Blog Post

The European Semester Timeline

EU economic policy coordination is now supported by a process known as European Semester, which provides a common timetable for EU policy guidance and the monitoring of national actions. This blog entry summarizes the main steps in the European Semester and the role each EU Institution plays in the process. For an extensive analysis of […]

By: and Date: October 4, 2012 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

EU economic policy coordination is now supported by a process known as European Semester, which provides a common timetable for EU policy guidance and the monitoring of national actions. This blog entry summarizes the main steps in the European Semester and the role each EU Institution plays in the process. For an extensive analysis of the European Semester and its operation, see An Assessment of the European Semester.

The European Commission launches the European Semester with the publication of the so-called Annual Growth Survey (AGS), a list of general policy priorities for the EU. The AGS is based on the progress report on EU2020 strategy, the Macroeconomic Report and the Joint Employment Report. In the first Semester cycle, the European Commission published the AGS in January 2011. This year, the European Commission anticipated the publication of the AGS for 2012 to November 2011, de facto extending the length of the Semester cycle.

The Council of Ministers (regrouped under different formations) and the European Parliament have the opportunity to debate the AGS up to March, when the Spring European Council formally endorses it. The second European Semester cycle has brought in a novelty in this regard. The European Parliament is now involved in the discussion in a formal fashion through the Economic Dialogue, having for example the right to invite the President of the European Commission to discuss the AGS.[1]

Following the endorsement by the Spring European Council, EU Member States are under the obligation of taking EU policy guidance into account when drafting their Stability or Convergence Programmes (SCPs) and National Reform Programmes (NRPs), which they have to submit simultaneously to the EU by 30th April every year.[2]

The European Commission evaluates national plans to assure that proposed measures respect the priorities and objectives identified by the AGS. Around the end of May the European Commission publishes its own assessment of national fiscal and structural plans and releases country-specific recommendations as well as euro-area recommendations.

After that, the Council of Ministers approves draft recommendations, the June European Council endorses them and finally the Council of Ministers issues the country-specific recommendations, which become thus “binding” documents for EU Member States.

Contrary to the other European institutions, the contribution of the European Parliament to the European Semester is not characterised by precise deadlines. The European Parliament can participate to the European Semester at almost any point in time of the cycle. The six-pack, in fact, has allowed the European Parliament to make use of the Economic Dialogue instrument throughout the whole official Semester process for engaging in a discussion with the other EU Institutions as well as in an exchange of views with national representatives.

The figure below summarises the European Semester timeline.  


[1] It should be noted that the Economic Dialogue may be initiated at different points in time in the Semester procedure.

[2] The two-pack legislative proposal suggests that the submission of national documents is anticipated to 15 April in the case of euro area countries.


Republishing and referencing

Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint. Anyone is free to republish and/or quote this post without prior consent. Please provide a full reference, clearly stating Bruegel and the relevant author as the source, and include a prominent hyperlink to the original post.

View comments
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Opening speech by Bruno Le Maire

Bruno Le Maire, minister of the economy and finance, delivered the opening speech at Bruegel's event “The Eurozone agreement – a mini revolution?”, 8 July 2019.

By: Bruno Le Maire Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 9, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

‘Lo spread’: The collateral damage of Italy’s confrontation with the EU

The authors assess whether the European Commission's actions towards Italy since September 2018 have had a visible impact on the spread between Italian sovereign-bond yields and those of Germany, and particularly whether the Commission’s warnings have acted as a ‘signalling device’ for bond-market participants that it might be difficult for Italy to obtain the support of the ESM or the ECB’s OMT programme if needed.

By: Grégory Claeys and Jan Mazza Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 8, 2019
Read article More by this author

Blog Post

It’s hard to live in the city: Berlin’s rent freeze and the economics of rent control

A proposal in Berlin to ban increases in rent for the next five years sparked intense debate in Germany. Similar policies to the Mietendeckel are currently being discussed in London and NYC. All three proposals reflect and raise similar concerns – the increase in per-capita incomes is not keeping pace with increases in rents, but will a cap do more harm than good? We review recent views on the matter.

By: Inês Goncalves Raposo Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 8, 2019
Read about event More on this topic

Past Event

Past Event

Eurozone agreement: a mini revolution?

What does the new Eurozone budget do, and what does it not do? What are its strengths and weaknesses?

Speakers: Bruno Le Maire and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: July 8, 2019
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Director's Cut: Priorities for the new ECB president

In this Director's Cut of 'The Sound of Economics', Guntram Wolff talks to two of the authors of Bruegel's memo to the new ECB president, Maria Demertzis and Grégory Claeys, to specify the most important issues at the beginning of this eight-year cycle and to clarify the parameters within which the new incumbent will have to work.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 4, 2019
Read article Download PDF

Policy Brief

The threats to the European Union’s economic sovereignty

Memo to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The authors describe the current context and the increasing interlinkages between economics and power politics and the role to play in reinforcing and defending Europe’s economic sovereignty.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Global Economics & Governance Date: July 4, 2019
Read article Download PDF More on this topic

Policy Brief

Preparing for uncertainty

Memo to the president of the European Central Bank. Grégory Claeys, Maria Demertzis and Francesco Papadia present the challenges that the next ECB president will face during the upcoming mandate, reinventing monetary policy in a system riddled with uncertainties.

By: Grégory Claeys, Maria Demertzis and Francesco Papadia Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: July 3, 2019
Read about event

Upcoming Event

Sep
4-5
08:30

Bruegel Annual Meetings 2019

Bruegel's 2019 Annual Meetings will be held on 4-5 September and feature the launch of Bruegel's Memos to the New European Commission.

Speakers: Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Laurence Boone, Claire Bury, Vítor Constâncio, Zsolt Darvas, Maria Demertzis, Ottmar Edenhofer, Baroness Kishwer Falkner of Margravine, Alicia García-Herrero, Danuta Hübner, Mikaela Gavas, José Manuel González-Páramo, Mathew Heim, Yi Huang, Korbinian Ibel, Pascal Lamy, Päivi Leino-Sandberg, Ann Mettler, Ashoka Mody, Mateusz Morawiecki, Mark Leonard, Stefano Manservisi, Erik F. Nielsen, Florence Parly, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Lapo Pistelli, Lucrezia Reichlin, Joakim Reiter, André Sapir, Olaf Scholz, Sena Siaw-Boateng, Philipp Steinberg, Alexander Stubb, Ezequiel Szafir, Laura Tyson, Nicolas Véron, Reinhilde Veugelers, Sabine Weyand, Thomas Wieser, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation, Global Economics & Governance, Innovation & Competition Policy Location: Palais des Academies, Rue Ducale 1, 1000 Brussels
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Podcast

Podcast

Director's Cut: ECB monetary policy decisions deconstructed

In this Director’s Cut, Bruegel’s Grégory Claeys and Maria Demertzis take a deeper look at whether the monetary policy decisions made by the ECB over the past three presidential eras arrived by consensus, by unanimity or by majority votes of the governing council.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 27, 2019
Read article More on this topic

Blog Post

The evolution of the ECB governing council's decision-making

Before it is decided who will chair the governing council for the next eight years, the authors look back and examine precisely how decisions have been taken since the ECB was created – by unanimity, by majority, or by consensus.

By: Grégory Claeys and Tanja Linta Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 27, 2019
Read about event

Upcoming Event

Sep
16
08:30

Climate change and the role of central banks

What connections exist between central banks and climate change, and what are the resulting implications?

Speakers: Emanuele Campiglio, Paul Hiebert, Pierre Monnin, Kjell G. Nyborg, Luiz Awazu Pereira da Silva, Mario Quagliariello, Mattia Romani, Paweł Samecki and Dirk Schoenmaker Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Narodowy Bank Polski, Świętokrzyska 11/21, 00-919 Warsaw
Read article More on this topic More by this author

Blog Post

Where Brexit goes, the law shall follow

How the financial industry and the law firms that support it are preparing for what comes next

By: Rebecca Christie Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 25, 2019
Load more posts