Where: Brussels, Belgium
Topic: Economy, finance, tax and competition
Organiser: European Commission
On 29 May, the European Commission will adopt its annual set of policy recommendations to EU Member States. The recommendations are based on a detailed assessment of the economic, employment and budgetary situation in each country and on the policy plans they have submitted. Where required, the Commission will recommend further budgetary, structural and growth-enhancing measures which Member States should adopt over the following 12 months. Recommendations will be made to Member States that are not in a macroeconomic adjustment programme, and a separate recommendation will be made to the euro area as a whole. The recommendations will be endorsed by the European Council in June and formally adopted by the Council in July.
On this occasion, the European Commission will also present recommendations for certain Member States in Excessive Deficit Procedure and for those which underwent in-depth reviews in the context of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure. As a complement to this exercise, the Commission will also present a Communication on the adjustment path for each Member State towards its medium-term objective of a balanced budget in structural terms, as defined in the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance (the ‘Fiscal Compact Treaty’).
The presentation of the Country-Specific Recommendations is a key moment in the European Semester, the EU's calendar for economic policy coordination. It begins each year with the Annual Growth Survey, which sets out general economic policy guidelines for the EU as a whole. The priorities in the 2013 Annual Growth Survey were endorsed by the European Council in March this year. Taking those priorities into account, Member States have over the past two months submitted their medium-term budgetary plans and annual structural reform plans to the Commission. The Country-Specific Recommendations are the Commission's response to these.
The Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) is the corrective arm of the strengthened Stability and Growth Pact. Its purpose is to ensure that Member States can reduce excessive deficits and debt levels in a timely and lasting way. Member States currently in the EDP must comply with the recommendations and deadlines decided by the EU Council to correct their excessive deficit. The Commission has also received a mandate under the Fiscal Compact Treaty to report on how Member States are meeting their medium-term budgetary objectives, which is important as the Commission focuses on ensuring sustainable public finances over time.
At its meeting on 29 May, the Commission will adopt 24 sets of proposed country-specific recommendations (for the 27 Member States plus the euro area - excluding the programme countries). In parallel, new recommendations for certain Member States in Excessive Deficit Procedure will be presented, for subsequent consideration by the ECOFIN Council in June. The Commission will also adopt a general Communication setting out the key messages contained in the recommendations, and will answer questions on the decisions at a press conference the same day.
Press releases will be available on the day, along with the text of the Communication adopted by the Commission, the 24 sets of recommendations and 29 Commission staff working documents containing an economic analysis of the 27 Member States, Croatia and the euro area as a whole. These will be accompanied by the appropriate proposals for Recommendations under the Excessive Deficit Procedure and the Communication on the path towards the medium-term objective.