European Research Area Commitee (ERAC) presented opinion on the 2011 Annual Growth Survey
Mar 14, 2011
As part of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the Commission presented its first Annual Growth Survey (AGS), marking the start of the European semester, and is the main input for the Spring European Council meeting at the end of March.
In order for the EU to emerge from the crisis and lay the foundation for sustainable growth, the AGS sets out broad policy orientations, i.e. returning to macroeconomic stability, achieving higher levels of employment through labour market reforms, and increasing the growth potential.
While the AGS rightly places strong emphasis on urgent fiscal consolidation and addressing macro-economic imbalances, ERAC is of the opinion that the EU’s policy response must go beyond crisis management and short-term fiscal challenges. Research and innovation are critical growth drivers and given the relatively long lead times to reap the impacts of investments and reforms in this area, action must be taken now.
ERAC emphasises on three specific messages consistent with the Annual Growth Survey and the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact and the short term fiscal challenge, i.e the need for Member States to pursue smart fiscal consolidation by giving priority to growth-enhancing measures, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of public funding which will in turn leverage private investment, and the need for both the EU and Member States to accelerate structural reforms.