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Steering economic recovery - 08/06/2011

Men fixing euro jigsaw puzzle © iStock/lonely snail design

Recommendations for each of the 27 EU countries offer guidance on 2011-2012 domestic budgets and economic policies.

The Commission has recommended measures each EU country should take to stimulate economic growth, create more jobs and keep public finances under control.

The recommendations are a response to plans each government submitted earlier this year on how they intend to achieve common EU economic goals.

Overall, the national plans reflect the priorities agreed by the 27 governments. If they are followed, the EU will be on track to achieve its targets for greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy and keeping children in education.

However, some strategies will fall short of the targets and need to be more ambitious. Others do not provide sufficient details on how they intend to achieve the common goals.

Achieving targets

Among the recommendations are calls to:

  • step up efforts to reach EU targets on employment, research and development, energy efficiency, higher education and reducing poverty
  • work harder at reducing debt and narrow the gap between spending and tax revenue to bring national budgets into line with EU targets
  • keep more people in work by raising the retirement age, cutting early retirement schemes and improving access to childcare
  • combat structural unemployment and integrate vulnerable groups such as women and older workers into the job market
  • reduce youth unemployment and numbers of pupils leaving school early by reforming labour contracts where necessary and closely linking education and employment

The recommendations form part of the first 'European semester', a six-month process conducted every year during which EU governments consult each other intensively as they formulate their budgets and economic policies.

As part of the semester process, the Commission also issued general recommendations for the euro area .

Completing the semester

The European Council will meet on 23-24 June to discuss the recommendations, and again in July to formally approve them. Then it will be up to each country to incorporate them in their national budgets for 2011-12.

The Commission and other EU countries will then monitor how each country implements these measures as part of the peer review.

More on the European semester

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