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 12 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.
In 2012, the Danish economy is expected to pick up slightly as compared to 2011, with a foreseen GDP growth of 1.1%. Unemployment more than doubled from a record low of 3.4% in 2008 to 7.6% in 2011 and is expected to remain broadly stable in 2012 at 7.7%.
A reform of the voluntary early retirement pension scheme was adopted last year, establishing a good basis for raising the effective retirement age. In addition, an ambitious budget law was recently agreed. The government has announced a comprehensive set of reforms to raise labour supply further, improve competitiveness, and lower income taxes.
The budget deficit must be reduced to comply with the EDP recommendation and further reforms are warranted to increase the labour supply. The quality of compulsory and upper secondary education needs to be improved to tackle problems of future skills imbalances and low productivity growth. In this respect, further steps are also warranted to remove obstacles to competition. In addition, strengthening the medium-term stability of the housing market remains a challenge, partly on account of the rise in household debt and its composition on the back of the housing boom prior to the crisis.
All Member States have committed to the Europe 2020 strategy. However, each country has different economic circumstances and translates the overall EU objectives into national targets in its National Reform Programme – a document which presents the country's policies and measures to sustain growth and jobs and to reach the Europe 2020 targets. The National Reform Programme is presented in parallel with its Stability/Convergence Programme, which sets out the country's budgetary plans for the coming three or four years.