On Friday the European Council will adopt the 2014 country-specific recommendations for each EU member state. MEPs regularly point out that the member state governments have been slow to act on these recommendations. This view is corroborated by a new European Parliament study showing that on average, only 18% of the 2011 and 2012 recommendations have been fully implemented.
In a resolution voted in October 2013, MEPs noted that for 2012, substantive action had been taken on only 15% of the recommendations. Many member states, despite themselves endorsing the recommendations at European Council summits, often lag behind when it comes to putting their pledges into practice. Delaying reform inevitably undermines the aim, set by EU heads of state, of better coordinating economic policy across the EU.
A detailed study by the European Parliament services, based on analysis by the IMF, the OECD and the European Commission, shows that governments have on average "fully implemented" 18% of the recommendations for 2011 and 2012 and done very little or no work on 43% of them.
During the next Parliamentary term MEPs are expected to monitor very closely how well governments deliver on their reform commitments.
The resolution, the study and an infographic summarizing its findings can be found at the links to the right.
The country-specific recommendations, proposed by the Commission early in June and subsequently adopted by the heads of state, are the backbone of "European Semester" economic policy coordination, which is itself central to the new economic governance structures put in place over the past three years. The recommendations provide detailed pointers as to where each country should focus its economic reform efforts for the year.