01/12/2015 – This Report produced for the Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union focuses on the social dimension of the European Semester. It reviews developments in the 2015 European Semester and provides recommendations about ways of further strengthening its social dimension, including as regards broader social stakeholder participation. It also discusses recent more ambitious proposals for restructuring the European Semester.
On 27 November 2015, the EU Semester Alliance held its first stakeholder dialogue meeting with key representatives from the European Commission and the Council of Ministers engaged in the Semester process. This first roundtable exchange discussed the latest developments and changes in the 2016 European Semester, in the light of the 5 Presidents Report, including a first reaction to the new Annual Growth Survey based on the Alliance’s joint letter to President Juncker, set within the broader context of how to progress on a more democratic, social and sustainable Europe.
Eurodiaconia publishes its analysis of the 2015 European Semester cycle, offering a critical assessment of positive and negative trends on the basis of national members’ observations.
The Better Europe Alliance in its meeting with the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs today will call for social and environmental concerns to be put at the heart of EU policy. This requires a change of policy direction without which the EU and Ireland will fail to meet commitments on poverty reduction and climate change in 2020.
Semester Alliance will attend the EESC & the ESC of Luxemburg conference on “Common social values and principles & social governance” on 4 November 2015, in Luxembourg. Shared social values and principles, along with coordinated social policies play a crucial role in defining the European identity and add value to the European project, while promoting growth.
17/09/2015 – Yesterday, the Semester Alliance broad coalition addressed a letter to European Commission President Juncker to express its concern about the direction his Commission has taken when it adopted the Country Specific Recommendations for 2015. The letter urges him “to address this and turn the 2016 AGS into a first step towards a European Semester that is democratic, social, sustainable and inclusive“. “Using the European Semester purely as an instrument to ensure macro-economic and monetary stability will not help you bring the EU closer to its citizens”. #semesteralliance #AGS2016 Continue Reading
The EESC Steering Committee on Europe 2020 organized a timely conference on reshaping Europe 2020, to underpin the EU’s future strategy for a more inclusive and sustainable recovery to the crisis. Mary Collins, EWL, spoke on behalf of the Semester Alliance, highlighting its recent actions to support engagement by civil society in the Semester, including 3 successful cross-sectoral pilot alliances in Denmark, Bulgaria and Ireland. Ms Collins also presented the Alliance’s assessment of the European Semester, including the country-specific recommendations 2015, underlining concern about the disappearance of Europe 2020 from EU narrative.
19/06/2015, Euractiv, Open Editorial by Jana Hainsworth, President of the Social Platform, addressing Commissioner Frans Timmermans. “As poverty and inequalities worsen in the European Union, Frans Timmermans needs to nurture the debate between European decision-makers and civil society, not criticise the intentions and effectiveness of the latter”, writes Jana Hainsworth.
19/06/2015 – The EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester also called ‘Semester Alliance’ addressed a letter yesterday to Heads of States and top EU officials ahead of the EU Council next 25 & 26 June on the endorsement of the 2015 Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs). The Semester Alliance highlights that the EU has failed to deliver an inclusive recovery strategy and that immediate action is needed to bring the Europe 2020 back on track with all its initial goals.
30/05/2015- The country-specific recommendations (CSRs) released by the European Commission are devoid of any mention of Environmentally Harmful Subsidies, expert platform Green Budget Europe (GBE) reveals. This stands in stark contrast to the CSRs issued in 2014, when the Commission pointedly asked Italy to “remove environmentally harmful subsidies”. Last year, the Commission had also requested both Belgium and France to “phase out environmentally harmful subsidies”. GBE says: “Overall, the entire CSRs run to around 5,000 words but the very word environment is only used in once. That’s in relation to one of Europe’s smallest countries – Luxembourg – which the Commission asks to “broaden its tax base, in particular on consumption, recurrent property taxation and environmental taxation”.