The European Union is currently fighting on two main fronts, Covid-19 and climate change, though with skirmishes elsewhere – including migration and the rule of law. While science seems to be slowly gaining the upper hand in the fight against the pandemic, despite setbacks like the latest Omicron attack, Covid-19 continues to hold global society in its grip. But the second nut is even harder to crack. Climate change is rolling out its forces, in the form of floods, droughts, tornados and hurricanes, and striking indiscriminately.

With this as background, the first chapters of this year’s Bilan social analyse the pandemic’s impact on various socio-economic groups and economic sectors: as was the case in last year’s review, all chapters again consider, to a greater or lesser extent, the consequences of the unfolding public health crisis. We asked our contributors not only to analyse key developments in the EU social agenda during 2020, but also to describe EU and domestic policies between January and July 2021.

The European Social Observatory has again worked closely with the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) and renowned external scholars to draw up this year’s edition of the book. Through this collaborative publication, we aim to contribute to the debate between policymakers, social stakeholders and the research community, while providing accessible information and analysis for practitioners and students of European integration.

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Table of contents

Social policy in the European Union. State of play 2021. Social ambitions EU pandemic_2022.pdf

00__Table of contents_Preface_Social developments_2022.pdf

01__We are not (at) all in the same boat. Covid-19 winners and losers_2022.pdf

02__The EU response to Covid-19. Breaking old taboos_2022.pdf

03__The European Green Deal. Opportunities and prospects aft er the Covid-19 crisis_2022.pdf

04__Europe’s digital agenda. People-centric, data-centric or both_2022.pdf

05__Are (some) social players entering European recovery through the Semester back door_2022.pdf

06__Covid-19 as a catalyst for a European Health Union. Recent developments in health_2022.pdf

07__Conclusions. Dealing with the pandemic. Re-emerging social ambitions as the EU recovers_2022.pdf

08__The European Union in 2020. Key events_2022.pdf

09__List of contributors_Social developments_2022.pdf

10__List of acronyms_Social developments_2022.pdf