Euro area economic policy 2019 (additional opinion)

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Stanovisko EHSV: Euro area economic policy 2019 (additional opinion)

Key points

The EESC:

  • respects the positive development of the EU economy and the euro area over the last few years, but notes that they are now more exposed than usual to risks from outside the EU;
  • believes that it is essential for fiscal policy to accompany the ECB's expansionary monetary policy with a positive fiscal stance within the euro area, while respecting fiscal discipline;
  • takes note of the current investment growth in the EU and euro area, but believes that more resources are required, both in private and public investment, particularly given that such investments are greater in China or the USA;
  • welcomes the proposal for a budgetary instrument for convergence and competitiveness (BICC) and its close link to the Reform Support Programme (RSP);
  • expects the BICC and the RSP to provide significant support for reforms and investment both within the euro area and in countries outside the euro area;
  • believes nevertheless that the proposal concerning the MFF for 2021-2027 may not be sufficient to successfully implement these programmes and reiterates its call for an increase in the amount of resources for this purpose;
  • supports and appreciates the equilibrium and mutual conditionality of investment, structural reforms and fiscal responsibility;
  • underlines the unique importance of private investment and is concerned about the delays in implementing the Banking Union and the Capital Markets Union, which can help accelerate the growth of investments through more efficient and flexible capital flows;
  • believes that the priorities of the European economy should now be more strongly geared towards supporting domestic demand and that the very positive external balance of European trade in goods and services should be more evenly distributed among more Member States;
  • strongly supports further work to improve the functionality and homogeneity of the single market, while noting with concern the problem of the shortage of workers and skills mismatch.