The country-specific recommendations are documents prepared by the European Commission for each Member State, which analyse its economic situation and provide tailored policy advice on measures that it should adopt over the coming 18 months. They cover the particular challenges that the Member State is facing in a broad range of areas: the state of public finances, reforms of pension systems, measures to create jobs and to fight unemployment, education and innovation challenges, efficiency of the public administration, competition etc. The final adoption of country-specific recommendations prepared by the Commission takes place at the highest level by national leaders in the European Council.
Following a request from Greece in April 2010, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund agreed an economic adjustment programme with the Greek authorities in May 2010. A second economic adjustment programme was agreed with the Greek authorities in March 2012.
After some delays, Greece has made substantial progress under its second economic adjustment programme. The fiscal position has further improved. On the financial side, the banking sector has stabilised and a second round of recapitalisations is being carried out. Important structural reforms have been implemented, including in product markets and in most areas of the public sector.
Greece needs to fully implement reforms with regard to its public finances, in order to ensure the achievement of its targets. In the banking sector, non-performing loans represent a challenge for the country. Tackling unemployment remains a priority, together with the upgrading of vocational education and improvements of social safety nets. Adopted or ongoing reforms need to be implemented in the areas of revenue administration, taxation, public financial management, privatisation, public administration, health care, pensions and the fight against corruption. Greece is recommended to correct its excessive deficit by 2016 at the latest. See how Greece compares with other EU Member States in key areas.
2014 European Commission's recommendations in brief
In order to avoid duplication with reform measures set out in the programme and consistently with the approach followed since 2011, the Commission has not issued additional recommendations to Greece in the framework of the European Semester.