The effectiveness of the European Semester from a governance perspective
The aim of this paper is to explain the European Semester, to analyse its governance abilities and to develop and propose messages on how to advocate for the inclusion of low-carbon objectives related to climate and energy policy, as well as the enforcement of the Circular Economy Package.
The Semester, theoretically, offers an opportunity for persistent and diligent monitoring to bring the EU on track towards the achievement of its medium and long-term goals.
However, this process is currently facing severe inconsistencies and sudden governance shifts such as dropping climate and energy from the Semester in 2015 and shifting them towards the Energy Union framework which will not be operational for up to five years. Such uncertainty is therefore threatening the credibility of the policy cycle as an efficient mechanism to address shortfalls in the climate and energy policies of Member States.
Currently, there is no governance process outside the climate and energy directives and regulations to enforce the EU’s 2020 climate and energy targets. This governance gap delays important job and investment opportunities and puts sustainable growth on hold.