10/07/2013 - Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN)
European Semester 2013 completed
On 9 July 2013, the Ecofin Council concluded this year's coordination of economic and fiscal policies during the European Semester.
The Ecofin Council also adopted a decision allowing
Latvia to join the euro as from 1 January 2014. The
decision will enlarge the euro area to 18 member
© European Union, 2013
The Council formally adopted the European Semester package, including country-specific recommendations, following endorsement by the June European Council.
The package consists of:
- recommendations to 23 member states on the economic and employment policies set out in their national reform programmes, as well as opinions on their fiscal policies, as presented in their stability or convergence programmes
- a specific recommendation on the economic policies of the member states of the euro area
- explanations in cases where the country-specific recommendations do not comply with those proposed by the Commission.
Countries subject to macroeconomic adjustment programmes (Cyprus, Ireland, Greece and Portugal) are not included in the recommendations. Croatia, which joined the EU on 1 July 2013, will be covered by the next cycle starting in January 2014.
The European Semester involves simultaneous monitoring by the Commission of the member states' economic, employment and fiscal policies during a six-month period every year.
The Spring European Council set the priorities for this year's European Semester. Given the stagnation of economic activity forecast for 2013 and the unacceptably high levels of unemployment, the European Council emphasised the need to accelerate efforts to support growth as a matter of priority whilst pursuing growth-friendly fiscal consolidation.
These priorities have been taken account of in the member states' national reform programmes, and in the stability programmes (for euro area countries) or convergence programmes (for non-euro members), presented each year in April.