Monday, 26 December 2011

What is the EU doing for growth and jobs?

The European Council has repeatedly endorsed and called for a Digital Single Market, as well as other growth reforms. This quote comes from the conclusions 9 December 2011 (EUCO 139/11; page 1, point 2):

Recalling the key priority areas for growth it identified in October 2011, in particular, the Single Market Act, the Digital Single Market and the reduction of overall regulatory burden for SMEs and microenterprises, the European Council stressed the need to swiftly adopt the measures with the most potential to boost growth and jobs. It therefore supports the principle of a fast-track programme and invites the Council and the European Parliament to give particular priority to the speedy examination of the proposals identified by the Commission, including in its Annual Growth Survey, as having substantial growth potential. It endorses the actions proposed by the Commission in its report on minimising regulatory burdens for SMEs.

In most EU member states the government coffers are empty and for some countries public borrowing (even refinancing) has become prohibitively expensive. Despite the glide into recession, there is scant hope for massive stimulus through state budgets.

Governments are mainly left with the opportunity to undertake qualitative growth reforms, in order to unleash the potential for a return to economic growth, prosperity and job creation. The sooner, the better, but becoming competitive often means breaking societal taboos in the very member states where the reforms have been lagging.

Without going into the substance, here is a compilation of the main EU level programmes to engender growth and new jobs.


Reforms for growth and jobs

Competitiveness is a key concept. For the convenience of readers, here are a few sources regarding proposals and developments to unleash growth potential in the European Union.


Single Market Act

The Single Market Act – twelve levers to boost growth and strengthen confidence – and the latest developments.


EU2020 and flagship initiatives

The Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, with seven flagship initiatives:

Digital Agenda for Europe, including the fresh Annual Progress Report 2011 (22 December 2011), where developments regarding the Pillar 1 aim ”A vibrant digital single market” are recorded on pages 2-6.

Innovation Union, including the report State of the Innovation Union 2011; Brussels, 2.12.2011 COM(2011) 849 final

Youth on the Move

A Resource-efficient Europe

An Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era, including the monitoring report Industrial Policy: Reinforcing competitiveness; Brussels, 14.10.2011 COM(2011) 642 final, or the fuller version including SEC(2011) 1187. Also the European Competetiveness Report 2011.

An Agenda for New Skills and Jobs. Also the report Employment and Social Developments in Europe (15 December 2011), downloadable here.

European platform against poverty and social exclusion. Also the report Employment and Social Developments in Europe (15 December 2011), downloadable here.


Annual Growth Survey 2012

Annual Growth Survey 2012 VOL. 1/5; Brussels, 23.11.2011 COM(2011) 815 final

The four AGS Annexes Progress Report on Europe 2020 (Volume 2), Macro-economic Report (Volume 3), Draft Joint Employment Report (Volume 4) and Growth-friendly tax policies in Member States and better tax coordination in the EU (Volume 5), are downloadable here.


Smart Regulation

The communication Smart Regulation in the European Union, Brussels, 8.10.2010 COM(2010) 543 final, is a part of the Better Regulation strategy. The recent report Minimizing regulatory burden for SMEs - Adapting EU regulation to the needs of micro-enterprises, Brussels, 23.11.2011 COM(2011) 803 final, was endorsed by the European Council, as we saw above.




Ralf Grahn