1 March 2016 – The AGS behind, the Semester ahead: What proposals to make Europe 2020 more social, democratic and sustainable?
As a member of the EU Alliance for a Democratic, Social and Sustainable European Semester (EU Semester Alliance), Green Budget Europe co-organised a hearing to discuss proposals for the European Semester in 2016. The event took place in the European Parliament, Room ASP 5G1, on 1 March 2016 from 9h30 to 12h30, and was hosted by Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto MEP (S&D) and Marian Harkin MEP (ALDE).
The event came at a timely moment to kick-start discussion around the launch of 2016 European Semester, following the adoption of the Annual Growth Survey 2016 in November, and the finalizing of the EP own initiative Report on the European Semester for economic policy coordination – Employment and Social Aspects in the AGS 2016. Although some progress is seen in the new AGS, a major concern for many stakeholders is the loss of visibility and importance given to the Europe 2020 strategy, with no specific proposals made by the EU on the Mid-Term Review, already a year overdue, and in particular its vision of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. This includes how to make progress on the 5 targets – particularly lifting at least 20 million people out of poverty, achieving a 75% employment rate for women and men, reducing school dropout to below 10% and 40% completion of tertiary education by 30-34 year olds, and achieving a 20% increase in energy efficiency, and of mainstreaming gender and equality commitments. Action is also urgently needed to increase legitimacy, accountability and ownership with national and European Parliament and to make civil society and social stakeholders partners in the Semester process.
About the EU Semester Alliance
The EU Alliance for a Democratic, Social and Sustainable European Semester (EU Semester Alliance) is a broad coalition bringing together 16 major European civil-society organisations and trade unions, representing thousands of member organisations on the ground at European, national and local levels in the European Union. The ‘EU Semester Alliance’ aims to support progress towards a more democratic, social and sustainable Europe 2020 Strategy, through strengthening civil dialogue engagement in the European Semester at national and EU levels.. The EU Semester Alliance has been working actively in partnership with the European Parliament with the aim of strengthening the European Semester to deliver on its Europe 2020 promises and targets since 2012. The Alliance will present its proposals on the AGS 2016 and its report on the Country-specific Recommendations. This event is co-hosted by Sergio Gutierrez Prieto (S+D) and Marian Harkin (ALDE), with the active cross-party support.