Support to structural reforms in the Member States

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Stellungnahme des Ausschusses: Support to structural reforms in the Member States

Key points:

The EESC

  • supports the proposal to increase the Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP) budget and to include a dedicated reform delivery tool for the "reform commitments";
  • underlines that priority should go to the reforms that have direct spill-over effects on the other Member States;
  • advocates structural reforms geared towards social and economic development, including institutional capacity-building to improve administrative quality;
  • highlights that structural reforms are positive not only if they reduce public expenditure in a socially sustainable way, but also when they increase it in the short term, in order to improve the Member States' budget balance in the medium to long term;
  • welcomes the increase in the SRSP budget but notes that its scale is insufficient considering the growing number of requests from the Member States;
  • calls on the Commission to present its intentions regarding the distribution of the new SRSP budget transparently and develop clear selection criteria;
  • highlights that the increase of the financial envelope of the SRSP must take place without penalising the budgets of other equally important funds;
  • underlines the importance of a clear strategy at EU level to monitor the progress and level of development in each Member State while providing guidelines for the allocation of funds, taking into consideration convergence criteria. Sharing of best practices should also be stepped up;
  • underlines that special attention should be given to non-eurozone Member States that are on track to join the euro area;
  • recommends that on a case by case basis, certain SRSP reforms should be funded and linked with the new reform delivery tool, especially when it comes to joining the eurozone or reforms that could further increase European integration;
  • suggests introducing a rule whereby no financing should be given to a Member State unless they have fully adopted the application of the Partnership principle with a real involvement of the social partners and civil society organisations when deciding on the multiannual reform commitment packages;
  • endorses the intention to provide the new reform tool with its own dedicated financing mechanism in the post-2020 multiannual framework.