Economy and finance
EU Council conclusions
Economic, employment and fiscal policies: Council issues country-specific recommendations
On 12 July 2016, the Council issued recommendations on economic, employment and fiscal policies planned by the member states. The Council thereby concluded the 2016 "European Semester", an annual policy monitoring process. The European Council endorsed the recommendations at its meeting in June.
"We look forward to the effective implementation of these country-specific recommendations in the coming months“, said Peter Kažimír, minister for finance of Slovakia and president of the Council.
In March 2016, the European Council endorsed the following priorities:
- relaunching investment;
- pursuing structural reforms to modernise European economies;
- conducting responsible fiscal policies.
The European Semester involves simultaneous monitoring of member states' economic and fiscal policies during a roughly six-month period every year.
In the light of policy guidance given by the European Council annually in March, the member states present each year in April:
- National reform programmes for their economic and employment policies. These set out a macroeconomic scenario for the medium term, national targets for implementing the "Europe 2020" strategy for jobs and growth, identification of the main obstacles to growth, and measures for growth-enhancing initiatives in the short term.
- Stability or convergence programmes for their fiscal policies. Eurozone countries present stability programmes, whereas non-euro member states present convergence programmes. These set out medium-term budgetary objectives, the main assumptions about expected economic developments, a description of fiscal and economic policy measures, and an analysis of how changes in assumptions are susceptible to affect fiscal and debt positions.
The Council then adopts country-specific recommendations (CSRs). It provides explanations in cases where the recommendations do not correspond with those proposed by the Commission.
The 2016 CSRs are addressed to 27 of the EU's 28 member states. To avoid duplication there is no CSR for Greece, as it is subject to a macroeconomic adjustment programme.
In March 2016, the Council adopted a specific recommendation on the economic policies of the euro area. It did so at an earlier stage than in previous years, to take greater account of eurozone issues when approving the recommendations for the eurozone member states.
The recommendations were adopted at a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council.