European Semester mechanism
and the involvement of social service providers
The EU Commission strongly recommends the involvement of the civil society in the European Semester process to ensure that the national economic and social policies have a direct impact on the fight against social exclusion and poverty.
In the light of the Partnership Agreement with the European Commission (DG EMPL), EPR created this Platform as a place where EPR members and other social service providers can improve their understanding about the European Semester. Through this platform EPR provides continuous guidance and advice on processes and contents relating to employment of people furthest from the labour market and quality social services.
What is the European Semester?
In 2010 the European Commission launched the European Semester as a cycle of economic and fiscal (tax) policy coordination within the European Union (and its Economic and Monetary Union - the Euro). Member States were asked to present their fiscal and economic plans for the years to come to the EU Institutions in order to ensure economic stability and sustainability of the public finances.
The EU institutions (Commission and Council) assess and monitor the decisions taken by Member States to detect, prevent, and correct problematic economic trends such as excessive government deficits or public debt levels. This process happens during a 6-month period from the beginning of each year, hence its name - the ‘semester’.
Beside this economic policy coordination and surveillance, the EU asked Members States to lay out their policy reforms that are connected with the overall umbrella strategy that the EU has adopted for the ten year period 2010-2020: the Europe 2020 Strategy.
What is the Europe 2020 Strategy?
The Europe 2020 Strategy, which was initiated on 3 March 2010, aims at creating a “smart, sustainable and inclusive economy” and defines 5 measurable ‘headline’ targets for the whole EU to be achieved by the year 2020: employment rate at 75%, reduction of poverty with 25%, school drop-out rates below 10%, annual investment in research and development of minimum 3% of the GDP and the ‘green 20%-20%-20%’ target rates (20% of renewable energy, 20% reduction of greenhouse gas and a 20% efficiency gain in energy consumption).
Member States are expected to ‘translate’ these EU headline targets into national targets and report annually to the European Commission on the progress achieved and on the challenges encountered.