This study assesses the European Semester’s effectiveness and legitimacy. Effectiveness is constrained by the fact that spillovers, in particular in the euro area, are insufficiently accounted for and recommendations lack prioritisation across countries and policy areas. Legitimacy derives from the Council vote. We provide evidence based on a survey sent to all 27 National Parliaments, which are found to be active in debating central elements of the Semester and thereby providing national legitimacy. The role of the European Parliament was strengthened with the Six-pack's introduction of an Economic Dialogue. We propose a non-binding vote by the European Parliament on the Annual Growth Survey and on final recommendations. For euro area countries, only MEPs of these countries should vote. Currently discussed steps towards a banking, fiscal and political union may require Treaty changes, which would provide greater legitimacy at the EU level.