Late this month, the Commission published its draft country-specific recommendations (CSRs), advising all 28 countries on the economic and social reforms they should make.

CSRs are the final output of the European Semester, providing tailored guidance for national reforms, based on the analysis developed in this year’s Semester cycle. They build on the analysis presented in the country reports in particular. Each country receives between one and five recommendations in the fields of economics, finance, growth, employment, social affairs, and health policy.

The recommendations in their current state are proposals and are now being negotiated with member states in the Council. They are published as part of the “Spring Package”, which also includes the Spring economic forecast, and a communication on the country-specific recommendations.

The Commission insists on the importance given to social challenges in this year’s recommendations, in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights. According to our analysis,  59% of the recommendations mention at least one employment, social, or health issue. This is up from 50% in 2017. This indicates that the European Pillar of Social Rights is starting to have an impact. However, there is considerable room for improvement: there remain an imbalance in favor of employment rather than social recommendations. Similarly, when it comes to health or pension-related recommendations, they usually focus on funding and sustainability rather than on access and quality.

Eurodiaconia will soon launch a new update, the European Semester Compass with specific information on the European Semester process and tips and tricks on how to engage and use it for your advocacy. Please sign up for our European Semester Compass.


Find your country’s recommendations on the Commission website

If you want to learn more about the European Semester process, have a look at our European Semester Toolkit