Need help navigating the European Semester Process? Join our online capacity building session

Image of a hand holding a compass. Text reads 'need help navigating the european semester? Discover what's at stake and important ways civil society can engage. register now!'

When: 6 December 2023, 14:00-16:30 

Where: Online (Zoom) 

Further information and the link to join the session will be sent to registered participants after the registration deadline. 

Registration is now closed.


The European Semester process (“the Semester”) is an annual year-long mandatory process that coordinates, monitors and evaluates Member States’ economic, fiscal, social, environmental, energy, and climate policies and reforms. It makes recommendations that contribute to turning various EU strategies, such as European Pillar of Social Rights (Social Pillar), its Action Plan and EU headline targets on employment, skills, and poverty reduction and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), into reality. It also increasingly focuses on environmental and climate priorities, monitoring the implementation of national energy and climate plans. More recently, it has been linked with the Recovery & Resilience Facility (RRF) adopted to address the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve socially just green and digital transitions, thereby also directing the use of EU funding to these priorities. It monitors Member States’ implementation of their National Recovery & Resilience Plans.  

The involvement of civil society organisations in the development, implementation and evaluation of policies is key to ensure they are evidence-based and correspond to the situation on the ground. Although the RRF regulation contains certain requirements for consultation, the involvement of civil society organisations in the Semester at EU and especially at national level can be ad-hoc and the quality of the consultation depends on the political will of decision-makers. Additionally, civil society organisations, especially at national level, often lack the knowledge of and capacity to engage in this complex and fast-moving process. 

Objectives of the session: 

This capacity-building session, co-organised with EAPN Europe, ENSIE and ERGO Network as well as their respective members EAPN France, Skoopi (Sweden) and Integro Association (Bulgaria), aims to give interested civil society organisations active at EU and national level as well as other interested stakeholders an introduction into the Semester, its importance for policy-making, its functioning and key moments and ways to engage.  

Learning outcomes: 

  • To learn what is at stake in the Semester and why it is important to engage; 
  • To identify the objectives, key moments of and stakeholders in the Semester; 
  • To gain knowledge on effective methods to influence the process at EU and national levels; 
  • For EU civil society organisations: to learn about ways to engage national level member organisations in the Semester. 


The sessions will be free for Social Platform’s European member organisations and their national members, but they are invited to make a voluntary donation, to help Social Platform’s fundraising efforts, enabling us to offer further trainings in the future. 

Other interested stakeholders who are not members of Social Platform or their national members will be asked to pay a participation fee of 150 Euro. We will contact external registered stakeholders individually with an invoice. Registered participants who have paid for the session will then receive the Zoom link ahead of the session. 

Draft agenda 


  1. Plenary session with all participants 
  • Welcome and introduction of Social Platform
  • Interactive opening 

Setting the scene:  

  • What is at stake for civil society organisations in the Semester? Why is it important to engage?
  • Introduction to the Semester: objectives, content, key moments
  • Social Platform’s work on the Semester
  • Short advice session: How to best provide expertise to the European Commission – Barbara Kurkowiak, DG Employment, European Semester unit (EMPL.F.1)
  • Questions & Answers session 

 (10-minute break) 


2. Parallel Breakout sessions

 a) EU level CSOs 

  • Short presentations by EAPN, ENSIE and ERGO Network
  • Exchange between participants on how they engage in the Semester, including on how they engage national members

 b) National level CSOs 

  • Short presentations by EAPN France, Integro Association (Bulgaria) and Skoopi (Sweden)
  • Exchange between participants on how they engage in the Semester at national level


4. Reporting back from parallel sessions, evaluation & closing

  • EU level session
  • National level session
  • Evaluation & further learning needs
  • Closing remarks & next steps

For more information, please contact Katja at