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.
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.
EPSU, the European Federation of Public Service Unions, has been running the No Tax Fraud Campaign http://www.notaxfraud.eu/ to fight the tax gap in Europe estimated at € 1000 bn per year (Study by UK expert Richard Murphy for the S&D), as part of the alternatives to EU-coordinated austerity. EPSU believes that it is essential to tackle tax evasion and corporate tax avoidance and ensure that governments are able to collect the levels of the tax that have been democratically agreed to finance public services and redistribute wealth and income.
02 February 2015 – Today, the EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester or (EU Semester Alliance) releases A Beating Heart for a Better Europe. This video highlights the main activities, benefits and learning of the EU Semester Alliance, particularly incorporating the views of the national level and external stakeholders.
The European Semester of policy coordination, which is the core of EU’s new institutional architecture for economic and social governance, introduced since the beginning of the Euro crisis, has prompted questions about the nature and dynamics of the EU’s emerging socio-economic governance architecture. In this report, which refers several times to the EU Semester Alliance, Jonathan Zeitlin and Bart Vanhercke argue that since 2011, there has been a partial but progressive ‘socialization’ of the European Semester. Continue Reading
25/11/2014 – The resolution promoted by Marita Ulvskog acting chair of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, was adopted in plenary by a good majority. It includes some important commitments promoted by EAPN and the Semester Alliance: including the need for benefits to be spread throughout society, on access for the most vulnerable to social security and the labour market, on civil society involvement, on the job potential of the green economy & on IMF, demand for quality jobs and ILO warnings on the risks of growing inequalities. 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.
The EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester (Semester Alliance) presented its initial assessment of the Semester: Proposals for 2014 Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs): Progressing on a Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive EU, proposing country-specific recommendations in country fiches, at its launch at the EESC on 07 April 2014. This draws on the work of Alliance partners’ national members, who are attempting to engage in the Semester, particularly through the National Reform Programmes (NRPs) and Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) at national level, and represents initial attempts to assess macroeconomic, social, environmental and equality policies being delivered through the Semester and to present combined proposals for CSRs that could help achieve progress towards the social, equality and environmental goals and targets of Europe 2020. Continue Reading
Press release – Brussels, 07 April 2014 – The new EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester, a broad coalition bringing together environmental, social and equality NGOs and trade unions, holds its launch in the EESC. Highlighting the failure of the Europe 2020 Strategy commitments and official targets in the social, environmental, employment and equality fields, the Alliance members come together to call for progress on the Europe 2020 Strategy’s commitments and for reviving the involvement of civil-society organisations and trade unions in the shaping of European policies. Continue Reading