Each EU institution has a part to play in making sure the EU is moving in the right direction to hit the Europe 2020 targets.
With its overview of EU policies and the interdependences between the EU and its Member States, the European Council is responsible for steering the strategy through:
Monitoring and peer review are the main task for the Council, where national ministers responsible for the relevant policy areas (e.g. competitiveness, employment and education) discuss implementation of the national reform programme in their area of competence. (progress towards targets and flagship initiatives)
The European Semester was set up to reinforce budgetary and economic coordination and prevent threats to financial stability. To support it, the Commission is deploying European Semester Officers in the Commission’s Representations in the Member States. Many of them have already taken up their functions (in Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, the Netherlands, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom) and the remaining are expected to do so in the near future.
The European Semester Officers are expected to help to deliver better and closer economic policy coordination within the EU, as agreed by Member States.
How does it work in practice? The Officers are there – on the ground – to explain the sometimes complex details of economic governance. They work together with all relevant groups across society, including ministries, national, regional and local parliaments, social partners and other interest groups, to get a balanced picture of the challenges that a particular Member State is facing.
The Officers also reinforce the communication activities of the European Commission related to the Europe 2020 Strategy and the European Semester, with a special focus on the Country Specific Recommendations.
To find a European Semester Officer in your country, please consult the websites of the European Commission Representations.
The European Parliament plays an important role in the strategy, not only as co-legislator – notably for the legislative proposals that are part of the flagship initiatives – but also as a driving force for mobilising citizens and national parliaments. Each year before the Spring European Council, Parliament may present a resolution assessing the Europe 2020 strategy as an input for discussions.
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) gives shape to the participation of national social partners and civil society in the practical implementation of the Europe2020 Strategy. It focuses on co-ownership of national societal forces in Europe2020 and on mobilising transborder networks. The EESC has a Europe2020 Steering Committee with the mandate:
Territorial cohesion is at the heart of the Europe 2020 strategy, and the Committee of the Regions (CoR) gives support for and policy input into the implementation of the strategy. The Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform of the CoR is a tool for the EU local and regional authorities to have a say in the policy process.
The Europe 2020 Monitoring Platform aims to:
The CoR has proposed that Europe 2020 be implemented through Territorial Pacts, i.e. agreements between local, regional and national authorities aimed at achieving the goals and targets of the new strategy in partnership.
These two institutions play a central role in developing new financing instruments to respond to business needs. Both can back a ‛virtuous circle’ of profitable funding for innovation and entrepreneurship, right through from early stage investments to listing on stock markets. This can be done in partnership with the many public initiatives and schemes already in place at national level