The country-specific recommendations are documents prepared by the European Commission for each Member State, which analyse its economic situation and provide tailored policy advice on measures that it should adopt over the coming 18 months. They cover the particular challenges that the Member State is facing in a broad range of areas: the state of public finances, reforms of pension systems, measures to create jobs and to fight unemployment, education and innovation challenges, efficiency of the public administration, competition etc. The final adoption of country-specific recommendations prepared by the Commission takes place at the highest level by national leaders in the European Council.
Romania has succeeded in restoring macroeconomic stability, re-establishing market access for the government, and safeguarding financial stability. The public finances situation has improved and the excessive deficit procedure was abrogated in July 2013. Youth unemployment is high while the employment rate remains overall low.
Overall, Romania has made some progress in addressing the 2013 country-specific recommendations. The 2011-13 EU/International Monetary Fund financial assistance programme was completed, the public finance situation has further improved and some progress has been recorded in key structural areas: energy price deregulation has kept up pace, the absorption of EU funds has significantly improved, health care reform has continued, while the business environment has been strengthened. In addition, the authorities took steps towards improving tax collection, reforming the judicial system and equalising pensionable age for men and women.
Romania still faces a high number of bottlenecks hampering the business environment and further economic development: fiscal consolidation challenges, low tax compliance, low labour market participation, high levels of poverty and social exclusion, low educational outcomes, inefficient and low quality health care, ineffective public administration, high levels of corruption, low competition and efficiency in energy and transport. In addition, a persistent low administrative capacity is causing critical delays in implementing the necessary reforms and in absorbing EU funds. See how Romania compares with other EU Member States in key areas.
2014 European Commission's recommendations in brief
The Commission has issued eight country-specific recommendations to Romania to help it improve its economic performance. These are in the areas of: implementation of the precautionary programme; public finances and taxation; health care; labour market; education and training; social inclusion; efficiency of the public administration; network industries.