The Commission has launched the 2024 European Semester cycle. The European Semester is a yearly exercise that helps identify economic and social challenges in the EU, and policy responses to allow Member States to fulfil their potential – for the benefit of us all. This year, the EU is facing a number of important challenges, such as high inflation and high energy prices, that we need to tackle to improve the EU’s competitiveness.
For 2024, the Commission is recommending to remove bottlenecks to private and public investments, support a favourable business environment, and develop the necessary skills for the green and digital transitions.
The Commission has also issued its opinions on Member States’ draft budgetary plans for 2024. It finds that the draft budgetary plans of Austria, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal and Slovakia are not fully in line with EU recommendations and that those of Belgium, Finland, France, Croatia risk not being in line as well.
At the same time, the Commission provides tailored policy advice to euro area countries. This year the focus lies on policy responses to the challenges of high inflation and competitiveness.
Furthermore, a new Semester report on employment confirms that the EU labour market is resilient, with the employment rate standing at 75.4% in the second quarter of 2023. Sizeable labour and skills shortages are posing bottlenecks to economic growth. If not adequately addressed, they risk hampering the green and digital transitions.
Since its introduction in 2011, the European Semester has become essential to assess EU countries’ fiscal, economic and employment policy challenges. In the face of many shocks in past years, our economy has shown remarkable resilience since we acted in coordinated and fast way. There are many risks on the horizon such as the Middle East crisis and the war of aggression in Ukraine. But with the correct policy responses, Member States’ economies should pick up in 2024 in line with a recent economic forecast.
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