The top four trends driving European policy in 2022

The start of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on and prepare for what comes next. As we enter the third year of a global pandemic, it is clear that the effects of this crisis on the EU policy agenda are irrevocable. But will the COVID-19 crisis continue being the main driver of the EU’s policy decisions? Or will other considerations impact the direction of travel of EU policymaking? Read on for what we think will be the top four tendencies that will drive European policy in 2022.

  1. Increasing assertiveness
    An ever-closer Union has long been the dream of EU federalists, and a nightmare for inter-governmentalists. While the debate is unlikely to be settled any time soon, it is starting to lean towards the position of the EU federalists, perhaps more from a place of ‘need’ than a ‘want’ from EU
    Member States. Though the process started with the global financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic greatly prompted the need for common action on large-scale events beyond the level that a national strategy or budget could handle. This momentum will continue in 2022, and the EU is going to do all it can to maximise on this opportunity. In the healthcare field, which has traditionally been a Member State competence that countries fiercely protected, the Commission was able to step in and conduct joint procurement for COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

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Authors: Anne-Sophie Deman, Vesela Mincheva, Suparna Arora & Arne Koeppel, all based in the FTI Consulting Brussels office.

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