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)
Every EU capital city has a European Commission Representation which helps to bring the Commission closer to what is going on the Member States. The Commission has now posted specialist "European Semester Officers" in each Representation.
The European Semester Officers are economic policy experts who can help to explain the sometimes complex details of EU economic governance to national stakeholders. Their mission is also to get a balanced picture of the challenges that the Member State is facing so that the annual country-specific recommendations will best reflect the realities on the ground. They work together with all relevant groups across society, including ministries, national, regional and local parliaments, social partners and other interest groups.
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, including in mobilising national parliaments to play their part. With the new rules on economic governance, the European Parliament can establish an Economic Dialogue with the Council and the Commission.
Essentially this means that European Parliament members can scrutinise and request answers from the two institutions on their proposals and decisions at any time during the process. This makes the process more transparent and the Council and Commission more accountable.
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:
The Committee of the Regions (CoR) gives support for and policy input into the implementation of the strategy from the standpoint of EU cities and regions, e.g. by adopting Opinions on related initiatives and policies, by organising stakeholder surveys, consultations and thematic conferences, and by working together with the EU institutions.
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.