The European Semester was established in 2010 as a mechanism to better coordinate economic policies in European Union countries. It was one of the EU's responses to the financial and economic crisis, which has resulted in economic contraction and rising unemployment in many EU 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 is 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.