The Country-specific Recommendations are documents prepared by the European Commission for each country, analysing its economic situation and providing recommendations on measures it should adopt over the coming 18 months. They are tailored to the particular issues the Member State is facing and cover a broad range of topics: the state of public finances, reforms of pension systems, measures to create jobs and to fight unemployment, education and innovation challenges, etc. The final adoption of Country-specific Recommendations prepared by the Commission is done at the highest level by national leaders in the European Council.
Following a request from Greece in April 2010, the European Commission, on behalf of the euro area Member States, the ECB and the IMF negotiated an economic adjustment programme with the Greek authorities, which was agreed by the European Council on 2 May 2010 and by the IMF board on 9 May 2010.
Greece continues to make progress under the programme, but implementation risks remain high and full commitment by the authorities remains paramount to consolidate recent improvements. Public finances are steadily improving, the banking sector recapitalisation has reached an advanced stage and important structural reforms are being implemented. Nevertheless, further efforts are still needed and a determined implementation of the reforms included in the programme is critical. The next review mission of the second economic adjustment programme is expected to start on 4 June.
Further challenges remain to reform the tax system and fight evasion, deliver the delayed public administration reform, increase competition in product and services markets, improve the energy and transport sectors and the business environment. The authorities should also continue the upgrade of the education system and introduce measures to promote employment and improve the country's social safety net within the current budgetary envelope.
2013 European Commission's recommendations for Greece
The European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund agreed a second Economic Adjustment Programme with the Greek authorities in March 2012. In order to avoid duplication with reform measures set out in the programme, the Commission has not issued any additional recommendations to Greece in the framework of the European Semester.