The reports cover all areas of macroeconomic or social importance and take stock of the country's budgetary situation. They assess the progress each Member State has made in addressing the issues identified in the previous year's country-specific recommendations.
The main elements of the reports are summarised in a Communication.
In-depth reviews are provided only for countries selected in the Alert Mechanism Report in the Autumn package. The reviews assess whether imbalances or excessive imbalances exist in the country, by looking at factors such as: sustainability of external accounts, savings and investment balances, effective exchange rates, export market shares, cost and non-cost competitiveness, productivity, private and public debt, housing prices, credit flows, financial systems and unemployment. The causes and risks vary from one economy to another.
The reviews also take account of the euro area dimension and the possible impact on the area as a whole.
On the basis of this review, the Commission will propose an updated status for the country in the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure.