Bruegel datasets

EU country specific recommendations and implementation rates

Last update: 5 May 2022

by Konstantinos Efstathiou and Guntram Wolff

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This dataset is sourced from the following paper:

  • Konstantinos Efstathiou & Guntram Wolff (2022) What drives implementation of the European Union’s policy recommendations to its member countries?, Journal of Economic Policy Reform, DOI: 1080/17487870.2022.2056461

Compiled from the European Commission’s publicly available Country Reports, this dataset contains the text of every recommendation, year and country to which it was addressed, and the progress made by the country in implementing it. This implementation score, which is our dependent variable, is evaluated by the European Commission and takes the form of an ordered, categorical variable translating implementation into a five-point scale: no progress, limited progress, some progress, substantial progress and full implementation. This assessment has been accepted as accurate by the members of the Economic Policy Committee – a group of officials from member states that supports the work of ECOFIN.

Each recommendation is assigned to one or several codified policy area(s) for which it is relevant. For instance, recommendations on collective bargaining, wage indexation and minimum wage regimes are codified as being relevant for ‘wages and wage-setting’. This type of matching is also carried out by the European Commission but is not made public. The same list of 32 policy areas as the European Commission is used and basic statistical comparisons carried out that showed that these classifications correspond closely to the European Commission’s. The observations in the dataset are the so-called subparts of CSRs, so they refer to specific recommendations such as “further reduce the regulatory burden for firms, including by pursuing the simplification programme”

The dataset covers all the recommendations addressed to member states from 2013 to 2018, except those related to fiscal targets based on the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), for which implementation scores are not available. The total number of observations is 1901.

Finally, the country-year level and the dataset of recommendations are matched with the explanatory variables. These can be divided into four sets: a) macroeconomic data; b) market measures of sovereign risk; c) political variables; and d) the classification of countries into categories of macroeconomic imbalances in the context of surveillance under the MIP.

Recommended citation:

Efstathiou K., G. Wolff (2022) ‘EU Country Specific recommendations and implementation rates’, Bruegel datasets, first published 28 April 2022, available at

Data Policy: This page provides a number of Bruegel datasets for public use. Users can freely use our data in its unchanged form or after any transformation for any purpose and can freely distribute it, provided that proper attribution is made to the source, but not in any way that suggests that Bruegel endorses the user or their use of the data.