European Semester

The European Semester is a comprehensive policy coordination process, which consists in an annual cycle of economic and fiscal policy coordination supposed to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive growth by the end of the decade. Through this process, the European Commission evaluates whether and to what extent the commitments undertaken by the Member States allow the EU to meet headline targets of the Europe 2020 strategy in essential areas such as employment rates, research and development, education - and the fight against poverty. 

The Semester is also a tool in macro-economic surveillance in the framework of the Stability and Growth Pact: governments submit their national budgets to the Commission in autumn, which approves or requires amendments to the budgets before their debates in national parliaments. The recommendations stemming from the Semester, proposed by the Commission and always adopted by the Council of economic and finance ministers, therefore also concern the targets for new debts (3% of GDP) and total debt (60% of GDP) introduced in the Maastricht treaty.

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