Thursday 21 September 2017

State of the Union: economic progress

The State of the Union 2017 web page of the European Commission offers us materials and some updates concerning policy initiatives relating to the Commission Work Programme (CWP) 2018. In addition, a few novelties on the economic front are worth mentioning. Yesterday the Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis spoke about a proposal for a stronger and more integrated financial supervision for the Capital Markets Union (CMU) SPEECH/17/3365, complemented by a press release IP/17/3308, questions and answers MEMO/17/3322 and a brief CMU and supervision factsheet.

Today, Thursday 21 September 2017, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada entered into force provisionally IP/17/3121.

The European Commission also launched a “Border Focal Point”, a hub of EU experts IP/17/3270 and MEMO/17/3271, to help border regions - 40% of the EU territory and 150 million inhabitants - break down barriers to jobs and investments.

We can take note of the European Labour Authority president Juncker initiated in his SOTEU address, with a view to mobile workers and commuters.

Economic progress
The State of the Union 2017 brochure (108 pages), still only in English, continues with the section Progress in the economic situation (from page 74), in practice four pages of useful graphs for interested readers: faster economic growth, economic sentiment picking up, investment growth, job creation, decreasing unemployment, rising employment rate, shrinking public deficit, decreasing government debt, more robust banks, plus a table with numbers at country level in addition to aggregate figures.

A recent press release from Eurostat tells us that employment increased by 1.6% in the euro area and 1.5% in the EU28 compared with the second quarter last year.
Economic reform issues are on the agenda of the ECOFIN ministers, as told by Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis SPEECH/17/3281, and the Eurogroup, as told by its president Jeroen Dijsselbloem after the latest meeting.  

Ralf Grahn

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