The European Semester is an instrument for coordinating European economic policies that is useful for its analytical quality. Nevertheless, it is often criticised for the implementation of the recommendations it produces and therefore, more generally, for its effectiveness. In 2019, the new European Commission has shared its ambition to extend the scope of the European Semester to climate and social issues. The initiatives undertaken by the Commission in this direction are welcome but lack ambition and do not allow for a global consideration of these problems.
This paper explores the different reform paths to make the European Semester an effective coordination tool, serving the stability of the European economy and the protection of the environment, through the implantation of the Green Deal, as two interdependent objectives.
The European Semester is at the heart of the coordination of public policies carried out by the Member States. As such, it could serve as a key instrument for the monitoring and implementation of the European Green Deal, and more broadly for the implementation of climate and environmental objectives. However, it has been criticised for the nature of the recommendations it produces and the way in which these are followed up in practice. In 2019, the European Commission has stated its ambition to extend the themes of the European Semester to include climate and social issues. While the initiatives undertaken since then are welcome, they lack ambition and do not allow the climate and ecological crisis to be taken into account in a comprehensive way.
This note explores the various avenues of reform to make the European Semester an effective coordination tool, serving environmental protection and climate action as much as the European economy.
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