What an extraordinary year 2020 was! And what an extraordinary challenge it is to drive Europe to a sustainable recovery in 2021!

It is a commonplace at the time of crises that the world will not be again what it was before. This is perhaps doubly true this time, due to Covid-19 and its manifold consequences.

With an EU diving into health policy coordination, a counter-cyclical budgetary component financed by joint debt issuance, reinforced Kurzarbeit schemes and a youth guarantee, there seems to be a Social Democratic momentum. However, it remains to be seen whether in the period of recovery we manage to keep the Green Deal and the social agenda in focus, and whether we are able to step up European solidarity. The answers to these questions will determine our future for a very long time.

The Progressive Yearbook 2021 presents some key issues of the past year, including the emerging concept of the Health Union, the rule of law conundrum, pioneering policies like the Child Guarantee, and the added value of Social Democratic governments.

In the past year, the US elections were the most important, while in 2021 the German Bundestag elections will be the most significant. This yearbook offers readings on both. Predictions cover the economic recovery, the developments in Belarus, and the (so far ghost) conference on the future of Europe.

In 2020, FEPS had to learn to work amidst the extraordinary circumstances, to adapt to the conditions of confinement, to organise research projects and public events online, and to maintain close collaboration with our member foundations despite it all.

In 2021, we look forward to continuing the move to a new operational model, to returning to our new headquarters, and to putting these newly learned skills at the service of the progressive recovery and partnerships.

Read the book

European Chronology

Europe’s fight for health and unity – László ANDOR 

Compassionate and visionary leadership. Key lessons of Social Democratic governance in times of Covid-19 – Ania SKRZYPEK

The Conference on the Future of Europe. Increasing citizen’s ownership for a better EU – Gabriele BISCHOFF 

Green recovery. ‘Let’s reimagine our future’ – Saïd EL KHADRAOUI

Progressive Person of the Year – László ANDOR interviews Sanna MARIN 

Health and European solidarity after the pandemic – Xavier PRATS MONNÉ 

The EU’s rule of law: work is needed – Michiel LUINING 

Towards a Child Union. A European agenda to break the cycle of disadvantage – Albert F. ARCARONS NATIONAL 

Experiences from Denmark – Britta THOMSEN

Poland at the edge of political and social transition – Bartosz MACHALICA

Time to renew multilateralism – Maria João RODRIGUES 

America’s democracy holds – John HALPIN PREDICTIONS

The main political trends in post-pandemic Europe – Mikael LEYI

A social response to the weaknesses of democracy – Sébastien MAILLARD 

Education in Europe after the pandemic. Between opportunities and divides – Mialy DERMISH

The best-skilled generation in the face of the pandemic – Alícia HOMS GINEL

European economic prospects in 2021 – Andrew WATT 

Social rights, wages and industrial relations – Erika MEZGER

Prospects of a eurozone recovery – George PAGOULATOS

Europe’s year zero after Merkel – Christian ODENDAHL

2021: the year of sustainable globalisation – Gerhard STAHL

Transatlantic relations 2021: nostalgic rhetoric, disappointing results? – Edward KNUDSEN 

Predictions for UK labour law in 2021 – Catherine BARNARD

Is the future of the Western Balkans in Europe at stake in 2021? – Pierre MIREL

Peaceful, creative, inspirational. Europe must stand by the Belarusian people – Frank HOFFER

Photos PYB Banner: @Hairem /, @kamilewski /, @lev radin /, @Vaggelis Kousioras /, EC – Audiovisual Service, @Party of European Socialists, @Jonas Lundqvist/A-Lehdet Oy

Find all related publications

Sustainable Digital Market Design: A data-based approach to the circular economy

Markets must be designed properly to serve the common good. This is particularly evident in […]

Talking Green in Europe

Lessons on re-framing the public debate on the climate crisis

Just Transition & Revitalisation – A New EU Strategy for Rural Areas

How can EU actions support the revitalisation of rural areas? How can EU institutions put […]

Voting during pandemics: making democracy resilient in turbulent times

Although many volumes have already discussed several COVID-related socio-economic phenomena, relatively less attention has been […]
Find all related events
07 - 09/07/2022
Reggio Emilia (Italy)

ProgressivesSpeakUp: School of young local politicians

School for young local leaders, 7 – 9 July, Reggio Emilia (IT) This year’s School of […]
FEPS Office (Brussels)

FEPS DataTalks II – Sustainability and data-sharing among businesses

In cooperation with MEP Miapetra Kumpula-Natri
Barcelona (Spain)

The (im) possibility of an island? ethical AI in a geopolitical world

The conference kicked off with a keynote by Pieter Verdegem, who shared a critical perspective on AI, based on the […]
Find all related news

Ahead of this week’s European Council, progressive MEPs and MPs urge EU leaders to take resolute actions toward the Western Balkans

On 17 and 18 June, the ‘Friends of the Western Balkans’, the newly established network […]

First meeting of the Friends of the Western Balkans

How do we get out of the dead end in the enlargement process?

HRVP Josep Borrell participates in FEPS expert meeting on the war and the reconstruction of Ukraine

On May 23rd, FEPS organised a timely expert meeting on the war and the reconstruction […]

FEPS launches ‘Recovery Watch’, a new research project

The National Recovery and Resilience Plans represent the new framework in which member states will identify their […]
Find all related in the media
In the media

Leaders Must Choose a Just Energy Transition and a Social Europe

by Euractiv 30/05/2022

The circular economy and green jobs

by ENCOMPASS 25/05/2022

Da Prodi a Rodrigues, domani al via la ’Terza conferenza sul futuro dell’Europa’

by La Nazione 25/05/2022

Visioni e strategie per disegnare il futuro europeo 

by La Nazione 23/05/2022