Additional considerations on the Annual Sustainable Growth Survey 2023

EESC opinion: Additional considerations on the Annual Sustainable Growth Survey 2023

Every year in February, the EESC adopts an opinion on Annual Sustainable Growth Survey, which the Commission usually presents at the end of November in the year before. The Committee works under tight deadlines, in anticipation of the referral, to finalise the opinion before the March Council discussion on the topic. To reinforce the Committee's impact throughout the entire European Semester, an own-initiative opinion with additional considerations is regularly produced by October taking into account the overall European Semester, which plays a central role in implementing the Recovery and Resilience Facility and is vital in current discussions about the review of the EU macro-economic governance framework. In addition, in May, the Commission presented the European Semester Spring package 2023, taking account of the implementation of the recovery and resilience Plans, analysing the national economic and social developments and challenges, and providing a forward-looking analysis of the Member State's resilience. The opinion is due to be adopted at the EESC's plenary session on 25 and 26 October 2023, providing a timely contribution to the Commission's preparations for the European Semester Autumn Package, due in November 2023.

Key points


  • believes that monetary policy in the coming months should take care to strike the right balance between the need to continue to reduce inflation and the need to avoid excessively stalling growth and to contribute to public debt reduction plans;
  • is convinced that, in view of the persistent inflation, the social partners and governments should negotiate and agree on national income pacts to reduce inflation without undermining investment and growth, and that these pacts should be accompanied by targeted measures to support the vulnerable parts of the population;
  • supports the EC proposal, included in the legislative package on the reform of the EU's economic governance framework, which seeks to establish differentiated national paths to ensure sustainable public finances through fiscal and structural plans based on compromises negotiated between European and national authorities, and nevertheless considers that national ownership of these commitments requires greater involvement of national parliaments and local and regional authorities, as well as the participation of the social partners and civil society organisations in formal consultation processes;
  • welcomes the fact that the eurozone banking system has proven to be resilient in the wake of the recent financial turmoil in the USA and in Crédit Suisse and, at the same time, expresses its concern regarding the fact that approximately 18% of banking assets in the eurozone are not currently supervised by the Single Supervisory Mechanism;
  • welcomes, in view of the EU's deteriorating global competitiveness, the Green Deal Industrial Plan, which seeks to speed up the permitting process for a certain set of technologies crucial for the green transition. While this is a step in the right direction, the EESC believes that the fast-track procedure should not focus solely on specific technologies (and therefore indirectly pick winners) but should apply to all sectors of the economy;
  • acknowledges, concerning the relaxation of state aid rules, its political necessity in the short run with a view to preserving strategic industrial investments in the EU, but is convinced that it represents a threat to the internal market. As such, it regrets that the EC did not propose a European Sovereignty Fund in its latest mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework.