“The EU in 2022-The General report on the activities of the European Union” was published on 15 March of this year.
The annual report contains all the actions that the European Union put in place during the 2022, in addition to all the measures that the Eu intends to continue to promote in the following years.
The main actions that the European Union carried out last year that are reported in the document are related to the following 9 principal areas: Ukrainian crisis; energetic safety and sustainability; green transition and net-zero Europe; digital era; protection of the people and freedoms; economic growth; social and equal Europe; promotion of the EU and its principles in the world; institutional developments.
On 24th February 2022 the conflict between Russia and Ukraine changed all the geopolitical settlement. This crisis had consequences among all Europe. According to the report, in 2022 the European Union adopted more than 200 measures in response to the invasion.
40€ billions were allocated to support Ukraine, in terms of economy, humanitarian aid and military assistance.
Moreover, the EU activated for the first time the Temporary Protection Dorective, which is a measure that intends to be activated in exceptional cases, as it provides immediate and temporary protection when it comes to face a particular mass influx of displaced people form non-EU countries, who are in condition not to return to their home country.
Last June, the European Council and the European Commission also granted official candidate status to the Ukrainian country, thereby declaring full support for the Ukrainian cause and with the aim to contribute in the reconstruction of the country.
The EU also tightened sanctions against Russia, that were also existing since 2014 when there was the illegal annexion of Crimea and Sevastopol.
Ensuring secure, affordable and sustainable energy
The Russian-Ukarinian conflict also developed a crisis for the energetic sector, as the Russia is one of the most important energetic-hub for the whole world.
The most relevant measures took in place by the European Commission was the plan called “RePowerEu”. This plan intends to pursue three main actions: save energy, produce clean energy and find a solution in order to diversify the energetic supplies.
This project aims to find a green solution and it is especially focused on alternative energies, in addition to the fact that is fundamental to find new international partners that can collaborate for having energy in Ue.
The costs for this action are very high and they are approximately over 200€ billions from now until 2027.
Creating a greener, climate-neutral Europe
The world in general and the Europe in particular are living a deep crisis in terms of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. All of these challenges must be faced as soon as possible, in a way that should be sustainable both for the environment and the citizens.
In 2022, the European institution decided to give birth to the European Green Deal. One third of the €1.8 trillion investments from the NextGenerationEU Recovery Plan, and the EU’s seven-year budget are destinated to finance the Green Deal.
The main purpose of this deal is to make Europe the first climate neutral continent by 2050.
It contains a set of measures that aims to reduce the pollution and the gas emissions; it also put a very high ambitious standards such as the reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions at least of 55% by 2030, which seems to be a very short time (less than 10 years) for such an important change.
The EU Green Deal has recently been modified and implemented by the Green Deal Industrial Plan, which is a measure that intends to focus on a sort of revolution for the industrial sector, by enhancing its competitiveness and supporting the green transition as fast as it possible, in order to pursue the ambitious European climatic goals.
The new technologies and the digitalization of many areas of our society let the Eu aware of the need to realize a program that put the European society ready to face the new challenges related to the digital era.
In this view, it was adopted the so-known Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030. The main objectives and principleas are: help all the people in this digital transformation, giving them the right tools to live in it; promote the participation on the online spaces; increase the online security, especially in terms of personal data; promote a more online responsibility among people and promote a sustainable digital future.
Summarizing, the aim of this Programme is to digitalize the society in order to make it more resilient and sustainable thanks to the new technologies and the new digital competencies.
Protection of people and freedoms
One of the biggest issues of 2022 is still the pandemic one, which affects all the European population. One of the measures that the EU put in place is the HERA (Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority), that was established during the pandemic era in 2019 and it is now in charge of preventing and responding in a rapid way to health emergencies. In 2022, the Authority was enforced by the institution of EMA, which stands for European Medicines Agency, that guarantees and supervise all the medicinal sector in Europe.
It was also realized an initiative entitled “Healthier together”, for a total amount of 156 € billions, in order to improve the citizens health, preventing and supporting more effective policies in situations related to health determinants, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases and mental health and neurological disorders.
In terms of freedom, the EU proposed the European Freedom Act to protect more than before the freedom and the equality among all the media.
Strengthening the economy
In order to face the economic and financial crisis that are affecting the EU since 2008, the “NextGenerationEU” has a particular role, that was implemented last year.
This strategy is a recovery plan that intends to transform the European economy and society. The support to the European growth is fundamental. The strategy aims to favor the member state with a financial support and it also aims to prepare the Single Market ready for the ambitious challenges of the future, keeping in mind the importance of the green transition, the new technologies and the fair competition on the market.
Promoting European interests and values in the world
The European Union intends to fight all type of discrimination and it aims to create a fair and equal society for everyone.
In this field, the main laws, strategies and action plan that the EU put in place during the 2022 were the following ones: the EU Anti-racism Action Plan 2020–2025, the LGBTIQ Equality Strategy 2020– 2025, the Gender Equality Strategy 2020–2025,the EU Roma Strategic Framework for Equality, Inclusion and Participation 2021–2030, the Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2021–2030, the European Capitals of Inclusion and Diversity Award, the European Diversity Month, and the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan.
In particular, the Eu is focus on three main social areas, that are related to the development of the employment and skills and the reduction of poverty.
The European Union as a peculiar social and political example should response to the global challenges in a common and shared way.
It is important that the institutions continue on working in order to implement all the sectors that are involved in the European general policy.
The main initiatives that we can remember are the following ones.
The Strategic Compass was adopted by the Council of the European Union, with the aim to strengthen the security and the defence of the EU by 2030, also facilitating an agreement among EU leaders on strengthening Europe’s defence industrial base.
In 2022, the Parliament, the rotating French and Czech Council Presidencies and 2023 incumbents Sweden and Spain joined efforts to advance the interinstitutional negotiations on both the Common European Asylum System and the Pact on Migration and Asylum, and signed a joint roadmap.
Finally, it was adopted the Marseille Manifesto, which intends to create a closer connection, at regional and local level, among political leaders and people.