Annual Growth Survey: the road to growth in 2013

Published on Friday, 30 November 2012 11:17
Posted by Vicki Mitchem

Less austerity and more labour market flexibility. That is the message MEPs passed on to two commissioners in a discussion on next year's economic priorities.

On 28 November they debated the 2013 Annual Growth Survey, in which the Commission sets out the priorities for member states to follow in order to achieve growth. The Survey had been published earlier that day.

About the Annual Growth Survey

The Annual Growth Survey is the start of the so-called European Semester. It's a method for economic policy coordination to ensure member states align their budgetary and economic plans with the Stability and Growth Pact and the Europe 2020 strategy.

The Survey applies to the EU as a whole, but will also contain country-specific recommendations later on. This is already the third Survey since the European Semester was introduced in 2010.

The priorities for next year will remain the same as those listed in the last Annual Growth Survey, namely:

  • Reducing national debts without harming growth
  • Restoring normal lending to the economy
  • Promoting growth and competitiveness
  • Tackling unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis
  • Modernising public administration
  • Easing on austerity

Portuguese Social Democrat MEP Elisa Ferreira, who covers the Survey on behalf of the economics committee, pleaded for taking more time to get national budgets back into shape. "We have got to be frank and recognise that the consolidation strategy unfortunately has failed."

Olli Rehn, the commissioner responsible for the euro and economic and monetary affairs, told MEPs: "We have come a long way in the past two or three years in reforming our economic governance. We need to continue to work for policies that will help Europe to return next year to recovery."

Making the labour market work

Spanish Christian Democrat MEP Veronica Lope Fontagné, who covers the Survey on behalf of the employment committee, called for reform of the employment market in order to create more jobs.  "The labour markets have to be more dynamic. Poverty and social exclusion is a fact. Youth employment is a major problem throughout Europe."

László Andor, the commissioner responsible for employment, social affairs and inclusion, said: "We need to boost job creation and particularly the demand for labour. Taxation on labour is still too high, especially on low paid workers. We need to create a shift to other sources of taxation such as pollution or property." Regarding youth employment, the commissioner admitted there was a significant problem with young people making the transition from education to employment.

Source: ©European Parliament

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