European Semester 2020: country-specific recommendations adopted

On 20 July 2020, the Council adopted its 2020 recommendations and opinions on the member states’ economic, employment and fiscal policies, as well as the recommendation for the euro-area.

This year’s country-specific recommendations take into account the specific context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the activation of the general escape clause under the Stability and Growth Pact on 20 March 2020. They are lighter, more focused and less prescriptive than in previous years.

They reflect the following economic priorities:

  • invest in access, effectiveness and resilience of health care;
  • preserve employment and address the social impact of the crisis;
  • focus on research and development;
  • ensure liquidity provisions and the stability of the financial sector;
  • preserve the single market and the circulation of goods and services.

The recommendations are provided for all 27 member states, as well as for the UK, which remains part of European Semester analysis until 31 December 2020, in line with the provision of the withdrawal agreement on the transition period.

Today’s adoption is the final stage of the 2020 European Semester process. The European Council endorsed the country-specific recommendations on 17 July.

Background and process

Introduced in 2010, the European Semester enables the EU Member States to coordinate their economic policies throughout the year and address the economic challenges facing the EU.

The Commission assesses EU governments’ economic policies and budgetary strategies, based on national reform programmes and stability or convergence programmes provided each year in April.

On this basis, the Commission presents each country with a set of draft country-specific recommendations (CSRs) providing policy guidance on how to boost jobs and growth, while maintaining sound public finances.

The Council then adopts country-specific recommendations (CSRs) and opinions. It provides explanations in cases where the recommendations do not correspond with those proposed by the Commission.

The recommendations can be found in the following documents: