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

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