European Semester


The European Semester is the yearly cycle of economic policy coordination that provides the framework for steering and monitoring Member States economic and social reforms to reach the Europe 2020 targets.

The Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth sets five ambitious targets, one of these is to lift 20 million persons out of poverty and social exclusion by 2020.  All Member States have translated the Europe 2020 goals into National targets that are to be achieved by 2020.  These individual efforts need to be coordinated to achieve the desired impact on growth and better cohesion.  This is where the European Semester cycle play’s a vital role.

The European Commission has urged the Member States to better reflect social investment in the allocation of resources and the general architecture of their social policies.  The European Semester framework is the key monitoring platform of Member States social reforms.  Such reforms explicitly include the shift to community based care and integrated housing policies further to the European Union’s social investment approach.

This page sets out:


Commentary on and information about the European Semester:

  1. Questions and answers on the start of the European Semester 2018.
  2. The strategic and governance framework underpinning the European Semester.
  3. European Commission Thematic Factsheets – In core policy areas of the European Semester, thematic factsheets provide cross-country information on economic or social challenges, useful policies to address them, and examples of good practice.
  4. Eurostat – provides statistical support for the Europe 2020 strategy and monitors progress towards its headline targets in its annual ‘flagship publication’ entitled Smarter, greener, more inclusive? — Indicators to support the Europe 2020 strategy.
  5. The EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester or (EU Semester Alliance): .  The EU Semester Alliance is producing reports on specific countries to highlight some of the issues that need to be addressed in the Semester. The first of these reports focuses on Latvia.
  6. The European Social Network publishes annual Reports on the European Semester: annual 2015 European Semester Report “Looking ahead: priorities for the European Semester 2016”.  In this report you will find: 22 country profiles; cross-country comparison analysing the importance given to social issues in the key European Semester documents drafted for 22 Member States; 3-page summary of key messages and recommendations.
  7. The European Parliament adopted its economic, social and single market priorities for 2016 in three separate resolutions on the 25th February 2016.  The Parliament called for an EU wide definition of social fairness, a strengthening of the social pillar in the European Semester cycle and better Member State follow up and implementation of the Country Specific Recommendations.