The European Commission is accelerating its efforts for economic renewal, with moves to further strengthen euro area governance, safeguard future financial stability and boost growth and employment. The package adopted today contains: the 2012 Annual Growth Survey setting out the economic priorities for 2012; two Regulations to tighten economic and budgetary surveillance in the euro area; and a Green Paper on Stability Bonds.
László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion said: "To restore sustainable economic growth in Europe, we need to prevent a negative spiral of unemployment, deteriorating social conditions and a drop in economic demand. For this, Europe has no choice but to pursue the structural reforms set out in the Europe 2020 strategy. The social consequences of the economic crisis are dire in many Member States. We need urgently and actively to address this dramatic situation through targeted action for those hardest hit, such as young people and the long-term unemployed."
The key message of the 2012 Annual Growth Survey (AGS) is that, faced with a deteriorating economic and social situation , more efforts are needed to put Europe back on track and sustain growth and jobs.
The Survey calls for the EU and Member States to focus on five priorities:
The AGS includes a list of pending or future proposals aimed at boosting growth, which the Commission wants to be fast-tracked through the EU legislative process.
The two proposed Regulations on strengthened surveillance for the euro area build on what has already been agreed in the ‘Six Pack ’ set of legislative measures which will enter into force in mid-December. Given the deeper interdependence of the euro area countries, so clearly demonstrated by the ongoing crisis, the Commission is proposing to enhance both the coordination and the surveillance of budgetary processes for all euro area Member States and especially those with excessive deficits, experiencing or at serious risk of financial instability, or under a financial assistance programme.
Finally, with the Green Paper on Stability Bonds, the Commission is taking forward in a structured way the important debate on the joint issuance of debt in the euro area. By putting forward three options for such Stability Bonds and providing a detailed analysis of their financial and legal implications, the Commission is framing this debate, as well as setting out a clear timeline for the next steps.