The European Commission publishes today the 2018 country-specific
recommendations (CSRs), setting out its economic and social policy guidance for
member states for the next 12 months.
The country-specific recommendations proposed today build on the progress already made in recent years and aim to capitalise on the positive economic outlook to guide member states to take further action.
The recommendations build on the comprehensive analysis carried out by the commission in the latest Country Reports, which highlighted legacy issues in certain member states arising from the financial crisis and challenges for the future.
The commission calls on member states to pursue structural reforms that improve the business environment and conditions for investment, especially through product and service market reforms, supporting innovation, improving SMEs access to finance and fighting corruption.
Member States should also strengthen economic resilience in the context of long-term challenges, such as demographic trends, migration and climate change.
This year, the recommendations address specifically social challenges, guided by the European Pillar of Social Rights proclaimed in November 2017: ensuring the provision of adequate skills, the effectiveness and adequacy of social safety nets and improving social dialogue. Countries are also recommended to carry out reforms that prepare their workforces for the future, including future forms of work and increasing digitalisation; reduce income inequalities; and create employment opportunities, for young people in particular.
The Commission calls on the Council to adopt CSRs, and on member states to implement them fully and in a timely manner. EU ministers are expected to discuss CSRs before EU Heads of State and Government are due to endorse them. It is then up to member states to implement the recommendations by addressing them through their national economic and budgetary policies in 2018-2019.
EUROCITIES will review these CSRs and make an analysis of the impact for cities.
Link to CSRs for each member state:
The country-specific recommendations to the Member States are adjusted every year, to reflect the progress made and the changing environment. Their content reflects the wider priorities outlined in the President's State of the Union Address and the Annual Growth Survey. For euro area Member States, they also reflect the recommendation for the economic policy of the euro area. The analysis and guidance under the European Semester are coherent with the longer-term vision of the Europe 2020 strategy.
In March 2018, the Commission presented its detailed analysis of the economic and social situation of each Member State, in the form of a Country Report, as part of the European Semester Winter Package 2018. The Commission engaged in intensive dialogue with Member States both at political and technical levels to build a shared understanding of findings in the reports.
Today's recommendations are based on the dialogues with Member States, the programmes submitted last month, data by Eurostat and the recently published Commission 2018 Spring Economic Forecast.
The Commission has also published today the 2018 Convergence Report that assesses Member States' progress towards joining the euro area and covers the seven non-euro area countries that are legally committed to adopting the euro: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Sweden.