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
This report explores the extent to which the European Semester is capturing and supporting Member States’ efforts to tackle homelessness in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy. It brings together the analysis FEANTSA has carried out throughout the 2014 Semester in order to draw conclusions about how various elements are orientating, monitoring and supporting Member States’ homelessness policies.
Translations of the EU Semester Alliance Toolkit for Engaging in Europe 2020 and the European Semester and of its Annex 4 (Glossary of terms and acronyms) in Finnish, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Hungarian are now available!
The Irish Semester Conference on Promoting a Socially, Economically and Environmentally Sustainable Ireland in Europe held on 5 December 2014 brought together 70 social and environmental activists and decision-makers to discuss how to bring The Better Europe Alliance concerns to the table, particularly with the mid-term review of the 10-year Europe 2020 Strategy in 2015. A video of the conference is now available, along with a comprehensive background publication.
On 03/12/2014, the EU Semester Alliance held a well-attended hearing in the European Parliament, Giving a Voice to Civil Society Proposals for Europe 2020, hosted by Hon. Jean Lambert MEP (Greens / EFA) and Hon. Marian Harkin MEP (ALDE). A short report of the hearing, with the Semester Alliance key messages and links to the presentations and photos of the event, is now available. Continue Reading
On 6th June 2014, the European Alliance for a Democratic, Social and Sustainable European semester held a Capacity Building workshop for 35 Alliance members in Brussels. The workshop was primarily aimed at national members of the Alliance, including the 3 pilot alliances in Bulgaria, Denmark and Ireland, but also at representatives from Brussels-based Alliance members. Read the full report! Continue Reading
On the 3rd December, the EU Semester Alliance held a well-attended hearing in the European Parliament, hosted by Hon. Jean Lambert MEP (Greens / EFA) and Hon. Marian Harkin MEP (ALDE). It is the second such hearing organized by the Alliance in 2014, presenting to decision-makers and stakeholders the Alliance’s assessment of and proposals for a democratic, social and sustainable way forward for the Europe 2020 Strategy and the European Semester in 2015. Continue Reading
Brussels, 03/12/2014 – Today, the EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester, a broad coalition bringing together environmental, social and equality NGOs and trade unions, is holding a hearing in the European Parliament hosted by Jean Lambert MEP (Greens/EFA) and Marian Harkin (ALDE). The hearing aims to highlight the missing voice of civil society in the debate on the revision of the Europe 2020 Strategy, and the urgent need to include them as key partners in the EU governance process known as the European Semester, at national and EU level. It will also debate with Parliament and stakeholders, initial reactions to the new AGS 2015 package adopted by the European Commission on Friday the 28th November.
“The EU Semester Alliance believes that the Europe 2020 Strategy could form the basis of a rebalanced agenda for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, but significant changes are needed. Key to progress is governance. The Semester needs to connect to people and organizations on the ground, who are working directly with the result of EU policies, and involve them effectively in the decision-making process. Though the new AGS 2015 gives some recognition of this, concrete steps forward are needed”, said Barbara Helfferich, Chair of the EU Semester Alliance.
“Participation is about ownership and legitimacy, but also about getting better solutions. Europe 2020 has to be put back at the heart of this Semester process, and clear commitment given to deliver on the failed poverty, social and environmental targets and to make progress on equality goals. The new AGS 2015, focusing on market-led investment, more structural reforms and continued austerity cuts to public spending, doesn’t appear to give much hope to the people living in Europe of delivering tangible results. We had expected that the new Commission would give new priority to Europe 2020 targets on poverty, employment, and climate/ resource efficiency. The focus must shift away from short-term quick fix to how to deliver long-term prosperity, sustainable development, social justice and gender equality based on fundamental rights. Greater ownership and accountability would help the whole process to live up to its full potential’, she added.
The event will present the Semester Alliance assessments and key messages for revision of the strategy, including the findings of 3 pilot cross-sectoral national alliances in Bulgaria, Denmark and Ireland and will debate with cross party representation of MEPs from the European Parliament and other EU institutions on the new AGS 2015 and the way forward for Europe.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
See Key Messages and Report
- Key Messages from the Semester Alliance
- Let’s make the European Semester smart, sustainable and inclusive – Report on the European Semester, and contribution to the Mid-Term Review of Europe 2020.
- Barbara Helfferich, European Anti-Poverty Network, Chair of EU Semester Alliance with Richard Pond (EPSU), Mary Collins (EWL) and Constanze Adolf (GBE).
- National Cross-Sectoral Pilot Alliances:
– Bulgaria – Douhomir Minev
– Denmark – Natalia Rogaczewska
– Ireland – Paul Ginnell
The EU Alliance for a democratic, social and sustainable European Semester (EU Semester Alliance) is a broad coalition bringing together 15 major European civil-society organisations and trade unions, representing thousands of member organisations on the ground at European, national and local levels in the European Union.
The ‘Semester Alliance’ aims to support progress towards a more democratic, social and sustainable Europe 2020 Strategy, through strengthening civil dialogue engagement in the European Semester at national and EU levels. Its activities include capacity-building and awareness raising as well as joint advocacy actions and support to 3 national pilot cross-sectoral alliances in Bulgaria, Denmark and Ireland.It is currently funded by the European Commission under the framework of a Joint Action, supported by the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (VP/2013/006)
The EU Semester Alliance members
The EU Alliance members include:
- Age Platform Europe
- Caritas Europa
- Housing Europe
- European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN)
- European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD)
- European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
- European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA)
- European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless (FEANTSA)
- European Public Service Union (EPSU)
- European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
- European Women’s Lobby (EWL)
- Green Budget Europe
- Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
The Alliance’s other key publications
- EU Semester Alliance’s analysis of the 2014 Semester
- Tool Kit for engaging in Europe 2020 and the Semester
The EU Semester Alliance – A voice to be heard and followed
Enabling civil-society to participate in the shaping of EU policies and to contribute to progress on the Targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy concerns us all!
For press inquiries, Contact Nellie Epinat (firstname.lastname@example.org) +32 (0)498 44 13 66 or Sian Jones, Coordinator of the Semester Alliance (email@example.com) +32 (2) 226 58 50