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European Semester



The European Semester (ES) is a multi-annual exchange/discussion between the European Commission and Member States to achieve the EU’s targets, both in terms of the Europe 2020 Strategy and of the Stability and Growth Pact.

Each year, the European Commission (EC) analyses in detail EU Member States’ economic and structural reforms programmes and provides them with a set of recommendations for the following 12-18 months. During this time, EU Member States (MSs) have to align their budgetary and economic policies with the objectives and rules agreed at EU level, within the targets previously mentioned.

The European Semester process is based on three key documents which are published each year:

  • The Annual Growth Survey (AGS) - published by the EC in November/December, launches the ES and represents the document setting the basis for building a common understanding about the priorities for action at the national and EU levels.
  • The National Reform Programmes (NRPs) – submitted by the EU MSs in April – detail how the targets of the EU 2020 Strategy are being reached, which national policies will be implemented and how EU guidance has been taken into account, also according to previous CSRs and AGS.
  • The Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) – published in June by the EC, recommend a set of actions for each member state to take, according to its economic and social performance during the previous year and to the delivery of priorities set out in the AGS. The CSRs are based on Country reports, published each January, which assess each government's implementation of the previous years' CSRs and strategic priorities.

To consult the National Reforms Programmes (NRPs), Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) and Country Reports for each Member State, please click here.

The European Semester influences legislation at national level in the field of public expenditure, employment, education and social care. For this reason, EASPD is fighting to ensure that the European Semester encourages positive changes to national legislation in these fields.


Policy and Briefing Papers