Annual Sustainable Growth Survey 2024

EESC opinion: Annual Sustainable Growth Survey 2024

Key points


  • recommends that the European Central Bank closely monitor economic risks and carry out careful contingency planning to ensure credible inflation outlooks, and advises the ECB to be prepared to adjust policies if the projected decline in inflation slows or reverses, or alternatively drifts too far below 2%, thus advocating for clearer contingency planning to uphold the credibility of the inflation outlook;
  • calls for concrete engagement with national parliaments, regional and local authorities, civil society and social partners on reforms of the EU's macroeconomic governance framework, and stresses the importance of taking ownership of these reforms at national level through effective dialogue;
  • emphasises the critical importance of integrating democratic values and rule of law principles in the EU's economic governance;
  • advocates for fiscal consolidation that takes into account each Member State's unique situation, while acknowledging the diverse economic conditions and growth challenges of Member States;
  • urges a balanced approach to phasing out crisis support, which continues to assist vulnerable groups impacted by high energy costs and inflation, and calls for a permanent framework of means-tested support in some countries, and emphasises the need for a detailed discussion on social impacts;
  • calls on the European Commission and on national governments to provide the necessary support to enhance administrative capacity and streamline processes, and to involve civil society in the implementation of the national recovery and resilience plans;
  • emphasises the need to increase labour market participation through upskilling, ensuring equal opportunities and targeting regional disparities, and advocates policies addressing pandemic-induced learning losses, focusing on the needs of disadvantaged students and schools;
  • urges more courageous actions to dismantle administrative obstacles hampering EU businesses as well as other stakeholders, while supporting measures to boost productivity, and argues that initiatives to reduce reporting obligations must be coupled with stronger incentives for investments in sustainability, including cross-border ones;
  • advocates for a balanced fiscal approach integrating stakeholder input and considering economic realities across Member States, and underscores that the implementation of recovery plans should align with this nuanced approach in order to prevent undermining environmental and social objectives;
  • is disappointed by the delayed establishment of the EU Sovereignty Fund, while the limited budget for STEP raises serious doubts about the EU’s dedication and ability to achieve its green transition objectives, as well as concerns about the investment in the Union’s competitiveness.