Commenting on the EMU Blueprint, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, said: "We need a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union in order to overcome the crisis of confidence that is hurting our economies and our citizens' livelihoods. We must give tangible proof of the willingness of Europeans to stick together and move forward decisively to strengthen the architecture in the financial, fiscal, economic and political domains that underpins the stability of the Euro and our Union as a whole."
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.
Mr Barroso said: "It is crucial to stick to our strategy of growth-friendly fiscal consolidation, economic reforms and targeted investments. This is the only way to restore confidence and create lasting growth. I understand that these reforms are difficult, painful and may have social consequences, which is why the Commission is doing its best to make the recovery as job-rich as possible. The Annual Growth Survey provides Member States with policy guidance, ensuring that the burden of reform is shared fairly and that the most vulnerable are protected."