Blog Post

The European Semester Timeline

EU economic policy coordination is now supported by a process known as European Semester, which provides a common timetable for EU policy guidance and the monitoring of national actions. This blog entry summarizes the main steps in the European Semester and the role each EU Institution plays in the process. For an extensive analysis of […]

By: and Date: October 4, 2012 Topic: Macroeconomic policy

EU economic policy coordination is now supported by a process known as European Semester, which provides a common timetable for EU policy guidance and the monitoring of national actions. This blog entry summarizes the main steps in the European Semester and the role each EU Institution plays in the process. For an extensive analysis of the European Semester and its operation, see An Assessment of the European Semester.

The European Commission launches the European Semester with the publication of the so-called Annual Growth Survey (AGS), a list of general policy priorities for the EU. The AGS is based on the progress report on EU2020 strategy, the Macroeconomic Report and the Joint Employment Report. In the first Semester cycle, the European Commission published the AGS in January 2011. This year, the European Commission anticipated the publication of the AGS for 2012 to November 2011, de facto extending the length of the Semester cycle.

The Council of Ministers (regrouped under different formations) and the European Parliament have the opportunity to debate the AGS up to March, when the Spring European Council formally endorses it. The second European Semester cycle has brought in a novelty in this regard. The European Parliament is now involved in the discussion in a formal fashion through the Economic Dialogue, having for example the right to invite the President of the European Commission to discuss the AGS.[1]

Following the endorsement by the Spring European Council, EU Member States are under the obligation of taking EU policy guidance into account when drafting their Stability or Convergence Programmes (SCPs) and National Reform Programmes (NRPs), which they have to submit simultaneously to the EU by 30th April every year.[2]

The European Commission evaluates national plans to assure that proposed measures respect the priorities and objectives identified by the AGS. Around the end of May the European Commission publishes its own assessment of national fiscal and structural plans and releases country-specific recommendations as well as euro-area recommendations.

After that, the Council of Ministers approves draft recommendations, the June European Council endorses them and finally the Council of Ministers issues the country-specific recommendations, which become thus “binding” documents for EU Member States.

Contrary to the other European institutions, the contribution of the European Parliament to the European Semester is not characterised by precise deadlines. The European Parliament can participate to the European Semester at almost any point in time of the cycle. The six-pack, in fact, has allowed the European Parliament to make use of the Economic Dialogue instrument throughout the whole official Semester process for engaging in a discussion with the other EU Institutions as well as in an exchange of views with national representatives.

The figure below summarises the European Semester timeline.  


[1] It should be noted that the Economic Dialogue may be initiated at different points in time in the Semester procedure.

[2] The two-pack legislative proposal suggests that the submission of national documents is anticipated to 15 April in the case of euro area countries.


Republishing and referencing

Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint. Anyone is free to republish and/or quote this post without prior consent. Please provide a full reference, clearly stating Bruegel and the relevant author as the source, and include a prominent hyperlink to the original post.

Read about event More on this topic
 

Upcoming Event

May
25
14:30

How can we support and restructure firms hit by the COVID-19 crisis?

What are the vulnerabilities and risks in the enterprise sector and how prepared are countries to handle a large-scale restructuring of businesses?

Speakers: Ceyla Pazarbasioglu and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Macroeconomic policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read about event More on this topic
 

Upcoming Event

May - Jun
31-1
10:30

MICROPROD Final Event

Final conference of the MICROPROD project

Speakers: Carlo Altomonte, Eric Bartelsman, Marta Bisztray, Italo Colantone, Maria Demertzis, Wolfhard Kaus, Javier Miranda, Steffen Müller, Verena Plümpe, Niclas Poitiers, Andrea Roventini, Gianluca Santoni, Valerie Smeets, Nicola Viegi and Markus Zimmermann Topic: Macroeconomic policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
Read about event
 

Past Event

Past Event

[Cancelled] Shifting taxes in order to achieve green goals

[This event is cancelled until further notice] How could shifting the tax burden from labour to pollution and resources help the EU reach its climate goals?

Speakers: Niclas Poitiers and Femke Groothuis Topic: Green economy, Macroeconomic policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: May 12, 2022
Read about event More on this topic
 

Past Event

Past Event

How are crises changing central bank doctrines?

How is monetary policy evolving in the face of recent crises? With central banks taking on new roles, how accountable are they to democratic institutions?

Speakers: Maria Demertzis, Benoît Coeuré, Pervenche Berès, Hans-Helmut Kotz and Athanasios Orphanides Topic: Macroeconomic policy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: May 11, 2022
Read article Download PDF More by this author
 

Book/Special report

European governanceInclusive growth

Bruegel annual report 2021

The Bruegel annual report provides a broad overview of the organisation's work in the previous year.

By: Bruegel Topic: Banking and capital markets, Digital economy and innovation, European governance, Global economy and trade, Green economy, Inclusive growth, Macroeconomic policy Date: May 6, 2022
Read article Download PDF
 

Policy Contribution

European governance

Fiscal support and monetary vigilance: economic policy implications of the Russia-Ukraine war for the European Union

Policymakers must think coherently about the joint implications of their actions, from sanctions on Russia to subsidies and transfers to their own citizens, and avoid taking measures that contradict each other. This is what we try to do in this Policy Contribution, focusing on the macroeconomic aspects of relevance for Europe.

By: Olivier Blanchard and Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: European governance, Macroeconomic policy Date: April 29, 2022
Read article Download PDF More on this topic
 

Working Paper

The low productivity of European firms: how can policies enhance the allocation of resources?

A summary of the most important policy lessons from research undertaken in the MICROPROD project work package 4, related to the allocation of the factors of production, with a special focus on the weak dynamism of European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

By: Grégory Claeys, Marie Le Mouel and Giovanni Sgaravatti Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: April 25, 2022
Read article More on this topic
 

External Publication

What drives implementation of the European Union’s policy recommendations to its member countries?

Article published in the Journal of Economic Policy Reform.

By: Konstantinos Efstathiou and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: April 13, 2022
Read article Download PDF More on this topic More by this author
 

Working Paper

Measuring the intangible economy to address policy challenges

The purpose of the first work package of the MICROPROD project was to improve the firm-level data infrastructure, expand the measurement of intangible assets and enable cross-country analyses of these productivity trends.

By: Marie Le Mouel Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: April 11, 2022
Read about event More on this topic
 

Past Event

Past Event

Macroeconomic and financial stability in changing times: conversation with Andrew Bailey

Guntram Wolff will be joined in conversation by Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England.

Speakers: Andrew Bailey and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: March 28, 2022
Read article
 

Opinion

European governance

How to reconcile increased green public investment needs with fiscal consolidation

The EU’s ambitious emissions reduction targets will require a major increase in green investments. This column considers options for increasing public green investment when major consolidations are needed after the fiscal support provided during the pandemic. The authors make the case for a green golden rule allowing green investment to be funded by deficits that would not count in the fiscal rules. Concerns about ‘greenwashing’ could be addressed through a narrow definition of green investments and strong institutional scrutiny, while countries with debt sustainability concerns could initially rely only on NGEU for their green investment.

By: Zsolt Darvas and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European governance, Green economy, Macroeconomic policy Date: March 8, 2022
Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Opinion

The week inflation became entrenched

The events that have unfolded since 24 February have solved one dispute: inflation is no longer temporary.

By: Maria Demertzis Topic: Macroeconomic policy Date: March 8, 2022
Load more posts