How ESI Funds contribute to Member States' economic and social priorities

On 22 February 2017, in the context of the European Semester, the Commission published its annual analysis of the economic and social situation in the Member States, part of the annual cycle of economic policy coordination at EU level and is known as the Winter Package of the European Semester.

 It represents a precious and detailed overview of the main trends, including on how the countries have dealt with the individual policy guidance (the so-called "country-specific recommendations") they received last year around the "virtuous triangle" of boosting investment, pursuing structural reforms and ensuring responsible fiscal policies. 

The Package was prepared with an important input from DG Regional and Urban Policy, in cooperation with the other Commission services involved, and contains many significant elements concerning the implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy. This is the case in the political Chapeau Communication"2017 European Semester: Assessment of progress on structural reforms, prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances, and results of in-depth reviews under Regulation (EU) No 1176/2011", which affirms the important role the European Structural and Investment Funds play in the EU economic governance process. The 27 country reports (for all Member States except Greece, which is under a dedicated stability support programme) provide the annual analysis of Commission staff of the situation in the Member States' economies including, where relevant, an assessment of macroeconomic imbalances. In particular, the reports contain a specific box showcasing the role of the EU budget in support of structural change in the Member State where ESI Funds feature prominently. The Funds' contribution to structural change in the MS, either through targeted investment or through creating the necessary conditions for efficient and effective investment (ex ante conditionalities) is clearly portrayed. 


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