The European Semester is constantly changing; the process was recently reinforced by the inclusion of the social policy area and also by the proposal to strengthen the link between the EU budget and the Semester. Amongst the challenges to address are a lack of ownership of proposed reforms and the slowdown of the implementation of country-specific recommendations. The involvement of organised civil society in the European Semester is therefore fundamental as stakeholders' co-ownership of reforms improves their implementation and helps to achieve positive outcomes.
In order to bring together the views of policymakers and organised civil society, at both EU and national level, the EESC is organising a high-level conference "Towards a more inclusive European Semester", to be held on Thursday, 28 February 2019, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The topics to be discussed will include the current state of the European economy, policy challenges within the European Semester process and the future of the semester.
The European Economic and Social Committee represents organised civil society and strives to be the bridge between the European and the national levels within the Semester process. As a part of this, the Committee has started to organise regular country visits to collect national organised civil society's policy views to feed into the semester process. Findings from these first visits will be presented.