2019.