Since 2014, the European Union took a set of sanctions against Russia following the invasion of the Ukrainian region of Crimea.
In 2015, the European Union concluded an agreement with Greece to organise the recovery of its public finances and its economy in general.
In 2016, the European Union strengthened or changed the rules for the hosting of refugees on its territory, following the massive entry of people from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea. It also had to adapt its policy on illegal immigration and legal immigration.
In 2016, the European Union acknowledged the United Kingdom‘s willingness to leave the EU under Article 50 of the Treaty. The main issues at stake are the rights of the EU citizens in UK, stability in Ireland, UK’s financial commitments and the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice of the Union for EU/UK pending cases.
Since 2017, the European Union had to take into account the change of attitude of the United States, in particular in the field of defense, trade and the global governance.
Since 2016, in several large Member States, national policy has had an impact on European policy, especially when the European Parliament was elected in 2019.
In France, the election of President Macron and the creation of the “En Marche” party helped to strengthen the pro-European social liberal movement. In Italy, the victory of the Northern League and the Five Star Party has, on the contrary, reinforced the illiberal trend already present in France (“Rassemblement National”), Hungary (Fidesz) and Poland (PIS). In the United Kingdom, pressure from the Brexit party, heir to the UKIP party, pushed the Conservative Party and the Labour Party towards anti-European populist positions.
After the 2019 European election, both two dominant groups, the EPP on the right and the S&D on the left, lost 15% of their members, to the benefit of the centrist social liberal ALDE/Renaissance group and the ecologist group, which grew by 40%/50%, while the anti-European fraction remains stable.
Despite hesitations and difficult negotiations, the Franco-German tandem reaffirmed the authority of the European Council and succeeded in presenting in June 2019 the candidacy of Ursula van der Leyen as President of the European Commission and Josep Borrell as High Representative for foreign affairs, while former Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel took the presidency of the European Council.
In 2020, to respond to the economic crisis caused by the anti-coronavirus health measures, the European Commission proposed a new stimulus instrument, “Next Generation EU”, integrated into a revised long-term European budget. “Next Generation EU” will raise funds by temporarily raising the own resources ceiling to 2.00% of the EU’s gross national income, which will allow the Commission to use its credit rating to borrow 750 billion euros in the financial markets.
The attempted military invasion of Ukraine by Russia in 2022 and the mutual sanctions between groups of countries have accentuated the economic crisis, characterised by the return of inflation and the difficulty in controlling energy resources. This crisis will also contribute to making certain constraints related to the fight against climate change more acceptable and to spreading a culture of frugality in part of the West.