The European Commission adopted the 2013 Annual Growth Survey (AGS), setting out five priorities designed to guide Member States through the crisis to renewed growth.
The AGS kick-starts the European Semester for economic policy coordination, which ensures Member States align their budgetary and economic plans with the Stability and Growth Pact and the Europe 2020 strategy.
The main message of the AGS this year is that while EU policies are beginning to show results – deficits are coming down, tensions in financial markets are easing and there are signs that competitiveness is improving in some Member States – continued reform is needed to generate sustainable growth and jobs. That is why the Commission considers that the five priorities outlined in last year's AGS remain valid. The five priorities are:
Each of the five priorities is focused on delivering growth and jobs, with a special emphasis on fairness. Targeted support for research in the public and private sectors, better performing education and training systems to raise overall skill levels, and a simpler legal regime for business start-ups – all of these measures can help to boost competitiveness and therefore growth.
The Single Market and the further development of network industries (transport, energy and internet infrastructures) also offer opportunities for businesses to develop and for consumers to benefit from better services and products.
Annexed to the AGS is the Draft Joint Employment Report,which analyses the employment and social situation in Europe.