Many of the noteworthy EU journalists blog, but yesterday Ronny Patz ( @ronpatz on Twitter ) made a small inroad for social media by becoming the first person to be accredited to cover an EU Council meeting as a blogger. You can read his live blogging reflections from the first day of the Competitiveness Council on the Bloggingportal.eu Blog and check the tweets under #eupilot.

Join today for a second day of bloggers' impressions from the Justus Lipsius building in Brussels, during the Hungarian presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Economic governance and reform

In two weeks the European leaders meet for their economic and social summit. The spring European Council 24 to 25 March 2011 takes stock of progress and agrees on guidelines for strengthening economic governance (functioning of the Stability and Growth Pact) and reforms for economic growth and employment (to make the Europe 2020 strategy a reality).

The economy is the focus for the different Council configurations and the eurozone summit ahead of the official European Council, in addition to the efforts of the European Union to come to terms with anti-authoritarian uprisings in Libya, North Africa and the Arab World, where the lid has blown off the kettle (with foreign ministers meeting today and EU leaders tomorrow).

Annual Growth Survey (AGS)

Despite the dramatic events in the EU's Southern Neighbourhood, I decided to continue with the less mediatic issues of jobs and growth. There are too many economic issues on the evolving agenda for one person to cover all in depth, but yesterday I tried to shed some light on the framework.

A first post briefly laid out the central theme of the EPSCO Council on employment and social affairs, in: EU Council (EPSCO): EU2020 and March European Council.

The second entry wanted to help readers to structure their thoughts about the procedures, namely the new economic governance tool: EU EPSCO Council: Recalling the European semester.

If you want to approach the substantive issues, I warmly recommend that you take the AGS for your companion on the road, as explained in the third entry: EU EPSCO and Competitiveness Council: Annual Growth Survey is cornerstone.

The AGS is like the master key to the discussion.

In depth

If you need more depth, the annexed reports (linked in the blog post) offer a way forward: the Progress report on Europe 2020 (16 pages), the Macro-economic report (23 pages) and the Draft Joint Employment Report (13 pages). (These were the ones the Council kept under wraps at the time.)

Among official materials, the background notes for the EPSCO Council (this week: employment and social affairs) and the Competitiveness Council (this week: research, internal market and industry) are useful, and the Council conclusions tell us where we landed (at least in part, although the Council tends to become stingy ahead of summits).

Quality media highlight certain issues through news reporting and they offer critical assessments of how the promised actions measure up to real world expectations. Think tanks, researchers, interest groups and Eurobloggers contribute to the stock-taking and reform discussion.

***

After this overview of the EU March agenda for economic governance, growth and jobs, we (re)turn to individual issues important for the future of businesses and citizens in the European Union.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Written by a small blog collective, the ComparativeLawBlog keeps us abreast of events and publications in the world of comparative law and judicial decision making. Recommended reading.