15. 7. 2022 9:47

Under the Czech Presidency, the Council of the EU approved Country Specific Recommendation for EU member states for 2022 and 2023

On 12 July 2022 the Council of the EU in the format of finance ministers (ECOFIN) approved Country Specific Recommendation for EU member states for years 2022 and 2023. These recommendations reflect common goals set at the EU level and at the same time they are adapted to the specifics of individual EU member states. The recommendations involve priorities targeting economic and social reforms at the national level.

The proposal of these specific recommendations for 2022 and 2023 was presented by the European Commission (EC) on 23 May 2022 as a part of the so-called spring package issued by the EC. The spring package represents part of the annual cycle of EU economic policy coordination, the so-called European semester. During the preparation of these individual recommendations, the EC uses strategic documents submitted by the member states, such as National Reform Programme or the report on its implementation. The approval of these specific recommendations represents the conclusion of this annual cycle.

During this year the European semester focused mainly on the process of economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of the so-called Recovery and Resilience Plans. Based on the submission of these plans to the EC and their subsequent approval by the Council of the EU, member states are allowed to draw financial support from the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The Czech plan, so-called National Recovery Plan, has been already approved by the Council of the EU in September last year.

At the same time, the European semester had to respond to the ongoing war conflict in Ukraine and associated impacts on individual EU member states. The great issue of the semester has primarily become the reduction of dependence of the EU member states on the import of fossil fuels from Russia and support for sustainable energy sources usage. In this context, the EC presented on 18 May 2022 the REPowerEU initiative targeting ensuring affordable, safe and sustainable energy for Europe. In this regard the specific recommendations for 2022 and 2023 might be used by the EU member states to update their recovery and resilience plans. According to the EC proposal, the updated plans should include a new chapter presenting reforms and investments that will help meet the goals of the REPowerEU initiative.

On 12 July 2022 the following four recommendations for the Czech Republic were approved:

  1. In 2023, ensure that the growth of nationally financed primary current expenditure is in line with an overall neutral policy stance, taking into account continued temporary and targeted support to households and firms most vulnerable to energy price hikes and to people fleeing Ukraine. Stand ready to adjust current spending to the evolving situation. Expand public investment for the green and digital transitions, and for energy security taking into account the REPowerEU initiative, including by making use of the Recovery and Resilience Facility and other Union funds. For the period beyond 2023, pursue a fiscal policy aimed at achieving prudent medium-term fiscal positions. Take measures to ensure the long-term fiscal sustainability of public finances, including the sustainability of the pension system.
  2. Proceed with the implementation of its recovery and resilience plan, in line with the milestones and targets included in the Council Implementing Decision of 8 September 2021. Swiftly finalise the negotiations with the Commission on the 2021–2027 cohesion policy programming documents with a view to starting their implementation. 
  3. Strengthen the provision of social and affordable housing, including by adopting a specific legislative framework for social housing and improved coordination between different public bodies.
  4. Reduce overall reliance on fossil fuels and diversify imports of fossil fuel. Accelerate the deployment of renewables, streamline permit procedures and make grid access easier. Increase the energy efficiency of district heating systems and of the building stock by incentivising deep renovations and renewable heat sources.

print article   email   facebook   twitter

Photo Gallery