London (CNN)You'd struggle to find anyone in Europe who will be unhappy to see the back of 2020.
Covid-19, Brexit and the international political carnage of this year have hammered the continent and exacerbated tensions that have blighted the European Union for years.
But those problems are not going anywhere in 2021.
With no pandemic, fraught talks with the UK or an American president as anti-European Union as Donald Trump, Brussels might finally find space to address issues that have long undermined the bloc -- though it won't be easy.
To some extent, the crises of 2020 have masked a debilitating lack of unity across the EU. For all Brussels' lofty ambitions of greater integration and becoming a global force in its own right, it faces pushback on issues ranging from internal adherence to the rule of law to a coordinated strategy for dealing with China.
Rule of law is probably the most immediate problem to solve.
After months of painful negotiation, the bloc's member states agreed on both a long-term budget and a Covid recovery package that totaled nearly $2 trillion. The nations that have been worst affected by the pandemic desperately need those funds.
However, two member states spent a good chunk of 2020 objecting to the release of those funds: Hungary and Poland.