On 26 February, the Commission released the country reports under the European Semester 2020.
The country reports focus on four dimensions:
- environmental sustainability
- productivity gains
- fairness – implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and performance on social scoreboard indicators is assessed for each member state in the respective country reports
- macroeconomic stability
Key findings from the country reports:
- Unemployment has decreased based on good labour market conditions, but continues to be at different levels across member states
- Poverty and social exclusion keep declining, but inequalities persist
- Big challenge around productivity growth in light of the demographic change
- Insufficient investment, ageing of labour force and skills shortages and mismatches are big challenges of our labour markets
- The Commission recognises that implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights is crucial to ensure the climate and digital transitions are just and socially fair.
This year’s country reports also include some new elements:
- for the first time, the reports assess member states' progress towards the SDGs highlighting the macro-economic and employment policies that can help to achieve them
- they also analyse the challenges and opportunities for each country arising from the climate and energy transition.
- Country reports identify priorities for support by the Just Transition Fund. Check an overview of the investment guidance on the Just Transition Fund and an infographic of the eligible regions here
At the same time, the European Commission adopted a proposal to update the employment guidelines. The updated guidelines includes fair, transparent and predictable working conditions, the improvement of labour conditions of platform workers, and enhanced role for social partners, and the need for more attention to lower and middle-income groups when it comes to fair wages.
ü The Council is expected to discuss the country reports.
ü The Commission will discuss the findings of the country reports with the European Parliament.
ü In the coming months, the Commission will engage with member states to seek the views of national parliaments, governments, social partners and other stakeholders on the analysis and conclusions of the country reports => here is the chance for cities to engage in the dialogue -> see attached the contact list of the European Semester Officers in each member state to liaise for these meetings
ü in April, member states are expected to present their National Reform Programmes, detailing structural reform priorities
ü The Commission will present proposals for new Country-Specific Recommendations in spring 2020.