Sekcja ds. Unii Gospodarczej i Walutowej oraz Spójności Gospodarczej i Społecznej (ECO) - Related Opinions
Every year in February, the EESC adopts an opinion on Annual Sustainable Growth Survey, which the Commission usually presents at the end of November in the year before. This communication outlines the economic and employment policy priorities for the EU for the following 12 months, with a view to mitigating the negative impacts of the energy shocks in the short term and to foster sustainable growth and increase the EU’s resilience in the medium term. The structured approach, like in previous years, centres around the four dimensions of competitive sustainability and in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The ASGS also continues to guide Member States in the implementation of the national Recovery and Resilience Plans (RRPs). The EESC's opinion on the ASGS 2024 is due to be adopted at the plenary session of 24-25 February 2024.
Reporting requirements are key for the enforcement and monitoring of legislation, but can also lead to burdens on stakeholders. The European Commission, under the REFIT programme, is proposing to streamline reporting obligations and reducing administrative burdens with regards to financial services, the InvestEU programme and certain benchmarks, while allowing the reuse of data for innovation and research purposes.
This opinion focuses on the reform and investment measures in the Member States, in particular those based on the Country-Specific Recommendations 2023, and their implementation, in order to assess the effectiveness of these measures and the possibilities for better targeting of proposals, improved implementation and the monitoring and involvement of organised civil society in the procedures. This opinion also looks at issues concerning the ongoing reform of the EU’s economic governance rules, the central objective of which is to strengthen public debt sustainability while promoting sustainable and inclusive growth in all Member States through reforms and investment. Moreover, the opinion continues the previous consultation exercises by examining the state of the implementation of the reforms and investments provided for in the national Recovery and Resilience Plans and which are financially supported by RRF funds.
The EC proposes establishing a Head Office Tax system for micro, small and medium sized enterprises (HOT), and amending Directive 2011/16/EU. The objective of the proposal is to give small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating cross-border through permanent establishments (PE) the option to interact with only one tax administration – that of the Head Office – instead of having to comply with multiple tax systems.
At the request of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the EESC is drawing up this opinion to suggest recommendations on how to tackle inequalities, foster upwards social convergence and strengthen social security systems and ensure its long-term affordability, in an EU economic governance framework/European Semester defined around debt sustainability, productive investments and reforms. This opinion is also focusing on the implications of such a framework for the European Semester, and the further strengthening of the social pillar herein. Finally, the opinion also looks at ways of continuing to further develop fiscal instruments that have a stabilising role at the European level, based e.g. on the experience of SURE.
One of the main conclusions of the 8th Cohesion Report is that although cohesion and convergence among regions in the European Union has improved, there are still remaining gaps especially in less developed regions related with their territorial characteristics. EU islands, mountain areas and sparsely populated areas still face many challenges on their growth and income and disparities exist.
In these regions, there are still a lot of gaps in terms of employment and investment, social exclusion is evident and gender disparities have not diminished.
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