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.
Reflecting the economy’s catching-up potential, real GDP is expected to continue growing above the EU average, while public finances remain among the strongest in the EU. However, the level of potential growth in Estonia in the years ahead is likely to stay below its pre-crisis rate.
Estonia has made some progress on addressing the 2012 CSRs, notably by limiting its budget deficit to 0.3 % of GDP, further reducing unemployment, launching education reforms and investing in energy efficiency. Notwithstanding these commendable achievements, reform efforts are still ongoing, in particular in certain areas of education (tertiary, vocational education and training, and upper secondary), disability and incapacity for work schemes and the energy sector.
Some reform efforts appear insufficient, in particular given the scale of the challenges on the labour market, the fight against poverty and in the education and energy sectors. Structural unemployment is still high and competitiveness will soon be hindered by skills mismatches, a lack of qualified professionals (both blue and white collar), weaknesses in local public service provision and relatively weak innovation
2013 European Commission's recommendations for Estonia in brief
The Commission has issued five country specific recommendations (CSRs) to Estonia to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of: