This first edition of the European Semester Quarterly in 2017 (5th issue), comes out right after the celebrations of the 60 years of the Treaties of Rome and only a few weeks after the President of the European Commission has published a ‘White Paper on the Future of Europe’, which aims at launching an EU-wide process of reflection on the future of Europe, involving all different parts of society. Both events mark the beginning of a reflection process which will have major implications for the future shape and direction of European cooperation. Therefore, the coming months will be crucial for diaconal actors across Europe to make their voice heard.

Therefore, the Eurodiaconia Secretariat will continue informing you about the European Semester cycle, with its European Semester Quarterly (ESQ) in 2017. However, the scope of this publication will be broadened to include developments and analyses around the European Semester cycle, but also key documents relating to the wider reflection on Europe’s future. In this way, it aims at showing our members in which way the Semester cycle provides them an opportunity to discuss their vision of the future of (social) Europe with EU institutions and national governments.

This issue of the European Semester Quarterly features a closer look at the topic of ‘youth inclusion’ in the context of the European Semester and also explores the contents of the above mentioned European Commission’s ‘White Paper on the Future of Europe’, providing members with both an assessment of the Paper’s key scenarios and with some pointers on ways to take action. Furthermore, it offers an examination of the social content of the 2017 Country Reports and a comparative analysis of different European Parliament reports on the 2017 Annual Growth Survey. As in last year’s editions you will find a member interview, this time featuring Diakonie Austria on their involvement in the Semester process.

To know more about the European Semester Cycle, check out our fifth ESQ edition.