MEPs: Focus on crisis response when coordinating economic and budgetary policies

emergency

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


On Wednesday, MEPs discussed the European Semester and economically and socially sustainable ways out of the crisis with Commissioners Dombrovskis, Gentiloni and Schmit.

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) MEPs stressed that in order to become a proper recovery tool, the Commission’s Country-Specific Recommendations (CSR) have to be implemented in the member states and must take into account a post-crisis reality.

Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis pointed to the resilience facility, the new recovery instrument designed to improve the implementation of the CSR. Commissioner Gentiloni explained that each country, together with the Commission, will have to prepare a tailor-made recovery and resilience plan, in which the member states’ post-crisis priorities should be ensured.

Fiscal policy in times of crisis

Other ECON MEPs were concerned about the general escape clause, which allows the excessive deficit procedure against a member state to be put on hold in times of a severe economic downturn. MEPs wanted to know when the procedure will kick in again and how to keep the right balance between debt sustainability and much-needed investments.

Mr Dombrovskis stressed that the Stability and Growth Pact has been put on hold until the economy is growing again; then the rules start to reapply. Commissioner Gentiloni called for the Council and the Parliament to come to an agreement quickly, so that funds can reach recipients on the ground and the economy can rebound.

Finally, MEPs asked about the connection between the rule of law and access to EU funds. Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis reminded MEPs that rule of law is a condition to access EU funding.

Social dimension of the recovery

Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit said that the latest unemployment forecast for the EU in 2020 stands at 9 % and one out of four workers is currently on a short-time work schedule. Several Members from the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) voiced their deep concern that the unemployment level for Europe’s youth is nearly twice as high as that of all job seekers.

Commissioner Schmit underlined that fighting youth unemployment remains a priority and that the Commission will reinforce the youth guarantee to improve the prospects for young people.

The risk of creating a digital divide when demand for highly-qualified workers will increase, especially in the context of the digital and green transition, was another point of concern for MEPs, who noted that the measures in the context of the green deal could lead to job losses and exacerbate poverty and inequality.

According to Mr Dombrovksis, the green deal will actually have a positive effect on the economy and will create new jobs, with digital skills featuring prominently on the upcoming reinforced skills agenda.

Instruments for upwards social convergence

MEPs also underlined that the crisis has exposed the shortcomings of our current social model and that the European Semester has to be at the service of recovery and a transformation that is social, economically fair and green. Commissioner Schmit highlighted that the social dimension is anchored in the European Semester by means of the social scoreboard and that the Commission tackles problems related to precarious work with initiatives such as fair and predictable working conditions, proposals for an EU minimum wage, working conditions of platform workers, and a child guarantee.

A recording of the debate is available by clicking here.

Background

The European Semester is the annual cycle for coordinating the economic and budgetary policies of the EU member states. Within the framework of the semester, the European Commission analyses the national budgets of EU countries and then issues recommendations, which the member states must take into account when drawing up their national budgets for the coming year.

In the context of the pandemic, the European Commission has adapted its recommendations: In the short-term, EU countries must focus fully on limiting the socio-economic consequences of the crisis, by safeguarding employment and businesses and through additional investments in public health. In the medium-term, the focus should be on investing in sustainable and inclusive growth that facilitates the green transition and the digital transformation.

Due to the deep uncertainty brought about by the extraordinary macroeconomic and fiscal impact of the pandemic, the Commission decided that it will not start excessive deficit procedures against member states.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Sexual abuse of elderly likely to ‘grow dramatically’, UN expert says

EU-Vietnam: Council adopts decisions to sign trade and investment agreements

Afghanistan: UN ‘unequivocally condemns’ attack in Kabul

The European Union and Central Asia: New opportunities for a stronger partnership

More than half a million Rohingya in Bangladesh get ID cards for first time: UN refugee agency

MEPs back update of rail passenger rights across EU

This top-10 of business risks misses the biggest of them all: climate change

New UN bullying report calls for ‘safe, inclusive’ schools for all children

To build the workforce of the future, we need to revolutionize how we learn

These are the cities where people work the longest hours

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

ECB to support only banks not Peoples

The remote doctor in the 21st century

Quality Education on the table at the European Parliament

EU budget 2021-2027: Commission calls on leaders to set out a roadmap towards an autumn agreement

UN-backed intercultural dialogue forum urged to keep working to ‘bridge gap between the like-minded’

Schools must look to the future when connecting students to the internet

Yemen: UN Envoy ‘guilty’ of optimistic hope that war is ‘nearing the end’

How public private partnerships must evolve to create social impact

The EU Commission openly repudiates the austere economic policies

How one traumatised child survived genocide and started a movement for mental health

Take medical use of cannabis seriously, say MEPs

‘Save Tuvalu; save the world’; UN chief echoes rallying cry from front lines of global climate emergency

INTERVIEW: Poverty, education and inclusion top new General Assembly President’s priority list

Mediterranean migrant drownings should spur greater action by European countries, urge UN agencies

Is Europe misjudging its abilities to endure more austerity and unemployment?

France sneaks into the Geneva US-Iran talks to claim its business share in Tehran

During the coronavirus pandemic, we must fight for LGBTQ rights more than ever

Here’s how China is going green

‘Critical’ window of opportunity closing fast in Iraq, Security Council hears

COVID-19: How leaders can create a new and better normal

Businesses are thriving, societies are not. Time for urgent change

EU makes key TTIP document public as protests get louder

This is how New York plans to end its car culture

How smart tech helps cities fight terrorism and crime

Effective multilateralism the antidote to today’s ‘divisions’, Holy See tells UN Assembly

Building an Inclusive ICT Innovation Ecosystem

Stability in Europe has no chances because of Ukraine

Venezuelan exodus to Ecuador reaches record levels: UN refugee agency steps up aid

Indonesia is buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit. And others in ASEAN aren’t far behind

Crime and drugs in West and Central Africa: Security Council highlights ‘new alarming trends’

UN warns of ‘deteriorating climate’ for human rights defenders in Guatemala

EU and India re-open talks over strategic partnership while prepare for a Free Trade Agreement

Your smartphone may know more about your mental health than you

‘Air bridge’ vaccination operation begins for Ebola-hit communities in DR Congo

Thursday’s Daily Brief: Poverty report reveals ‘vast inequalities’, measles compounds DRC Ebola woes, Guterres visits Mozambique, Bangladesh update, freedom of expression online

FROM THE FIELD: facing up to the extreme mental health pressures of conflict

Those who produce food are among world’s hungriest – UN rights expert

Economy on a steady rise in Latin America and Caribbean region ‘despite international turbulence’ – UN report

Parliament adopts new rules for short-stay visas

Britain’s poet laureate has created a prize to highlight poetry about the climate crisis

Collective action now, the only way to meet global challenges, Guterres reaffirms in annual report

UN experts warn Assange arrest exposes him to risk of serious human rights violations

MEPs adopt new Fisheries Partnership with Morocco including Western Sahara

Guinea President Alpha Condé: “We must tackle the root causes of migration”

Migrants: ‘A powerful driver’ of economic growth, ‘dynamism and understanding’

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile Connect availability hits 2B

Commission reports on the risks of investor citizenship and residence schemes in the EU and outlines steps to address them

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Iran: BBC and other broadcast journalists harassed; families threatened – UN experts

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s