Brussels, 25/06/2014 – The Semester Alliance, a broad European coalition bringing together environmental, social and equality NGOs and trade unions, releases its initial assessment of the European Commission’s proposals on Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) in view of the European Heads of States meeting on 26-27 June. Whilst welcoming some progress on more inclusive and sustainable CSRs, it is still seriously undermined by macroeconomic priorities focusing almost exclusively on austerity and competitiveness. The Semester Alliance also highlights the importance of increasing involvement of civil-society stakeholders, still seriously lacking in the CSR process. Continue Reading
Last 06/06/2014, the Semester Alliance held a 1-day Capacity Building workshop for 35 Alliance members in Brussels which several participants considered a “very useful, dynamic and powerful day”. The workshop was primarily aimed at national members of the Alliance, including the 3 pilot alliances in Denmark, Bulgaria and Ireland, but also representatives from the Brussels level. Continue Reading
The European Commission’s proposals on Country-specific Recommendations were out this Monday 02/06/2014. The overall message is that economic progress is being made. With growth returning and public finances improving, arguing that the medicine of austerity has worked. However, there is a recognition of the big challenges of unemployment, and rising poverty and social exclusion, affecting nearly 1 in 4 of the EU population, with fairness consideration coming to the fore. The key criteria are the AGS priorities, and the previous CSRs – but there is little consistent reference to the Europe 2020 targets, including climate/resource efficiency.
Bulgaria, Denmark and Ireland are the countries which the Semester Alliance members have identified as the 3 national-pilot members and whose aim is to carry out cross-sectoral joint work at national level on the European Semester, to achieve social, sustainable and equality policy outcomes. National pilots represent an added value for the Semester Alliance, bringing to it the national perspective. Continue Reading