Economic, employment and fiscal policies: 2017 country-specific recommendations
On 11 July 2017, the Council issued its 2017 recommendations and opinions on the member states' economic, employment and fiscal policies.
This was the final stage of the 2017 'European Semester', an annual policy monitoring process. The recommendations had been endorsed the European Council in June.
In March 2017, the European Council approved the following priorities:
- boosting investment;
- pursuing structural reforms;
- responsible fiscal policies.
The European Semester involves simultaneous monitoring of the member states' economic, employment and fiscal policies during a six-month period every year.
In the light of policy guidance given by the European Council annually in March, the member states present each year in April:
- national reform programmes for their economic policies. These set out a macroeconomic scenario for the medium term, national targets for implementing the EU's "Europe 2020" strategy for jobs and growth, identification of the main obstacles to growth, and measures for growth-enhancing initiatives in the short term;
- stability or convergence programmes for their fiscal policies. Eurozone countries present stability programmes, whereas non-euro member states present convergence programmes. These set out medium-term budgetary objectives, the main assumptions about expected economic developments, a description of fiscal and economic policy measures, and an analysis of how changes in assumptions are susceptible to affect fiscal and debt positions.
The Council then adopts country-specific recommendations (CSRs) and opinions. It provides explanations in cases where the recommendations do not correspond with those proposed by the Commission.
The 2017 CSRs are addressed to 27 of the EU's 28 member states. To avoid duplication there is no CSR for Greece, as it is subject to enhanced policy surveillance under an economic adjustment programme.
The recommendations were adopted at a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, without discussion.
In March 2017, the Council adopted a specific recommendation on the economic policies of the euro area. It did so at an earlier stage so that eurozone issues be taken into account when approving the country-specific recommendations.
The recommendations can be found in the following documents: Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Hungary; Ireland; Italy; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; The Netherlands; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom.