- The EESC welcomes the Commission’s Annual Growth Survey (AGS) 2015 with its conceptual objective of promoting suitable growth levels to support Europe’s recovery. The three pillars approach – boosting investment, structural reforms and responsive fiscal and budget consolidation - seems to be a good response to Europe’s needs. However there are still some weaknesses in the process, bearing in mind that the AGS does not cover sufficiently social and environmental aspects.
- In view of the Investment Plan for Europe, it is crucial to establish appropriate conditions for partnership-based investment involving both the private and public sectors. Here social investment can play a critical role in the promotion of welfare and the eradication of poverty and exclusion.
- The EESC believes that fiscal responsibility is needed from all Member States and it should be directly linked with employment promotion and social accountability. The Committee supports growth-friendly fiscal consolidation and asks – where possible – the Member States to reduce the tax burden imposed by austerity policies to re-stimulate private investment without neglecting smart public investment.
- The EESC welcomes the streamlining of the European Semester, but cautions that a new 'civil society calendar' must be implemented. The Committee underlines that the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy should be published in a timely manner in order to give stakeholders sufficient time to prepare their positions.