Economic policy, the European Semester and economic governance

Date and time: 18 September, 2014 - 9.00-16.30
Venue: Room 1(4), ETF (European Transport Workers Federation, Rue du Marché aux Herbes 105, 1000 Brussels

Preparing for the 2015 Annual Growth Survey

The process of economic governance, implemented in the annual cycle of the European Semester, has been in effect since the end of 2010 and the next cycle will begin in November this year when the European Commission publishes the Annual Growth Survey for 2015.

This meeting will provide EPSU affiliates with the opportunity to discuss the impact of economic governance at both national and European levels.

The process has major implications for public services with many Member States receiving country-specific recommendations particularly on public finance but also on public administration, health and long-term care, child care, energy markets, tax structure and administration, public employment services and public procurement. The Annual Growth Surveys in the last three years have also included “modernising public administration” as one of give main themes.

The report below summarises the 2014 recommendations in areas of key relevance to EPSU.

Changes in economic policy

The meeting will also examine how the economic policy of the European institutions has failed to deliver a robust and sustainable recovery and what needs to be done in terms of investment, and particularly public investment, in order to generate job-rich growth.

Below are three briefings that explain why the austerity policies that have been pursued have failed to work and continue to weigh down on the European economy. Briefing one provides the facts and figures to show how austerity has failed while briefing two counters the argument that austerity will work because it creates confidence about future economic growth. Briefing three analyses the impact of structural reforms, demonstrating how these have failed to deliver.

European Semester Alliance

EPSU is part of an alliance of social campaigning groups arguing for a change of direction in the European Semester. The alliance is coordinated by the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) and Sian Jones from the EAPN will participate in the meeting to discuss the alliance’s work.

Click here for the Semester Alliance website

Trade union co-ordination around the Semester

Trade union coordination during the various stages of the European Semester is important and a representative of the ETUC will explain what they are trying to do at European level and the importance of increased social partner involvement at national level.


EPSU has been running a campaign on fair taxation calling for more action on tax fraud and also continues to push for a financial transactions tax at European level. EPSU policy officer Nadja Salson will cover the latest developments.

Click here for information on the anti-tax fraud initiative and the financial transactions tax

Debt auditing

The EPSU Congress in May 2014 agreed resolutions on economic policy and public debt and the meeting will be an opportunity to review how best to implement the key points of these resolutions.

Click here for the text of the resolutions

Practical details

This meeting is part of a project funded by the European Commission and we can offer financial assistance towards travel and accommodation costs for 10 participants from EU Member States and Candidate Countries. This will be subject to normal Commission rules with a maximum of €350 for travel and €140 for accommodation per participant.

We will also be able to provide active interpretation in English, French and German.

We hope that you will be able to participate and look forward to hearing from you.

- Meeting documents