The EESC draws forward-looking conclusions from the 2019 Semester and the Committee's civil society consultations in the Member States
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires more than political commitment, says the European Economic and Social Committee. Increased investment, especially by the private sector, is needed to address current economic, social and environmental challenges. The Committee therefore advises the EU and its Member States to adjust their investment and tax policies to enhance growth prospects, and thereby private sector contributions, to accomplishing the SDGs.
The euro ranks second in the world as a reserve currency and as a currency used for fixed income securities issues and international trade transactions. However, its use internationally has yet to return to levels before the financial crisis, and its future role in the international monetary system is tied to the economic prospects of the euro area.
Building up a more sustainable and resilient European economy and completing Economic and Monetary Union should be priorities for the next European Commission and European Parliament: these points emerged from a public hearing held by the European Economic and Social Committee on 12 April 2019.
The European Semester should be based on the principles of partnership and multilevel governance modelled on the partnership agreements existing in cohesion policy, as this bottom-up approach will contribute to more clarity, legitimacy and ownership at implementing level. This was one of the main messages of a hearing held by the European Economic and Social Committee on 11 June.
The European Economic and Social Committee has called on EU leaders in a recently adopted opinion to step up efforts to strengthen the international role of the euro, on the eve of the Euro Summit taking place on Friday, 21 June in Brussels. It underlines that this would be desirable, but also necessary, as a strong euro would contribute to the wellbeing of EU citizens and businesses, uphold common values and promote common interests.
At its plenary session in July, the European Economic and Social Committee presented proposals for the economic agenda of the upcoming legislative period (2019-2024) and recommended that they should form the basis of a new European economic strategy. The Committee's proposals seek to develop more resilient and sustainable EU economic policies within an improved governance framework for the Economic and Monetary Union.
The European Union should grasp the opportunity of the new political mandate and financial period to improve its economic policy coordination and governance. The European Semester should become the most important element of economic policy coordination and a multi-level and multi-actor governance approach should be implemented, says the European Economic and Social Committee. It suggests that an EESC competence centre for exchange of information could be established to address implementation concerns in relation to a future EU strategy.
Europe and its Member States have to deliver wellbeing to the citizens and this can only be done through investments and jobs. This means that the impact which taxes and tax measures have on investments, jobs, trade and growth must be brought to the forefront of the debate.
While the OECD stresses that all taxes have the potential to discourage growth, its analysis of tax structures has found corporate taxes to be the form of taxation that is most harmful to economic growth. Empirical studies confirm that there is a negative relationship between corporate taxes and economic growth.
In order to encourage a broader and more balanced discussion on taxation, the Employers' Group requested that the EESC commission, in 2018, the study on The role of taxes on investment to increase jobs in the EU – An Assessment of Recent Policy Developments in the field of corporate taxes.