The European Semester is a mechanism to better coordinate economic policies in European Union countries. The European Semester is based on the idea that, because EU economies are highly integrated, enhanced policy coordination can help boost economic development in the EU generally.
'Greening the European Semester' is about how to ensure that our macroeconomic policies are sustainable, not only economically and socially, but also environmentally. Environmental policies can contribute to sustainable economic recovery and jobs growth in many ways. Resource efficiency and circular economy are clearly such a contribution, but there are many more themes, such as environmental fiscal reform, including tax shifts from labour to environmental pollution.
Greening the European Semester is a challenge for both the European Commission who prepares each year Country Specific Recommendations, and the Member States, who update their National Reform Programmes annually.
Discussion with Member States and stakeholders takes place in the Expert Group 'Greening the European Semester / Environmental Implementation Review' which meets twice per year, normally in January and September. The first meeting of this joint group took place on 14th September 2016 and the next meeting will be held on 7th September 2017.