In its recent opinion on the Commission's Annual Growth Survey (AGS) for 2018, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) pointed to the strategic importance of the European Semester, but said that it advocated expanding it with a purpose, in order to ensure not only the economic and social, but also the environmental sustainability of the EU's macroeconomic policies.
The Committee praised the inclusion of social indicators - the Social Scoreboard - in the 2018 AGS, maintaining that it has boosted the European Semester's social dimension.
"The EESC is in favour of making the Semester support the European Social Pillar so that it becomes a tool for better living and working conditions for Europeans. We would like to see the Pillar's objectives mainstreamed into the policies and decisions taken," said the rapporteur for the opinion, Dimitris Dimitriadis.
The Committee vowed that it would continue contributing to the Semester, but it also flagged the need to increase the involvement of civil society and to foster public investment.
Public investment should include boosting social investment in measures fostering education and training and improving public services, care infrastructure and social cohesion across the EU, with a view to boosting human capital development and ensuring a skilled labour force as well as a strong social dimension.
The EESC also said it was stressing the need for a non-systemic approach to structural reforms, which should be carried out only when necessary. (ll)
In the photo: Dimitris Dimitriadis, EESC rapporteur