Economic policy is geared towards creating steady growth and more jobs in the EU. It addresses both immediate and longer-term challenges in areas such as public finances, macroeconomic imbalances and competitiveness, as well as the impacts of long-term trends such as population ageing and globalisation.
The 2016 European Semester kicked off last November with the Annual Growth Survey. The Commission considered that the economic and social priorities of the 2015 Annual Growth Survey remain valid; the priorities for 2016 are an update of these priorities, taking into account the progress made and new challenges emerging: re-launching investment, pursuing structural reforms, and responsible fiscal policies.
In order to better integrate the common challenges within the euro area with the individual national dimensions of the European Semester economic governance cycle, the Commission together with the 2016 Annual Growth Survey also issued a recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area as a whole. This was an important change from previous European Semester cycles, when such a recommendation was issued later on. The euro area recommendation focuses on key issues for a well-functioning euro area and provides orientation on concrete actions to be implemented.
In 2016, the Commission published a series of country reports analysing Member States' economic policies, which were summarised in a Communication . The reports include in-depth reviews of macro-economic imbalances and they assess the progress by Member States in the implementation of the 2015 country-specific recommendations.
|The Czech Republic|
|The United Kingdom|
As next step and before the summer, the Commission will publish the 2016 country-specific recommendations for each Member State.