The European Commission yesterday (13 May) adopted country-specific economic policy recommendations for this and next year, urging Member States to take actions to boost job creation and growth. These proposals reflect the Commission’s economic and social agenda that consists of three pillars – fiscal responsibility, boosting investment and structural reforms – since it took office in November last year. Brussels believes that a successful implementation of the 2015 country-specific recommendations will be instrumental in making Europe less prone to external and cyclical factors influencing the economy.
The Commission is preparing recommendations for EU Member States that will reflect the three pillars, which implies both the removal of barriers to financing and the launch of investment projects including a prompt introduction of the Commission’s €315 billion Investment Plan for Europe. More specifically, the Commission is proposing structural reforms in product, labour, and service markets with the aim to raise productivity and competitiveness. Moreover, it is suggesting fiscal policies that will achieve a balance between short-term stabilization and long-term sustainability and improved employment policy and social protection to support and protect people throughout their lives.
The proposals are based on elaborate analyses of each Member State’s situation, significantly drawing on the Commission’s Country Report as well as National Reform Programs and Stability Convergence programs. On the top of the proposed tailor-made advice, the EU’s executive has also come up with a few decisions on public finances of member countries under the Stability and Growth Pact.
For instance, the Commission yesterday specifically recommended closing the Excessive Deficit Procedure for Malta and Poland. While Malta’s government deficit was reduced to 2.1 percent of GDP last year, Poland’s headline number for deficit was 3.2 percent. In the UK, the Commission recommended to take steps to comply with the December 2009 recommendation to fix the excessive deficit by 2014/2015 financial year.