With its Annual Growth Survey (AGS) the Commission kicks-off the 2016 European Semester. It sets out the economic and social policy priorities and recommends that EU countries re-launch investment, pursue structural reforms and implement responsible fiscal policies to strengthen recovery and foster convergence.
Today’s package launches the annual cycle of economic governance. It sets out general economic and social priorities for the EU and gives Member States policy guidance for the following year.
Policy challenges vary across countries, so responses will also vary. However, there are overarching themes that affect the EU as a whole. To strengthen the recovery and foster convergence, the Commission recommends building on the three main pillars identified last year for the EU's economic and social policy: re-launching investment, pursuing structural reforms and responsible fiscal policies.
Apart from the Annual Growth Survey the package also includes the Alert Mechanism Report and the draft Joint Employment Report and other related documents. In order to better integrate the euro area and national dimensions of the EU economic governance, the 2016 Annual Growth Survey this time is also accompanied by a recommendation for a Council Recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area.
The Alert Mechanism Report is the starting point for the annual surveillance cycle under the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure (MIP) and is traditionally presented alongside the AGS. The AMR aims to identify risks of imbalances that require further in-depth investigation as imbalances may hinder the performance of national economies, the euro area, or the EU as a whole. This year, in line with what was announced previously, the employment and social dimensions of the Alert Mechanism Report are strengthened through the addition of three headline indicators to the MIP scoreboard. There is also a particular focus on the euro area as such, given the deeper interdependence of its economies.
The draftJoint Employment Report, to be adopted jointly with the Council, analyses the employment and social situation in Europe and the policy responses by Member States. The report shows that substantial structural reforms pay off. It also analyses the potential for improving the employment and social performance of the EU as a whole.
This package builds on the latest data from the Commission Autumn Economic Forecast. It also reflects the new approach to the European Semester set out in the Commission's recent Communication on steps towards completing the Economic and Monetary Union, including a stronger emphasis on employment and social issues and on the euro area dimension.
- Factsheet - The start of the 2016 European Semester: The November European Semester package explained