UIPI Analysis: European Semester 2020 – Country Specific Recommendations

UIPI Analysis: European Semester 2020 - Country Specific Recommendations

20 May 2020 
Brussels, Belgium

The European Commission published today its yearly Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs), which will then have to be formally adopted by the Council. 

The CSRs are part of the European Semester. They give tailored advice to Member States on how to boost growth and jobs, while maintaining sound public finances. They are published every spring, following months of analysis by the Commission. They focus on what can be achieved in the next 12-18 months to make growth stronger, more sustainable and more inclusive, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU’s long-term growth and jobs plan. They are based on the general priorities identified in the Commission’s Annual Growth Survey last November and on the information Member States submitted in April in their medium-term budgetary plans and economic reform programmes. The recommendations will be formally adopted by the EU’s Council of Finance Ministers in July. It will then be up to Member States to implement the recommendations by taking them up when drafting their national budgets and other relevant policies.

2020 has already proven to be a year of unprecedented events, and this is reflected in the Commission’s CSRs. Differently from the previous years, this time all the documents almost exclusively refer to the economic recovery in the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis. Therefore, the recommendations present a twofold structure: on the one side, short-term measures aimed at alleviating the pandemic’s negative socio-economic impact; on the other, short to medium-term actions to foster sustainable and inclusive growth by facilitating the green transition and the digital transformation.

Now it is up to Member States to act upon the recommendations received. It is primarily in their own interest to implement the reforms that will help them recover from the crisis and create the foundations for sustainable growth. The Commission’s recommendations are based on expert analysis of the main challenges in each country.
Member States are also responsible to their EU counterparts, as they make a political commitment to reform by endorsing the recommendations at EU leaders’ level and formally approving them at ministerial level. As a last resort, there is the prospect of sanctions if Member States repeatedly fail to take action on public finances or macroeconomic imbalances (under the Excessive Deficit Procedure and the Excessive Imbalance Procedure, respectively).

UIPI has prepared a detailed analysis of the CSRs of those countries which are part of the European Affairs Committee. The analysis is available for members only. 

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