Navigation path

Additional tools

  • Print version
  • Decrease text
  • Increase text

Results of the 2013 European Semester – Country specific recommendations in the area of child and family policy

30/08/2013

At the occasion of the European Semester the European Commission discusses with the Member States their progress towards achieving the targets of the commonly agreed Europe  2020 strategy. During this annual cycle national economic, social and structural reforms are monitored and coordinated. The Semester ends when the Council adopts so called Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) that were proposed by the Commission.  The CSRs aim at a stronger foundation for growth after the crisis and highlight how countries may enhance their growth potential, increase employment opportunities and competitiveness in 2013-2014.

At the occasion of the European Semester the European Commission discusses with the Member States their progress towards achieving the targets of the commonly agreed Europe  2020 strategy. During this annual cycle national economic, social and structural reforms are monitored and coordinated. The Semester ends when the Council adopts so called Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) that were proposed by the Commission.  The CSRs aim at a stronger foundation for growth after the crisis and highlight how countries may enhance their growth potential, increase employment opportunities and competitiveness in 2013-2014.

A new European Semester starts at the end of the year after the Commission has adopted its European survey for annual growth. The paper establishes the key priorities for the year ahead to encourage more economic growth and employment.

The CSRs provide tailor made policy advice to guide a member state’s policies and they cover a wide range of issues from the labour market, public finance to structural reform.  The Programme countries (i.e. Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus) do not receive CSRs because their programmes are monitored separately and more rigorously with the aim to re-establish as quickly as possible financial stability, competitiveness and growth.

One of the most important headline targets of the Europe 2020 strategy is a reduction in the number of poor people with 20 million persons by 2020. The current on-going crisis is putting this target at considerable risk. The Commission has voiced its concern about the rise in poverty (especially that of child poverty) in its CSRs to several Member States.  In 2012 just two countries (UK and Spain) had a CSR on child poverty and now there are five (Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Romania and the UK).

The Commission has stressed in its recent Recommendation on investing in children, which is part of its Social Investment Package, that better spending on children is key to realising a competent and productive knowledge economy and to making our societies more equitable.  It is widely acknowledged that that participation in Early Childhood Education and Care is of paramount importance to prevent disadvantaged children from leaving school early, to ensure better health, employment prospects and to foster upward social mobility. This is why in 2012 9 countries had a CSR on available, affordable and quality childcare and in 2013 there are 12pdf(181 kB).

When designing recovery programmes policy makers should pay attention to the vulnerability of poor families and their children, equality and fairness must lie at the heart of any effective and sustainable reform. This is reflected in the fact that the number of countries with a CSR on the efficiency of social assistance went from 4 to 10 while the number with a CSR on the adequacy and coverage of social protection benefits went from 2 to 8. The European Semester is the main Commission instrument to support the MSs to step up their investment in children.

Subscribe
Unsubscribe