The European Commission has issued its Spring Package of economic policy recommendations for Member States in the next financial semester.
The EU Semester 2019 Spring Package includes country-specific recommendations (CSRs) for all Member States, as well as detailing the progress made by Member States on implementing previous recommendations. The Commission recommended closing an outstanding Excessive Debt Procedure (EDP) against Spain; and stated that a new EDP should be opened against Italy, which has consistently failed to meet EU deficit guidelines.
Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “With this last Spring Package of our mandate, we reaffirm our commitment to an intelligent application of the Stability and Growth Pact. That means basing our decisions not on a mechanistic or legalistic application of the rules, but on whether they are good for growth, jobs and sound public finances. Our track record shows that this is the right approach: public finances have been improving steadily without undermining growth. We also stress today the need for a number of Member States to pursue and where necessary step up efforts to tackle aggressive tax planning, in the interests of fairness to all taxpayers.”
The economy of the EU has continued to grow for its seventh successive year, with further growth projected for 2020; overall EU-wide employment has reached a record high and unemployment is at a record low. However, levels of economic growth were shown to vary significantly between Member States; and the Commission’s country-specific recommendations emphasised particularly the importance of identifying priorities for investment both at national and regional levels.
Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, said: “This Commission has worked hard to build a fairer Europe, a sustainable and inclusive Europe, a Europe that leaves no one behind. The European Pillar of Social Rights establishes principles and rights for all EU citizens. This has to be implemented at national level. With the world of work changing fast, it is essential that Member States follow up with reforms in initial education and lifelong learning, labour markets and social protection.”