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, Finland's economic activity is expected to grow by 0.8% and by 1.6% in 2013. Unemployment is foreseen stay at 8%.
Finland has experienced a strong recovery in recent years and economic fundamentals remain strong. The country is on track for balancing the general government finances by 2015. and it is taking steps to ensure the long-term sustainability of public finances (e.g. by introducing a reform to reorganize the municipal sector).
However, Finland is facing important challenges with respect to the long-term sustainability of the current standard of living due to an ageing population, industrial restructuring and a loss of competitiveness on international markets. For the first time in nearly 20 years, the current account turned into deficit in 2011 and is expected to remain in deficit in 2012. Strengthening competition in product and services market has become increasingly important for boosting productivity and enhancing potential economic growth. Notwithstanding the past strong Finnish R&D and innovation performance, without a significant increase in the number of internationalising innovative high growth firms, Finland’s ranking as an EU innovation leader risks declining. There is continued need to lengthen working careers and to combat the rise in long-term unemployment as well as youth unemployment.
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.