About greening the European Semester
The European Semester process is an opportunity to show that the environment is part of the solution to the economic and financial crisis, and conversely that our macroeconomic instruments can also act in support also of environmental objectives.
The 2018 Semester started with the adoption of the Annual Growth Survey 2018. The Annual Growth Survey sets out the general economic priorities for the EU and offers EU governments policy guidance for the following year. Among these priorities, the circular economy is mentioned as follows (p.3 and p.5):
“Investments raising productivity are crucial to ensure future growth prospects. Targeted investment in areas such as infrastructure, education, training, health, research, digital innovation and the circular economy can increase both productivity and employment. However, there is a need to prevent the build-up of bubbles linked to the inefficient allocation of resources. As the economic crisis made clear, this is particularly important in the euro area, where economies are financially more integrated and are subject to greater spillover effects. Stronger micro- and macro-prudential supervision may help to achieve this”.
“Investment that enhances environmental sustainability has the potential to boost productivity across the economy through enhanced resource efficiency and reduced input costs, whilst reducing external costs and impacts. Support for the transition towards a circular economy will create new jobs in innovative, maintenance and repair services and in designing and making new, more sustainable products. Potential specific areas include public procurement, investments in waste and water infrastructure, construction, critical raw materials, biofuels and biochemicals”.
The 2018 Semester analytical Country reports can be found here.
The Commission adopted 22.05.17 the proposed Country Specific Recommendations for 2017. These were endorsed by the European Council in June 2017 and adopted by the ECOFIN Council in July 2017.