The Spanish ESC analyses the economic situation in the EU, and problems of institutional confidence
• The EU should take a less restrictive approach in fiscal policy, albeit without questioning the need for fiscal consolidation, so as to substantially boost public investment. The Council also considers that greater flexibility should be allowed in complying with the consolidation roadmap.
• The European Fund for Strategic Investments, fleshing out the Juncker revival plan, appears unsuitable for giving fiscal impetus to the regions where the crisis is most severe and which have less budgetary margin for backing investment projects.
• The Council believes it would be reasonable to strengthen the EU budget and to establish mechanisms for mutualising public debt, but no progress has been made in this field.
• Regarding national competitiveness boards, which are to have a mandate to assess whether wages are evolving in line with productivity, the Council expresses concern that this power may clash with the model on which wages are determined in the Spanish institutional framework.
• The Council sees a need for greater coordination and convergence in the field of economic and social policy in order to reduce the great disparities in competitiveness and social cohesion.
• The EU’s new economic governance has had the effect of reducing the role of trade unions and employers’ organisations at European level in the decision-making process.
• Community governance has proved deficient in taking decisions in a joint and operative way in response to the challenges arising. The EU faces three crises: Community governance, asylum and refuge, questioning Europe’s traditional values and culture of hospitality and even the principle of free movement, and a neighbourhood crisis, demonstrating the weakness of European foreign policy. Europe continues to work on an intergovernmental logic that has generated a loss of legitimacy in EU institutions, resulting in disaffection in the general public.
• An EU political and institutional political architecture is needed to ensure that the transfer of national sovereignty to the Union is accompanied by greater democratic legitimacy and accountability of EU institutions.