The EESC welcomes the establishment of economic priority programmes for the euro area at the start of the European Semester. To achieve a recovery of growth and employment a mix of financial, taxation, budgetary, economic and social policies is needed. In contrast to the recommendation of the Commission, the focus of fiscal policy should be designed to be more expansionist than neutral. The EESC advocates the reduction of taxation on labour insofar as it does not threaten the financial sustainability of social protection systems. The EESC calls for a coordinated effort to create a more business-friendly environment for SMEs through better regulation, adequate financing and facilitation of exports to markets outside the EU. There is a particular need to open up new funding opportunities for micro-enterprises and start-ups.
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..."Meanwhile, the financial and economic crisis has changed into a sovereign debt crisis because of the daily speculation against the euro, which has shifted its focus and targeted the debt of a number of European countries. The only reason for this is that the economic and political instruments to protect the euro are piecemeal, totally inadequate and, until a year ago, downright non-existent. These are the paradoxes that come from having a single monetary policy and 17 debt policies, 17 budget policies, 17 (or rather 27) economic and industrial policies, and so many voices, often contradictory, having their say and offering recipes for resolving the crisis. This is why there must be a commitment to redouble and continue the efforts made recently by the EU. It is useful, therefore, to draw up a few proposals, ..."
The EESC considers the proposed European Investment Stabilisation Function (EISF) as a step towards closer euro area integration, and possibly an attempt to encourage non-euro Member States to join the single currency. However, the EESC is of the view that a well-crafted union-wide insurance scheme that acts as an automatic stabiliser amidst macroeconomic shocks would be more effective than the proposed EISF.