European Semester: 'Revamping' and 2016 priorities

19-02-2016

The European Semester is the EU's annual cycle which provides policy guidance and surveillance. It is a key element of the EU's economic governance framework which aims to detect, monitor, prevent, and correct problematic economic trends such as excessive government deficits or public debt levels. On 21 October 2015, the European Commission proposed to 'revamp' the European Semester process and better align the overall EU and euro-area recommendations with those regarding individual Member States. This reform also includes publishing specific recommendations for the euro area at the very start of the process. On 26 November 2015, the European Commission published the Annual Growth Survey 2016 (AGS) and the Alert Mechanism Report 2016 (AMR), as well as its draft recommendations for the euro area as a whole. The recommendations address, inter alia, the need to support recovery and foster convergence; to implement reforms which combine flexible and reliable labour contracts; and to 'maintain a broadly neutral fiscal stance in 2016'. For the first time, the Commission made use of employment and social indicators in the AMR. Three EP Committees have evaluated the new priorities for 2016. Own-initiative reports by the ECON, EMPL, and IMCO Committees, scheduled for plenary debate on 24 February 2016, also focus on the new euro-area recommendations.

The European Semester is the EU's annual cycle which provides policy guidance and surveillance. It is a key element of the EU's economic governance framework which aims to detect, monitor, prevent, and correct problematic economic trends such as excessive government deficits or public debt levels. On 21 October 2015, the European Commission proposed to 'revamp' the European Semester process and better align the overall EU and euro-area recommendations with those regarding individual Member States. This reform also includes publishing specific recommendations for the euro area at the very start of the process. On 26 November 2015, the European Commission published the Annual Growth Survey 2016 (AGS) and the Alert Mechanism Report 2016 (AMR), as well as its draft recommendations for the euro area as a whole. The recommendations address, inter alia, the need to support recovery and foster convergence; to implement reforms which combine flexible and reliable labour contracts; and to 'maintain a broadly neutral fiscal stance in 2016'. For the first time, the Commission made use of employment and social indicators in the AMR. Three EP Committees have evaluated the new priorities for 2016. Own-initiative reports by the ECON, EMPL, and IMCO Committees, scheduled for plenary debate on 24 February 2016, also focus on the new euro-area recommendations.