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Country-specific recommendations: An overview (September 2019)

11-09-2019

This note provides an overview of the country-specific recommendations issued annually to EU Member States under the European Semester for economic policy coordination. It presents how these recommendations evolved over time (2012-2019), including from the legal base perspective. Finally, it shows how recommendations were implemented over the 2012-2018 European Semester cycles. The note is updated on a regular basis.

This note provides an overview of the country-specific recommendations issued annually to EU Member States under the European Semester for economic policy coordination. It presents how these recommendations evolved over time (2012-2019), including from the legal base perspective. Finally, it shows how recommendations were implemented over the 2012-2018 European Semester cycles. The note is updated on a regular basis.

EU policies – Delivering for citizens: The fight against unemployment

28-06-2019

By promoting a high level of employment, the European Union (EU) has been involved in the fight against unemployment since as long ago as the early 1950s. The issue was brought to the top of the European agenda with the onset of the 2008 economic and financial crisis, and the consequent rise in unemployment rates in all European Union (EU) Member States. In its Europe 2020 strategy, the European Commission set a target to get 75 % of 20 to 64 year-olds into employment by 2020. EU labour market conditions ...

By promoting a high level of employment, the European Union (EU) has been involved in the fight against unemployment since as long ago as the early 1950s. The issue was brought to the top of the European agenda with the onset of the 2008 economic and financial crisis, and the consequent rise in unemployment rates in all European Union (EU) Member States. In its Europe 2020 strategy, the European Commission set a target to get 75 % of 20 to 64 year-olds into employment by 2020. EU labour market conditions have significantly improved in recent years, and most labour market indicators have strengthened steadily. Since mid-2013, the unemployment rate has continued to decline, and the EU is back to its pre-crisis level (6.5 % in February 2019). Despite the recovery in economic growth and its positive impact on the labour market, the EU still has to face unemployment challenges, particularly concerning differences between Member States, youth unemployment and long-term unemployment. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including to help young people enter the labour market, to combat long-term unemployment, upgrade skills, and facilitate workers' mobility in the European Union. The improvement in labour market indicators has been reflected in citizens' improved evaluation of the EU's involvement in the fight against unemployment, but there is still a very high demand for even more EU intervention in this policy area (76 % of EU citizens). In the future, new or updated legislation relating to employment could modernise work to help in adjustment to a digital world, support sustainable transitions from unemployment into employment and between jobs, increase labour mobility and create closer coordination between economic and social policies. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

Prospects for EU-Asia connectivity - The 'European way to connectivity'

12-10-2018

Asia matters to Europe: home to the world's largest population and fastest-growing economies, Asia is a major trade partner of the EU. Recognising this, the EU has promoted the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), established strategic partnerships with four Asian countries, intensified cooperation with the Association of South-East Asia Nations (ASEAN), and negotiated or concluded free trade agreements with several Asian countries. As an implementation of its 2016 Global Strategy, the EU has carried out ...

Asia matters to Europe: home to the world's largest population and fastest-growing economies, Asia is a major trade partner of the EU. Recognising this, the EU has promoted the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), established strategic partnerships with four Asian countries, intensified cooperation with the Association of South-East Asia Nations (ASEAN), and negotiated or concluded free trade agreements with several Asian countries. As an implementation of its 2016 Global Strategy, the EU has carried out a mapping exercise on Euro-Asian connectivity, followed by the adoption of a joint communication on 'Connecting Europe and Asia – Building blocks for an EU strategy' on 19 September 2018. The strategy proposes that the EU engage with its Asian partners through a sustainable, comprehensive and rules-based approach to connectivity, exploiting existing and planned EU networks. It acknowledges a significant investment gap in connectivity and recognises the need to mobilise and strengthen cooperation with private investors, national and international institutions, and multilateral development banks. The strategy is part of the EU's contribution to the ASEM12 Summit, which is to take place in Brussels on 18-19 October 2018. Presented by Vice President/High Representative, Federica Mogherini, as the 'European way to connectivity', the strategy was immediately perceived as the EU response to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This initiative is currently raising concerns in the EU and in several participating countries, some of which are worried about possible 'debt traps'.

2018 Update of the Study on the protection role of the Committee on Petitions in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

01-10-2018

This briefing provides an update on the protection role of the Committee on Petitions in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). It builds on an in-depth study requested in 2015 and updated annually since then. It reviews the relevant Petitions received and identifies current challenges regarding Parliament’s responsibilities and those of other EU institutions.

This briefing provides an update on the protection role of the Committee on Petitions in the context of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). It builds on an in-depth study requested in 2015 and updated annually since then. It reviews the relevant Petitions received and identifies current challenges regarding Parliament’s responsibilities and those of other EU institutions.

Autor externo

Mark Priestley

Digital tourism in the European Union

28-09-2018

Tourism is a major economic activity in the European Union, contributing about 10 % to the Union's gross domestic product and employing up to 26 million people through its direct, indirect and induced impact on the economy. While it is true that the EU is the global leader in terms of international tourist arrivals and receipts, fast-growing tourism to some other destinations is challenging this status quo. The EU tourism sector is also facing changes brought on by the digital revolution. Many customers ...

Tourism is a major economic activity in the European Union, contributing about 10 % to the Union's gross domestic product and employing up to 26 million people through its direct, indirect and induced impact on the economy. While it is true that the EU is the global leader in terms of international tourist arrivals and receipts, fast-growing tourism to some other destinations is challenging this status quo. The EU tourism sector is also facing changes brought on by the digital revolution. Many customers nowadays plan and book trips on their own through online travel agencies, search and meta-search engines, and making increasing use of mobile technology and apps. Some of them share their travel experiences through personal exchanges on social media platforms, travel blogs or commercial channels such as TripAdvisor. Most businesses serving tourists have understood the need to adapt their products to the changes in the way the market works, and consequently have launched various online and automatic services. However, some of these changes, such as the emergence of online platforms on which people propose to share temporarily with tourists what they own or what they do, have proved more difficult to adapt to. Although the EU has only limited competence in the field of tourism, it has an impact on digital tourism through various policies related to other sectors. In particular, the digital single market strategy has had a huge impact on tourism through various legislative acts. The EU supports digital tourism further through various funds and non-legislative initiatives such as forums, conferences and webinars.

China, the 16+1 format and the EU

07-09-2018

Since 2012, China has engaged 16 central and eastern European countries (CEECs), including 11 EU Member States and five Western Balkan countries under the 16+1 cooperation format, which it has portrayed as an innovative approach to regional cooperation. Although framed as multilateralism, in practice this format has remained largely bilateral and highly competitive in nature. While in 2012 the CEECs had enthusiastically embraced this form of cooperation as a chance to diversify their EU-focused economic ...

Since 2012, China has engaged 16 central and eastern European countries (CEECs), including 11 EU Member States and five Western Balkan countries under the 16+1 cooperation format, which it has portrayed as an innovative approach to regional cooperation. Although framed as multilateralism, in practice this format has remained largely bilateral and highly competitive in nature. While in 2012 the CEECs had enthusiastically embraced this form of cooperation as a chance to diversify their EU-focused economic relations in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, by 2018 some of them had voiced dissatisfaction with the economic results it had yielded for them. The 2018 Sofia summit guidelines for the first time stressed the need for a more balanced trade, reciprocity of market access and open tenders in infrastructure construction, thus echoing concerns the EU had repeatedly raised with China. Empirical evidence shows that China-CEEC trade had actually jumped prior to 2012, whereas afterwards it increased at a much slower pace, with Chinese exports to CEECs expanding much quicker than CEEC exports to China, thus generating an unbalanced trade that is heavily tilted in favour of China. Foreign direct investment (FDI) data reveal that while Chinese FDI is highly concentrated on the biggest CEECs, it accounts for an extremely low share of total FDI stock. Some smaller CEECs have started to attract Chinese FDI as well, although at comparatively low levels. Some of China's infrastructure construction projects in the CEECs have suffered setbacks in a regional environment governed by EU norms and regulations. The EU engages in the 16+1 as a summit observer, adheres to the principles of its 2016 strategy for China and works towards cooperation with China on physical and digital infrastructure - through the EU-China Connectivity Platform. It has added the Berlin Process to its Western Balkans policy and has issued a new strategy providing for a credible enlargement perspective for and an enhanced EU engagement with the Western Balkans. This updates an 'at a glance' note, China, the 16+1 cooperation format and the EU, of March 2017.

Women in the Western Balkans: Gender equality in the EU accession process

18-07-2018

Equality between women and men, or gender equality, is a fundamental right and a common value, recognised by the EU. It has been a component of the European integration project from its outset. Enshrined in the EU Treaties, gender equality forms part of the accession conditions with which candidate and potential candidates from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) have to comply. Investing in gender equality ...

Equality between women and men, or gender equality, is a fundamental right and a common value, recognised by the EU. It has been a component of the European integration project from its outset. Enshrined in the EU Treaties, gender equality forms part of the accession conditions with which candidate and potential candidates from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) have to comply. Investing in gender equality, however, is essential not only as an EU requirement, but for an equal society. Although progress has been noted in these countries as regards gender equality, more work is still required. Equal opportunities would allow EU candidate countries to better tap into the potential and skills of women, and underpin achievements in areas such as economic growth, employment and social cohesion, as well as in peace-building. As part of their preparation for an EU future, the Western Balkan countries have taken steps to advance women's rights in recent years. These include adopting or amending relevant legislation (e.g. criminal and labour laws), elaborating national strategies and action plans, and establishing institutional mechanisms to carry out and monitor relevant policies. Nevertheless, promoting gender equality is often sidelined, and the action taken in this respect is insufficient. Ensuring equality between women and men remains 'unfinished business' in a region where traditional gender roles are deep-rooted and social attitudes and lack of awareness of women's rights are at the core of the problem. This Briefing aims to highlight the EU's efforts to promote gender equality as part of EU enlargement policy, and the way the EU strives to mainstream equality across the board. It also aims to cast light on some major challenges that women face in the Western Balkans, such as their weaker roles in economy and politics, and widespread gender-based violence. This follows up the June 2017 briefing on 'Rights and empowerment of women in the Western Balkans'.

Economic Dialogue with the European Commission on the European Semester Spring 2018 Package

27-06-2018

Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Moscovici and Commissioner Thyssen have been invited to an Economic Dialogue on the European Semester Spring 2018 package in line with the relevant EU law. This briefing note covers the 2018 CSRs proposed by the Commission, the implementation of CSRs over the period 2012-2017 and recent decisions related to the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact and the Macro-economic Imbalance Procedure. It also includes elements related to the on-going work ...

Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Moscovici and Commissioner Thyssen have been invited to an Economic Dialogue on the European Semester Spring 2018 package in line with the relevant EU law. This briefing note covers the 2018 CSRs proposed by the Commission, the implementation of CSRs over the period 2012-2017 and recent decisions related to the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact and the Macro-economic Imbalance Procedure. It also includes elements related to the on-going work to strengthen the governance and the resilience of the Economic and Monetary Union.

Country-Specific Recommendations for 2018

26-06-2018

The table overleaf compares the draft 2018 Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) proposed by the Commission on 23 May 2018 with the 2018 CSRs agreed on the Council Committee level and approved by the Council (ECOFIN) on 22 June 2018. These CSRs are to be generally endorsed by the European Council on 28-29 June 2018 and formally adopted by the Council (ECOFIN) on 13 July 2018.

The table overleaf compares the draft 2018 Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) proposed by the Commission on 23 May 2018 with the 2018 CSRs agreed on the Council Committee level and approved by the Council (ECOFIN) on 22 June 2018. These CSRs are to be generally endorsed by the European Council on 28-29 June 2018 and formally adopted by the Council (ECOFIN) on 13 July 2018.

Research for REGI Committee - Digital agenda and cohesion policy

15-06-2018

This study provides a critical analysis of the contribution of Cohesion Policy and the European Structural Investment Funds to the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Digital Single Market. Based on the analysis of past and current patterns of ESIF digital investments and selected case studies, this study shows that Cohesion Policy should concentrate where its added value is highest, i.e., on support to the formulation of effective regional digital strategies and on the promotion of partnerships between ...

This study provides a critical analysis of the contribution of Cohesion Policy and the European Structural Investment Funds to the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Digital Single Market. Based on the analysis of past and current patterns of ESIF digital investments and selected case studies, this study shows that Cohesion Policy should concentrate where its added value is highest, i.e., on support to the formulation of effective regional digital strategies and on the promotion of partnerships between relevant stakeholders, at regional level and beyond.

Autor externo

CSIL: Julie PELLEGRIN, Louis COLNOT supported by: Łukasz ARENDT, Luca BISASCHI, Gelsomina CATALANO, Žilvinas MARTINAITIS, Giorgio MICHELETTI

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