Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (145)

Micheál Martin

Question:

145. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Finance the position regarding the recent European Commission economic recommendations and the way they apply here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24345/14]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

On 2 June 2014, the EU Commission published its proposals for Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) for the 26 Member States across the EU who are not in a programme of financial assistance, as part of the 2014 European Semester. Only Greece and Cyprus did not receive CSRs this year.

Having successfully exited the Programme of Financial Assistance, Ireland is now fully participating in the semester process for the first time. The engagement of Ireland in the annual process is part of the normalisation of our position as a post Programme country. The European Semester is a part of the new regime for economic surveillance, in operation since 2011 and codified by the 'six-pack' of legislative measures adopted in December 2011, to secure and maintain sound public finances across the EU, promote growth and employment and avoid macroeconomic spillovers between Member States.

The publication of the Annual Growth Survey (AGS) at the end of November 2013 commenced the fourth European Semester cycle. The Country Specific Recommendations now proposed by the Commission are based on its assessment of Member States' Stability Programme Updates and National Reform Plans submitted in April this year. They are designed to ensure that Member States work together to put in place and maintain the necessary conditions for stability, growth and jobs.

The Commission addressed a variety of CSRs to the 26 participating Member States in the fields of budgetary, fiscal and financial matters. The CSRs also cover areas where they propose deeper structural reforms. Ireland received a total of seven (7) CSRs.

The proposed CSRs for all 26 Member States are being processed through the relevant EU Committee formations and Ministers in all relevant Council formations will work in a coordinated and consistent manner towards final endorsement of the 2014 CSRs by Heads of State and Government at the June European Council before being finally adopted by the ECOFIN on 8 July.