In an opinion adopted at its plenary session on 23 February, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) welcomed the communication of the European Commission (EC) on this year's Annual Sustainable Growth Survey, outlining the priorities and guiding principles for the 2022 European Semester cycle. The Committee applauded the unprecedented actions of solidarity taken by the EU in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. The impact on economic activity, however, has been significant, and the level of uncertainty in Europe continues to rise.
- European Green Deal must lead to more economic prosperity and convergence
- Sustainable growth must be a top priority
- Measures to close the investment gap are essential
The EESC draws forward-looking conclusions from the 2019 Semester and the Committee's civil society consultations in the Member States
The European Union should grasp the opportunity of the new political mandate and financial period to improve its economic policy coordination and governance. The European Semester should become the most important element of economic policy coordination and a multi-level and multi-actor governance approach should be implemented, says the European Economic and Social Committee. It suggests that an EESC competence centre for exchange of information could be established to address implementation concerns in relation to a future EU strategy.
The European Semester should be based on the principles of partnership and multilevel governance modelled on the partnership agreements existing in cohesion policy, as this bottom-up approach will contribute to more clarity, legitimacy and ownership at implementing level. This was one of the main messages of a hearing held by the European Economic and Social Committee on 11 June.
Building up a more sustainable and resilient European economy and completing Economic and Monetary Union should be priorities for the next European Commission and European Parliament: these points emerged from a public hearing held by the European Economic and Social Committee on 12 April 2019.