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Structural reforms

To promote growth and create more jobs, the European Commission advocates an economic strategy based on fiscal responsibility, investment and structural reforms.

Structural reforms tackle obstacles to the fundamental drivers of growth by liberalising labour, product and service markets,thereby encouraging job creation and investment and improving productivity. They are designed to boost an economy’s competitiveness, growth potential and adjustment capacity.

The term covers a wide range of measures.

Typical structural reforms include policies that:

  • make labour markets more adaptable and responsive
  • liberalise service sectors, boost competition in product and service markets or improve the overall business environment
  • encourage innovation.

The Commission helps EU countries identify reform priorities and effective policies in its Annual Growth Survey.  It monitors their progress and provides advice and guidance through the European Semester, a coordinated economic policy cycle.

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The video below outlines how the EU helps countries implement structural reforms and targeted policies to boost investment, growth and jobs.

See European Economy Explained for more information.

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