Employment and social aspects in the Annual Growth Survey 2012
This was the first time that Parliament had adopted a report on the European Semester for Economic Policy Coordination as part of its consultative role in the new European system of economic governance.
This exercise sets the economic, social and budgetary priorities of the EU for the coming year, in line with the EU 2020 Strategy.
It forms the basis for the Commission's country-specific recommendations to each Member State regarding its economic situation, i.e. the state of its public finances, reforms of its pension systems, job-creation measures and steps taken to fight unemployment.
What was the Greens' position?
The Greens believe that the European Semester is a good opportunity for Parliament to counterbalance the counterproductive response to the crisis by the Council and the Commission.
We Greens have long outlined our concerns about the one-sided focus on cutting public spending when what is needed is investment.
We are calling for a broader approach to European economic governance that includes addressing stagnating wages compared to productivity levels and stressing the need for other indicators than just GDP.
Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?
This was the first time Parliament had set out its position following the European Semester procedure.
Dutch Green MEP Marije Cornelissen was responsible for the contribution made by the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.
Six of the Greens' key demands were successfully adopted as recommendations to the Member States in the Council.
We called upon the Council to: increase ambition to achieve the EU 2020 objectives; to support sustainable job creation with investment and tax reform; improve the quality of employment and conditions for increased labour participation; tackle youth unemployment; tackle poverty and social exclusion; enhance democratic legitimacy and accountability.
Marije Cornelissen's input heavily influenced the report of the following year.
Which points did the Greens lose?
The ALDE and EPP both rejected our calls for more comprehensive indicators to address economic imbalances between Member States, e.g. regarding income inequality, or to take account of surpluses caused by trade, not just deficits.
Accordingly these demands by the Greens failed to gain Parliament's support.
Lead MEP:Marije Cornelissen (GREENS/EFA)
Green MEP responsible:Marije Cornelissen
Staff contact:Berta Halmos (Email)