Story title Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Council - December 2013
Story description

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Council (EPSCO) Council takes place on 9 and 10 December 2013 in Brussels. 

Video title European Semester
Video description

This is a video explaining the European Semester by Ronan Gargan, the Irish Presidency's 'Mertens' and expert on the subject. It was filmed on May 28 to coincide with the European Commission's release of country-specific recommendations, to help each EU Member State prepare their national budgets

Reference 99381 Video infos Mpg4 / PAL - 16:9 Duration 00:03:58 Type Statement
Shooting date 28-05-2013 Country Belgium Town Brussels    
TC Thumbnail Description
00:00:01

SOUNDBITE (English) Ronan GARGAN, the Irish Presidency's 'Mertens' and expert on European Semester

The main idea behind the European Semester is to ensure that a series of economic targets and growth enhancing measures are implemented by the Member States. In real terms what that means is that is a tool to create jobs, to promote sustainable growth, to get Europe back to economic sustainaibility and recovery. And these are the key priorities of the Irish Presidency, so this is why it's quite a natural fit for the Irish Presidency to ensure that the European Semester is run as smoothly and as effectively as possible, so we meet the successful goal of adopting country-specific recommendations by June.

Keywords : economy | European Semester | Irish presidency | Gargan Duration : 00:00:35

00:00:36

SOUNDBITE (English) Ronan GARGAN, the Irish Presidency's 'Mertens' and expert on European Semester

It is in fact a governance structure to ensure that the economic targets that have been set out by the European Council are achieved by the Member States and the EU as a whole, by the 2020 deadline that we've set ourselves. And it does this through, first of all, starting with the Annual Growth Survey that's prepared by the Commission in November, and then through a process of consultation and orientations given by the ECOFIN and EPSCO Councils, and by the European Council, Member States prepare national reform programmes. It is on the basis of that, then, that the Commission will prepare the country specific recommendations. They give policy guidance to the Member States on how to achieve these economic targets, and they in turn feed into the preparation of their national budgets each year.

Duration : 00:00:43

00:01:19

SOUNDBITE (English) Ronan GARGAN, the Irish Presidency's 'Mertens' and expert on European Semester

In this time when we're dealing with an economic crisis, when we're trying to find ways to enhance growth and create jobs, the main thing for the European Semester to do is to implement the targets that we set ourselves, to make sure that we create jobs and create growth. They do this through a series of events that not only monitor the implementation of the recommendations given to Member States, but also develop these recommendations to ensure that there is economic convergence among the Member States and that the Member States put in place key growth-enhancing measures to create jobs and growth within the Member States themselves.

Duration : 00:00:36

00:01:55

SOUNDBITE (English) Ronan GARGAN, the Irish Presidency's 'Mertens' and expert on European Semester

These country-specific recommendations (CSRs) are the result of six months of hard work in the Council and the Commission, stemming from the Annual Growth Survey, stemming from orientation discussions in the Council themselves, the EPSCO Council and ECOFIN Council and a number of our sectorial Councils, and then this culminates in the publication of the CSR's by the Commission.

Duration : 00:00:21

00:02:16

SOUNDBITE (English) Ronan GARGAN, the Irish Presidency's 'Mertens' and expert on European Semester

And this will trigger a very intense and active period of work in the Council, that will be led by the Irish Presidency, and then will lead hopefully to the agreement of the country-specific recommendations at the EPSCO Council and the ECOFIN Council, which will be chaired by Minister Bruton and Minster Noonan, and then hopefully be endorsed by the European Council at the end of June. This in turn will give guidance to the Member States and they will feed this guidance into the preparation of their national budgets, to be adopted towards the end of the year.

Duration : 00:00:28

00:02:44

SOUNDBITE (English) Ronan GARGAN, the Irish Presidency's 'Mertens' and expert on European Semester

In a legal sense it's not binding, but certainly in a political sense it's binding. There are consequences if the Member States fail to implement the CSRs. There is an intense period of monitoring and peer review within the Council as well to ensure that Member States implement the CSRs. There are also mechanisms available to the Commission to give policy warnings if the CSRs are not implemented within a certain period of time, and also there is the possibility of sanctions or incentives.

Duration : 00:00:27

00:03:11

SOUNDBITE (English) Ronan GARGAN, the Irish Presidency's 'Mertens' and expert on European Semester

It's quite easy for the Member States to blame Brussels. But at the end of it, it's all about making sure that the economic policy of each Member State is sustainable, that the economic policy is sustainable in the future to create sustainable jobs and sustainable growth. At the end of the day, the European Union is very much in the business of trying to help each Member State, not trying to punish each Member State. What's good for the Member States is good for the European Union as a whole, which is good for the citizens in terms of jobs and growth.

Duration : 00:00:28

00:03:39

Sign of the Irish EU Presidency

Duration : 00:00:07

00:03:46

General view of the Atrium, Justus Lipsius building (2 shots)

Duration : 00:00:11

00:03:57

End

Duration : 00:00:00