The Country-specific Recommendations are documents prepared by the European Commission for each country, analysing its economic situation and providing recommendations on measures it should adopt over the coming 18 months. They are tailored to the particular issues the Member State is facing and cover a broad range of topics: the state of public finances, reforms of pension systems, measures to create jobs and to fight unemployment, education and innovation challenges, etc. The final adoption of Country-specific Recommendations prepared by the Commission is done at the highest level by national leaders in the European Council.
The economic crisis hit Denmark relatively hard and resulted in a significant drop in employment, though the authorities have managed to cope with the downturn relatively well. However, in April 2013 the Commission concluded that Denmark was experiencing macroeconomic imbalances, which deserve closer monitoring and effective policy action.
Denmark is making progress in implementing the 2012 CSRs and has an active reform agenda, though most of the reforms will have an impact only in the medium to long term. A comprehensive reform of the early retirement pension schemes has been implemented. Reforms of the disability pension and the subsidised employment schemes have been adopted. Steps have been taken to reform the public school, vocational training and student allowance systems and the government intends to increase competition in a number of services sectors, though only partial progress has been made. Over the short to medium term, Denmark does not seem to face particular challenges with its public finances, though it should continue to lower the deficit sustainably below 3% of GDP.
To stimulate economic growth and secure adequate financing for ambitious welfare policies, Denmark needs to get back on track by boosting productivity growth and competitiveness. The stability of the financial system, in particular the housing market, also remains an issue of concern, while Denmark also needs to enhance its long-term labour supply and the cost effectiveness of the education system.
2013 European Commission's recommendations for Denmark in brief
The Commission has issued three country specific recommendations (CSRs) to Denmark to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of: