- Continue focus on competitiveness, growth and jobs with the 5 priorities of the AGS, but shift towards implementation, still confirming fiscal consolidation but more flexibility on the mix: expenditure and revenue measures and short term public investment measures to boost job creation particularly for the young.
- A stronger focus on shifting tax from labour and tackling tax evasion “ everybody must pay their taxes’’, new proposals on energy tax, consolidated corporate tax, and Saving Tax, as well as follow up on FTT.
- The need to exploit the Green Economy to promote growth and competitiveness – with recent increase of EIB capital by 10 billion EUR to let Bank lend an extra 60 million to support growth and jobs.
- The June summit will focus on the implementation of the Compact for Growth and Jobs with the emphasis on creating jobs and fast-acting growth measures – targeting infrastructure, energy, resource efficiency, digital economy, research, innovation and SMEs.
- They are pressing to implement economic governance – with the new legislation on the fiscal and microeconomic surveillance (6 and 2 pack) so they are applied by 1 Jan 2013.
- “’Addressing unemployment is the most imp social challenge”, this means: active labour market policies, youth unemployment, education and training. ESF will be used to make the Youth Employment Initiative operational y 1 Jan 2014. Also the Employment Package – bringing more women into work, reducing long-term unemployment and ensuring the full participation of older workers.
- As an afterthought they mention – it is crucial to tackle the social consequences of the crisis and fight poverty and social exclusion but no proposals…
- The Single Market continues to be the main driver for growth and jobs.
- Deepening the EMU – no great progress here: they recognize that any steps towards strengthening economic governance will need to be ‘’accompanied by further steps towards stronger legitimacy and accountability”. They will continue to press for a more integrated financial framework.
18/03 – The Main Conclusions of the European Council 14-15th March can be found here on the Council’s website : http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/136151.pdf (original version – EN)
The Social Pillar of the EMU
- There is no reference to this in the main Council Conclusions, but in Van Rompuy’s remarks.
Main points on the Tripartite Summit – which was discussing the social pillar of the EMU
Remarks by the President Herman Van Rompuy following the Tripartite Social Summit can be found here on the Council’s website:
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/136114.pdf (original version – EN)
- Our Union runs on a four-leg strategy:
- Restore and keep financial stability in the Euro(not austerity…!)
- Restore sound and sustainable public finances through differentiated fiscal consolidation.
- Address the emergency situation and the root causes – specific policies to fight unemployment and tackle ‘’social divergences’’ – because ‘fiscal consolidation does not prevent us from launching such much-needed policies’’.
- Strengthen competiveness to achieve long-term growth – through the single market particularly energy, innovation, digital agenda and industrial competiveness.
- The main answer to 4) is the Youth Guarantee – 6 billion Euro Youth Employment Package and he mentions the Social Investment Package – focused on human capital and lifelong learning.
- There is a need to reduce social divergences: through Europe 2020. He says that although the poverty, employment and education targets are key, they should develop better indicators that help them to ‘’take a better account of the social dimension of our economic choices/ and reforms’’
Following the Council – He reaffirms the same 4-legged strategy, but now the focus on the emergency situation and root causes has become – urgently fighting unemployment – specially youth.
See: Remarks by President Herman Van Rompuy following the European Council:
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_Data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/136163.pdf (original version – EN)
See also on European Council’s website (15 March):