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24 May 2017

EU Commission’ s country-specific recommendations: a first evaluation

On 22 May 2017, the European Commission has presented its Spring Semester Package, through which it has delivered 77 recommendations to 27 member states (except Greece which is currently under a stability support programme) versus 88 recommendations in 2016 and 102 in 2015.

“This reduction is of course partially due to the proper implementation of previous recommendations, but mainly as in previous years the Commission is again issuing recommendations only ‘on a selected number of key priority issues of macroeconomic and social relevance that require Member States’ immediate attention’”, analyses the ETUI's legal expert Stefan Clauwaert.

“Out of those 77 recommendations, not less than 45 contain one or more recommendations in the social field. It represents an increase compared to the years 2016 and 2015. The main fields of concern are indeed Active labour market policies increase aimed at promoting employment opportunities for job seekers (in particular for female, low-skilled and older workers) and improving social safety nets (via adequate social protection, social services and social benefits thus also tackling increasing and persisting income inequality and poverty)”, he added.

The ETUI researcher considers this as a step in the right direction: “The Commission underlines hereby rightly again – as it already pointed out in in the White Paper on the future of Europe, its reflection paper on the social dimension of Europe by 2025 and the recently launched European Pillar of Social Rights - that social priorities must be a key part of reform efforts.”

More detailed analysis of the 2017 recommendations are currently undertaken by different ETUI researchers and will be soon made available on the ETUI website.

All the dossiers in connection with the European Commission recommendations to the 27 EU-Member States are available on the ETUI online web information service ReformsWatch, focused among others to the labour market reforms across the EU.

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