The European Semester (ES) is a multi-annual exchange/discussion between the European Commission and Member States to achieve the EU’s targets, both in terms of the Europe 2020 Strategy and of the Stability and Growth Pact.
Each year, the European Commission (EC) analyses in detail EU Member States’ economic and structural reforms programmes and provides them with a set of recommendations for the following 12-18 months. During this time, EU Member States (MSs) have to align their budgetary and economic policies with the objectives and rules agreed at EU level, within the targets previously mentioned.
The European Semester process is based on three key documents which are published each year:
- The Annual Growth Survey (AGS) - published by the EC in November/December, launches the ES and represents the document setting the basis for building a common understanding about the priorities for action at the national and EU levels.
- The National Reform Programmes (NRPs) – submitted by the EU MSs in April – detail how the targets of the EU 2020 Strategy are being reached, which national policies will be implemented and how EU guidance has been taken into account, also according to previous CSRs and AGS.
- The Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) – published in June by the EC, recommend a set of actions for each member state to take, according to its economic and social performance during the previous year and to the delivery of priorities set out in the AGS. The CSRs are based on Country reports, published each January, which assess each government's implementation of the previous years' CSRs and strategic priorities.
To consult the National Reforms Programmes (NRPs), Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) and Country Reports for each Member State, please click here.
The European Semester influences legislation at national level in the field of public expenditure, employment, education, social care. For this reason, EASPD is fighting to ensure that the European Semester encourages positive changes to national legislation in these fields.
Policy and Briefing Papers
- EASPD Report: "European Semester, Developing Inclusive Labour Markets for All?" (2016)
- EASPD Study by Dr. Stephen Beyer: "The economic impact of inlcusion in the open labour market for persons with disabilities" (2016)
- EASPD Report - how the European Semester can help to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2015). A shorter version (without the national messages) is also available in FR, DE and BU.
- EASPD - Briefing Paper on the European Semester (2015)
- EASPD - Briefing Paper on Overview of 2015 Country-Specific Recommendations (2015)
- EASPD Report - Europe 2020 and European Semester - Bringing Well-being to All? (2014)
- Semester Alliance - report on Alternative Country Specific Recommendations (2013)
Thomas Bignal, Policy Officer
+32 2 282 46 19