Euro area economic policy 2022 - Related Opinions
This additional opinion on the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2022 takes into account the ongoing Semester process and provides input for the next cycle. This is particularly important this year. Since Russia´s attack on Ukraine the geopolitical landscape has dramatically changed, and policy has been quickly adapted, as reflected in the Communications on RepowerEU and Our European Growth Model. The EESC also points to the outcome of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which envisages further political measures, including a convention to assess the need for Treaty changes. The Semester, which is itself undergoing a systemic change, has proved to be a credible framework for EU policy coordination during the pandemic. In the Spring Package, the implications of the war in Ukraine are again reflected comprehensively.
This additional opinion updates and complements the proposals made in the original ASGS opinion, adopted in February this year. The EESC welcomes the step forward towards embracing a more social, inclusive and sustainable economic model, particularly given the economic and social effects of COVID-19. To support the economic recovery and public investment, and in support of a digital and green transformation, the EESC believes that a revision of the Stability and Growth Pact, flexibility in state aid rules and a rethink of tax policy is necessary. Well-resourced public health measures and social security systems are likewise of vital importance. The EESC also welcomes the Commission's proposals for Next Generation EU and sees the ASGS as an opportunity for the EU to shift towards an economic model that gives equal weighing to both economic and social objectives.
The EESC is concerned to note the euro area's economic downturn and the gradual end to a fall in unemployment, wedded to the persistent higher incidence of risk factors affecting economic performance. It is the European Green Deal that the EESC sees as the backbone of the future EU and euro-area economic configuration – the potential start of a fundamental change and a turning point. If managed successfully, it could move Europe up a gear economically and socially; if not, its failure could fatally jeopardise the integrity of the EU.