Dear Colleagues, Dear Staff, Dear Teachers, Dear Students,

A year that was challenging in many respects lies behind us, and the Covid19 pandemic also overshadows this Christmas and holiday season with its many traditions and rituals that have become so dear to us. And yet, for Europa-Kolleg Hamburg, there are also good reasons to look back with gratitude. Already during the summer semester 2020, we successfully converted our Master’s program “European and European Legal Studies” to exclusively online teaching. We would like to thank all instructors and students who have supported this “learning on the job” so patiently, inspiringly and constructively. We are also very pleased about the committed new students who will allow the continuation of the course under Corona conditions and make a “Class of 2020/21” happen.

In cooperation with the Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt Foundation and funded by the City of Hamburg, we were able to take our conference project “The Future of Transatlantic Relations” into the second round before the first lockdown. The response we received is more than encouraging. In November, we took a first analytical look at the U.S. presidential election in a joint panel discussion – a sequel will follow in May 2021: “Joe Biden – One Hundred Days in Office.” The Hamburg-Vigoni-Forum, which we launched together with the University of Hamburg and Villa Vigoni to discuss fundamental questions of sovereignty, identity and space in Europe, could not be opened with a workshop at Lake Como as originally planned, but has been set up with a variety of online formats. Our “Institute for European Integration” has continued its publication series with interesting volumes, Research and Study Papers and translated the Research Seminar-series into the online world. In February 2021, we look forward to finding out whether we have become smarter about Post-Brexit-Europe with Lars Feld, Chairman of the German Council of Economic Experts.

May these very few retro- and prospective highlights encourage all of us to keep our Europa-Kolleg shining as brightly as ever, even in times of crisis, as a small Hamburg lighthouse in matters of Europe. “Glimmer of hope for Europe” could be a motto for the year 2021. In this spirit, I thank you all for your great support, participation and cooperation, wish you a Merry Christmas, happy holidays and all the best for a hopefully better year 2021. Stay healthy and keep us in good spirits!

Yours sincerely,
Markus Kotzur