The recommendations adopted today cover budgetary measures and economic reforms to enhance financial stability, boost growth and create employment across the EU. The recommendations are country-specific, taking account of the individual situation of each Member State. The Commission has also issued recommendations for the euro area as a whole, and set out its vision for the EU-level policy action needed to complement the national measures to deliver growth. The recommendations will now go forward for endorsement to heads of state and government at the European Council summit on 28-29 June.
A number of key messages emerge. On public finances, Member States are on the whole taking the necessary action to restore sustainability, but in several cases consolidation should be more growth-friendly. Unemployment, and in particular youth unemployment, is a severe problem – and though there is no quick fix, immediate action should be taken to increase productivity and better match skills and training to labour market needs. Many Member States are undertaking major structural reforms, including of their labour markets. These are helping to boost competitiveness and to correct macro-economic imbalances within Europe. Yet much greater action is needed across the EU to unlock our growth potential, create opportunities for business development, and unleash the job-creating potential of the services and energy sectors and the digital economy.
Finally, the Commission has indicated the main steps towards full economic and monetary union, including a banking union; euro area financial supervision and euro-area wide deposit guarantees. This process will need to take into account legal issues such as Treaty and constitutional change, while giving more democratic legitimacy and accountability to further integration moves.
Regarding the UK, the Commission has proposed carrying over five recommendations agreed last year and partially implemented. These cover fiscal consolidation/growth, housing policy, skills for young people, reducing workless households and improving the availability of bank and other financing to the private sector. The Commission has put forward a new recommendation on improving the UK’s network infrastructure, including measures to address pressures in transport and energy networks.
As part of a linked procedure covering 12 Member States were economic imbalances had been identified, the Commission has also concluded that the UK is experiencing imbalances which need to be addressed. In particular, macroeconomic developments in the areas of household debt and the housing market deserve attention, as do unfavourable but less pressing developments in external competitiveness, so as to reduce the risk of adverse effects on the functioning of the economy.
The UK is a strong supporter of the Europe 2020 process and its thinking on opening up markets and releasing potential has generally been very much in line with the Commission's. The UK government welcomed and agreed with the 2011 CSRs.
The outcome of the whole process gives the UK in the Council the opportunity to influence CSRs not only for itself but also for the other EU countries with whose economies it is interdependent.
The full documents and the text of the recommendations are available on the Europe 2020 website: