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Reform Support Programme

EESC opinion: Reform Support Programme

Press release: EESC gives European Parliament, Commission and Council fresh input for improving economic governance in the EU

Key points:

The EESC

  • welcomes and endorses the rationale behind the establishment of the Reform Support Programme;
  • proposes that, when carrying out structural reforms with the support of the programme, the social impact and consequences also be monitored at Member State level;
  • believes that the linkage between the Reform Support Programme and the European Semester could be even greater and more direct than provided for in the proposal;
  • believes that, in order to launch the Reform Support Programme successfully and obtain the expected benefits, better responses are needed to a number of still open questions;
  • would welcome the development of a practical manual that would make it easier for beneficiaries to discover possible combinations of different chapters of the future Multiannual Financial Framework;
  • recommends that the procedures for evaluating the success of reforms (and therefore also the conditions for disbursement of funds under the programme) be further clarified and defined
  • believes that organised civil society can play an active role in obtaining agreement between the European Commission and the Member States on the content of reforms;
  •  thinks it highly desirable to create a platform for cooperation between Member States on matters relating to the form and nature of structural reforms;
  • recommends that the programme be extended to cover also structural projects of pan-European importance;
  • is not entirely convinced that the retrospective payment of funds provides sufficient motivation for a Member State to carry out a structural reform.