What we know about the major political events scheduled for next year

There are a few big fixed pieces to be prepared for next year, from a new Taoiseach, to the new Northern Ireland Assembly to the new US House of Representatives.

Here’s a little bit about those events and what we know now about what to expect from them.

Golfgate trial

The great political drama of the pandemic, as dozens of people including an EU minister and commissioner attended a dinner at the Galway Hotel organized by a golf association.

As part of the fallout, which has included two high-profile resignations at Dara Callery and Phil Hogan, a trial is scheduled for the first week of 2022.

On January 6 and 7, the August 2020 event is expected to be highlighted, with the Irish Independent reporting that some of the Clifden dinner attendees have been called to testify.

Hold on to your hats for this…

Michel Martin steps aside

It’s strange that we can say exactly when Taoiseach will step down about a year ago – but that’s what will happen on December 15, 2022.

When the current three-party government was formed in June 2020, it was agreed to split the term Taoiseach between Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil (the third coalition party, the Greens, didn’t have the numbers in Dell to that platform).

Under this rotating Taoiseach system, Micheál Martin Taoiseach will remain until December 15, 2022, after which Leo Varadkar will alternate his role at Tánaiste as Taoiseach Chairman.

If the government continues the course, he will remain in that place until at least February 20, 2025, on which date the next general election must be held.

There has been speculation about whether Michael Martin will become Tánaiste once Leo Varadkar is in the lead, with some suggestions that once his tenure as Taoiseach ends there may be a challenge to lead Fianna Fáil – but Martin said so far He was going to take on the role of Tánaiste.

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Northern Ireland elections

Next year’s Northern Ireland Assembly elections will be huge for two reasons.

The first is last year’s Northern Ireland census, which, once results are fully revealed in 2022, is expected to show a Catholic majority in the north for the first time since its inception. There is also some suggestion that the number of people supporting «neutral» parties such as the Alliance Party is increasing.

This is important in how the political system in Northern Ireland is formed, and the type of executive that is formed to administer the jurisdiction.

Related to this, the second reason the results will be important is that the assembly to be elected will be the group of MLAs that will vote in 2024 on whether to keep the Northern Ireland Protocol.

For this reason, parties are expected to rework old debates about Brexit and the protocol as part of efforts to win over voters.

Elections will take place on Thursday, May 5, when 90 candidates will be elected to be legal stalkers.

Northern Ireland’s executive power is headed by a first minister and first deputy minister. Since the 2007 power-sharing revival, the DUP has held the role of first minister, while Sinn Féin has served as deputy prime minister.

Upcoming election results could see Sinn Féin take the role of chief minister, and the DUP or coalition taking over as deputy chief minister – although it is not yet clear whether the DUP will accept the role of deputy leader.

Brexit, dear boy

Related to that, there are several key Brexit deadlines in the queue for next year.

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Among the main post-Brexit trade issues to be discussed next year are full customs clearances required by January 1, inspections of dairy products coming from September 1, and animal product inspections from November 1.

By December 31, the transition period for declarations needed by suppliers to the European Union will end; The grace period for medicines traveling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will also expire.

Probably the most famous issue of the Brexit trade, the GB-to-NI refrigerated meat ban, has no deadline, as the grace period for this ban was extended indefinitely during talks between the UK and the EU on implementing the NI protocol continued.

Here are the key dates before next year:

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January 1

  • Full customs data and controls on EU imports into the UK are to be entered.
  • The pre-notification requirement for Sanitary and Phytosanitary Goods (SPS) entering the UK from the European Union, which was previously due to be submitted on 1 October 2021, will be introduced.

June 30

  • This is the new deadline for determining whether the UK meets the requirements for sharing personal data (DNA profiles, fingerprints and vehicle registration data).

July 1

  • New requirements for health certificates for export, which were due to be submitted on October 1, 2021, will be introduced.
  • Phytosanitary certificates and physical checks on most remaining SPS goods (such as meat and plants) will be submitted at UK border control points, due on 1 January 2022.
  • Safety and security data required by truck drivers importing goods into the UK (this was due to come on 1 January).
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September 1

  • Checks will be offered for all dairy products between the EU and the UK.

November 1

  • Checks will be provided for all remaining regulated products of animal origin, including formulated and fish products.


France’s youngest-ever president is facing a tense re-election campaign ahead of the presidential election on April 22 next year.

Emmanuel Macron has been touring small town and rural France in recent weeks, stopping to chat with shopkeepers, and drinking wine at local cafes. He is expected to use the advantages of his presidential position as late as possible in the campaign.


In Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has been in power since 2010. Nationalist Orban and his political party Fidesz will face the next April elections against a six-party opposition coalition with opinion polls predicting a choppy race.

The 58-year-old Orban and his party will face Markie G., the 49-year-old conservative mayor, who won the opposition primary in October. It was Hungary’s first-ever primaries, and was organized by an opposition coalition formed last year in a bid to combat the post-election Ul system favored by Orbán and his party.

United State

The US midterm elections will also be held on Tuesday, November 8, 2022. All 435 of the House of Representatives seats and 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate will be contested. This will be seen as a critical test of Joe Biden’s presidency, and the outcome may decide whether there is Trump’s candidacy for the presidential election in 2024.

Incidentally, we noted that in 2024, there will be a vote in Northern Ireland on whether to keep the protocol in December, the UK general election in May, and the highly anticipated US presidential election in November. Busy few years ahead.

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