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This opinion is on the Annual Growth Survey 2018 (AGS), which establishes the main economic priorities and provides policy guidance for the following year. The European Commission published the 2018 AGS on 22 November 2017 as part of the European Semester Autumn Package. The 2018 AGS is focused on fostering job creation and growth and establishes three main priorities: boosting investment to support the recovery and to increase long-term growth; structural reforms for inclusive growth, upward convergence and competitiveness; responsible fiscal policies to support sustainability and convergence.
Objectives: To contribute to a broad public debate on the transition towards a new European ("post E2020") Strategy, addressing the global transformation of the economy and society through digitalisation and accelerated technological changes (the Fourth Industrial Revolution) in order to manage a transition towards a more sustainable European future. This will feed into concrete policy guidance for the European Commission and Parliament and contribute to an action plan for Civil Society Organisations to help them align and strengthen political and operational priorities.
On 23 February the EESC adopted two opinions addressing the issues of education and training and vocational skills development in the EU. Initiatives intended to promote high quality education for all could be meaningless, the EESC warned, if the austerity measures still in place in many EU countries prevented these from making the highly needed investments. As for the Commission's New Skills Agenda, the EESC wishes to see more innovative solutions focusing on social and gender perspectives, non-formal and informal learning and entrepreneurship as a life skill.