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EUROPEAN SEMESTER

In order to achieve the goals set by the Member Stater of the European Union enshrined in the Europe 2020 Strategy and other key documents, the European Commission proposed a new method of monitoring and reporting at EU level and for each Member State. The Commission introduced the European semester, which aims to harmonize Member States' reporting on the actions and plans for budgetary, macroeconomic and structural reforms. Member States prepare annual Stability Programme and National Reform Programme simultaneously, and at the end of the year Draft Budgetary Plans (euro area countries). European Commission prepares a detailed analysis of Member States' plans and issues country specific recommendations for the next 12-18 months.

In order to facilitate the achievement of goals and overcoming the bottlenecks, the European Commission proposed a new method of monitoring and reporting at the EU level and for each Member State. It presented the so-called European Semester aiming at aligning the reporting on macro- and micro-situation in terms of timing, which means that the Stability and Growth Pact will be prepared at the same time as the National Reform Programme. Thus, the proposals for annual Stability Programmes and rationalised Reform Programmes will be drafted by every Member State at the same time, including the definition of measures concerning the reporting on the progress made in achieving the targets and key structural reforms tackling the barriers to growth.  Both programmes are to contain mutual cross-references. The National Reform Programme is to define the measures foreseen in the Exit Strategy and their implementation, identify the national growth hindrances and lay down the measures required to put the economy back on the path towards sustainable growth and public finances. Besides fiscal policy, these measures are to cover the principal macroeconomic issues relating to growth and competitiveness (i.e. macroeconomic imbalances). Reporting will have to ensure an integrated approach to the making and conduct of policies. Such an approach is of crucial importance for the backing of decisions to be taken by Slovenia because of the pressures on public finances. It has also been foreseen that National Reform Programmes would become more standardised (at least a partial scheme is to be the same) in order to facilitate comparisons and monitoring among the states.