A year after Europe stood on the brink of economic disaster, financial markets are calmer and the chances of the euro disintegrating have diminished.
But the region's most powerful political leader warns that the economic environment will be tougher in 2013.
In an address to mark the New Year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that the sovereign debt crisis which threatened to tear the eurozone apart shows how important it is to strike a balance between prosperity and solidarity.
"The reforms that we've introduced are beginning to have an impact," she said. "But we still need a lot of patience. The crisis is far from over."