On 2 June, the Commission released the 2014 Country Specific Recommendations for 26 out of the 28 EU Member States. According to the European Commission growth has returned to the European Union (EU); public finances and macroeconomic imbalances continue to improve; and there is a modest rise in employment rates. The Commission proposes to continue to adopt structural reforms to keep the growth momentum - a strategy criticised by civil society actors that see the traditional growth model unfit to improve declining living standards for millions living in Europe.
As described by the Commission, Country-specific recommendations (CSRs) offer tailored advice to Member States on how to boost growth and jobs, while maintaining sound public finances. They are published every spring, following months of analysis by the Commission. They focus on what can realistically be achieved in the next 12-18 months to make growth stronger, more sustainable and more inclusive, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy, the EU’s long-term growth and jobs plan.
The Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) are based on general priorities identified in the Commission’s Annual Growth Survey last November and on the information Member States submitted in April in their medium-term budgetary plans and economic reform programmes.
The policies that the Commission demands in its latest CSRs push for structural reforms such as reducing debt, shifting to growth-friendlier taxation, boosting private investment and making our economies more competitive.
In 2014, only Greece and Cyprus have not been issued CSRs. This is due to the fact that they are subject to more regular and separate monitoring under EU-International Monetary Fund (IMF) financial assistance programmes.
Unemployment is still affecting millions of Europeans, especially young people, and unless some policies such as the Youth Guarantee are put in place, Europe risks a long and bumpy recovery. Another aspect addressed in the CSRs for several EU Member States is that the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion has increased in the last few months. EPHA would like to stress that both unemployment and social exclusion is a pan-European problem, no matter whether it affects some countries more than others. As a result, these acute social issues must be tackled using Europe-wide measures.
Retaled EPHA articles