Thursday, 1 December 2011

EU Ecofin set European Semester in motion

Ronny Patz has recently blogged about how EU institutions can helpfully interact with human beings, or continue to operate like a permanent diplomatic congress where solidarity between governments is paramount.

From a slightly different angle we can look at the quality of what the institutions communicate, with an Ecofin sample earlier and having a new stab at quality assessment below.

European Semester 2012

The EU Ecofin Council was going to do its part to set the European Semester in motion, by hearing the Commission present the Annual Growth Survey 2012 (AGS).

The EU institutions enlighten us through the Ecofin conclusions:

3129th Council meeting Economic and Financial Affairs; Brussels, 30 November 2011 (provisional version, 17683/11; 26 pages)

On pages 8-9 the Council brilliantly copy-pastes and paraphrases what it already said in the background note (quoted in my blog post).

After reiterating that in March, the European Council will assess implementation of country-specific recommendations made under the 2011 European Semester and will provide macroeconomic and fiscal guidance for 2012, comes the scoop for the patient reader:

To this end, the Council asked the Economic Policy Committee and the Economic and Financial Committee to prepare conclusions for the Council's meeting on 21 February, to be submitted to the European Council.

I believe that the Committees would have acted without public prodding, but after Ecofin's intervention I am sure that the next round of fiscal consolidation and growth reforms in the EU member states is going to turn out a resounding success.

Ralf Grahn