This additional opinion on the Annual Sustainable Growth Strategy 2022 takes into account the ongoing Semester process and provides input for the next cycle. This is particularly important this year. Since Russia´s attack on Ukraine the geopolitical landscape has dramatically changed, and policy has been quickly adapted, as reflected in the Communications on RepowerEU and Our European Growth Model. The EESC also points to the outcome of the Conference on the Future of Europe, which envisages further political measures, including a convention to assess the need for Treaty changes. The Semester, which is itself undergoing a systemic change, has proved to be a credible framework for EU policy coordination during the pandemic. In the Spring Package, the implications of the war in Ukraine are again reflected comprehensively.
The Annual Sustainable Growth Survey 2022 - Related Opinions
This own-initiative opinion will offer an overview of how gender equality and economic empowerment has been built into the RRF Regulation and will focus on gender-oriented public investments and programmes foreseen in NRRPs on targeted recovery plans to support women’s participation in the labour market, while giving concrete recommendations to ensure gender-based investments.
The EESC strongly believes in the importance of the next Semester cycle as a key instrument for implementing the Recovery and Resilience Facility.
However, it is still concerned about the lack of clarity in most Member States as regards their National Recovery and Resilience Plan governance systems and the distribution of responsibilities for their implementation.
The EESC would also draw attention to the need to measure progress in implementation, for which good monitoring indicators are needed; in this connection it welcomes the "Recovery and Resilience Scoreboard" initiative.
Moreover, the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for a strong industrial policy to avoid dependence on other economic zones for many products and services.
The EESC wants to see real action in this respect by Member States, in terms of investment in education, infrastructure and industrial policy to raise employment and boost European industry.