When Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras first sat down with top European officials in the middle of the night on Thursday to discuss his country's economic woes, the atmosphere appeared almost light-hearted.
Italy's scandal-prone former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has come out clean from the so-called "bunga bunga" affair, but faces an uphill task in trying to remain politically influential amid slumping poll ratings and growing turmoil in his Forza Italia party.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's divisive lecture on Iran's nuclear program to the U.S. Congress may have played well for his hard-line, mostly Republican allies and his supporters at home, but it is unclear if he has made any tangible gains.
A green light by the eurozone to a list of proposed reforms by Greece needed in return for continued loans means its new leftist government has its work cut out in the coming weeks trying to deliver on its promises.
Greece appears to have few allies as it enters 11th-hour negotiations with eurozone partners to shake off the shackles of austerity connected to its 240-billion-euro (US$271-billion) bailout packages.
When the Italian presidency was vacated by long-serving Giorgio Napolitano on Jan. 14, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi vowed to deliver a smooth and undramatic succession process, in a break from previous practice.
The German economy has entered the New Year on a high note, with low prices and the slump in the value of the euro helping to brighten the growth prospects for Europe's economic powerhouse.
Even as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the killing of one of two Japanese hostages held by the Islamic State militant group, critics have pointed the finger at the Japanese premier for his more robust foreign policy and in particular a recent trip to the Middle East.
Known for his aversion to wearing ties, Alexis Tsipras, leader of the leftist Syriza party, joked with reporters on the eve of Sunday's parliamentary election that he would finally put one around his neck when he gets debt reduction for Greece.
How do you fight terrorism in a bloc that has no internal borders and a patchwork of national rules?