Sunday, 3 October 2010

EU: “European Semester” towards economic stability and growth?

Yesterday’s blog post, EU: From Monti report to Single Market Act, observed that the European Commission is going to publish its work programme (CWP) for 2011 and a Single Market Act, both during this month of October.

On the central Commission website for the Europe 2020 strategy, there is a document of interest for those who work with or monitor the processes at European, national or corporate level: Governance, tools and policy cycle of Europe 2020 (8 pages).

The document describes how the five headline targets for the European Union will be translated into national targets by the member states, leading to National Reform Programmes (NRPs). It also describes the Commission’s work to launch seven growth-enhancing flagship initiatives at EU level.

The instruments of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP; Stability and Convergence Programmes, SCPs) and the Europe 2020 (EU2020) growth strategy will be aligned, with the “European Semester” as a headline concept for the process. They are based on three integrated strands:

1. Macro-economic surveillance (numbers 1 to 3 of the Integrated Guidelines)
2. Monitoring of growth-enhancing reforms (numbers 4 to 10 of the Integrated Guidelines)
3. Fiscal surveillance under the Stability and Growth Pact.

In January the Commission will publish an Annual Growth Survey with both a review and a forward-looking part, in good time before the spring meeting of the European Council (normally late March).

The different Council configurations will provide input for the European Council and monitor developments all year round.

Both reports (NRPs and SCPs) should be fully integrated within the national budgetary procedure.

The guideline document outlines the timetable and the shift towards the “European Semester”, a more coherent framework towards economic stability and growth.

However, the EU member states wasted the Lisbon Strategy decade. This taught us that more than pious goals are needed if Europe wants to become a dynamic player in the world economy and create real jobs for its young and old during EU2020.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Comments relevant to the topic discussed in each Grahnlaw blog post are most welcome. However, the number of spam comments keeps skyrocketing. This is the sad reason for comment moderation, so it may take a while before your valued comment appears.

It is easier to understand a language than to use it correctly. As Eurobloggers we could and should promote interaction among Europeans across linguistic and national borders. We can link to blogs and other sources in foreign languages and share different viewpoints with our readers, perhaps explaining the gist of the arguments. Check multilingual to get a grip on the discussions.

Another opportunity is to invite comments in different languages, those we are able to read or by using machine translation to understand the essentials.

Grahnlaw has adopted a multilingual comment policy:

I do my best to read comments in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish or Swedish, even if the Grahnlaw blog and my possible replies are in English.