Euro area economic policy 2017 (additional opinion)

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Mišljenje EGSO-a: Euro area economic policy 2017 (additional opinion)

Key points

The EESC:

  • considers it essential to have a balanced mix of euro area economic policies, with their monetary, fiscal and structural components properly interlinked;
  • disagrees with the European Council's rejection of a positive fiscal stance and calls on it to reconsider this conclusion in light of the anticipated move away from quantitative easing;
  • notes the improving economic situation in the euro area and recommends that, in order to maintain and bolster this, crucial steps be taken to stimulate investment and carry out reforms;
  • takes the view that the euro is the currency of the whole EU and is in favour of enlarging the euro area, with an anticipated positive impact on both the euro area and its new members;
  • notes that, because of Brexit and the poor predictability of the current US administration, due attention needs to be given to political and economic developments worldwide;
  • emphasises, in the context of the upcoming 2018 economic policy recommendations, the need to launch a debate on:
    • creating a fiscal union;
    • strengthening Member States' ownership of obligations vis-à-vis the euro area;
    • the need for structural reforms within the European Semester platform;
    • further strengthening of economic coordination and governance;
    • reinforcing real long-term investment, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals by using the EIB, EIF and EFSI 2.0;
    • the euro area exerting a greater influence in the world;
  • is aware of the need for increased investment to be reflected in wage trends and falling unemployment, while also addressing imbalances as an obstacle to long-term growth;
  • considers that to secure the vital support of citizens for the reconstruction of the euro area and the achievement of structural reforms, the social and democratic dimensions of euro area governance need to be strengthened.