Latvia faces major challenges in relation to healthcare and poverty, particularly as regards adequate social protection, and access to affordable housing. It suffered sharp economic decline as a result of the crisis and then further pain as austerity measures promoted by the European Commission resulted in massive cuts in public spending. Latvia is not an austerity success story and urgent and major action is needed to reduce poverty, address housing shortages and turn the ailing health system around.
The report Focus on Latvia proposes suggestions from the Semester Alliance of the kinds of Country Specific Recommendations that are needed in 2017 to begin to tackle the major challenges across these three policy areas.
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Green Budget Europe, together with CEE-Bankwatch and the European Environmental Bureau have carried out an assessment of the 2016 European Semester Country Reports among our network of members and national experts for their country. Continue Reading
On 20 September, the European Semester Alliance held a capacity building session for its members. It was hosted by the European Confederation of Independent Trade Unions (CESI), with the participation of 18 Alliance members from a wide range of social, environmental NGOs and trade unions.
The Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) urges the EU and governments to enforce labour rights for migrant workers, regardless of their residence status.
Brussels, 23 May 2016 – On 18 May, the European Commission published the 2016 Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) proposals. EAPN welcomes the increased number of CSRs with a focus on ‘poverty reduction and social inclusion’ from 6 (2015) to 11 Member States (BG, CZ, ES, HR, HU, IE, IT, LV, PT, RO, SK), underpinned by Commissioner Thyssen’s statement in the CSR Press Release “this year’s recommendations have a strong focus on social and employment issues. Only by ensuring that social considerations are better integrated in all EU policy areas we will truly achieve a Social Europe.”
Commission’s country-specific recommendations to Member States also miss the opportunity to achieve a tax shift to support Europe’s energy transition, action on climate and the Circular Economy
On 1 March 2016 – (9.30-12.30), Sergio Gutierrez Prieto (S&D) and Marian Harkin (ALDE), with the EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester, hosted a very well-attended hearing The AGS behind, the Semester ahead, what proposals to make Europe 2020 more social, democratic and sustainable? in the European Parliament. The Alliance presented its proposals on the AGS 2016 and its report on the Country-specific Recommendations with concrete key messages.
On 8th January 2016, the EU Semester Alliance held a 2nd stakeholder dialogue meeting with key representatives from the EU institutions: Roy Dickinson, Adviser to the Director on Policy, strategy and co-ordination, DG Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN, European Commission). The exchange with ECFIN focussed on 3 key issues: What could be done by the EU to ensure that quality civil society engagement was promoted at all stages in the European Semester; a first discussion on the Annual Growth Survey 2016, and how progress could be made on a more social and sustainable EU. Continue Reading
04/01/2016 – Green Budget Europe, in collaboration with CEE BankWatch, EEB and WWF, published Country-Specific Recommendations for 23 EU Member States and the Eurozone in support of the European Semester Cycle.
SEMESTER ALLIANCE ISSUES ITS JOINT POSITION ON COUNTRY-SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS 2015 and AGS 2016