European Semester

The European Semester is a yearly cycle of economic policy coordination. The European Union set it up as an exercise under which the Council adopts recommendations on economic policy addressed to Member States. This is done on the basis of proposals made by the European Commission.

Within the European Semester cycle, the European Commission publishes each year the country reports that analyse the structural characteristics of the economy in each member state. On the basis of the country reports, the Commission issues the Country Specific Recommendation (CSRs). It is important to notice that this is an advocacy initiative and member states are not compelled to fully adopt the recommendations.

In response to the economic aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Semester has been adapted to take into account the creation of the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The implementation of Member States’ recovery and resilience plans will drive their reform and investment agenda for the years ahead. The European Semester, with its broader scope and multilateral surveillance, will usefully complement the implementation of the recovery and resilience plans.

PGEU monitors both the European Semester and the Recovery and Resilience Plans yearly to ensure that structural health policy reforms reflect key priorities for European health systems, including the need to make them more sustainable, to strengthen primary care and to increase the availability of pharmacy services for all.