What we are doing here has got to be judged politically. Social items in the European Semester should be given more priority.

We had grown used to the idea that populist discourse, that populist and extremist movements had grown as a consequence of the 2008 crisis.

The austerity… the rigid budgetary rules that were introduced in the eurozone were meant to reengineer growth and prosperity.

Meanwhile, established centrist parties, especially on the left, lost huge amounts of votes.

They expected to get them back when growth reappeared.

This semester’s premises seems to show that it has done so.

But the political situation remains bleak.

A few weeks ago, President Juncker said that a “window of opportunity” had opened for new steps in the European construction to be taken fast.

Following the German, the Austrian and the Czech elections, matters look murkier.

Is it that voters disbelieve that growth is back?
Or is there something with the present growth that they do not like?

Are social disparities decreasing or are they widening?

Politically, we need replies to these questions.

Which again means that the European semester should make the content of its social chapters more relevant and more effective.

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