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.