On the 4th March, the Commission published its updated proposals on the Economic Recovery Package, replacing the usual Lisbon report to the Spring Council. The new Communication is the next step in the Commission’s approach to the Crisis and builds on the November Communication.
What’s new? Its main new input is in providing detailed proposals to restore confidence in the financial sector, particularly through setting up a new financial supervisory framework (to be presented before the end of May 2009), filling in the gaps on EU or national regulation on hedge funds, private equity etc; and also measures to reinforce safeguards for consumers and investors.
In terms of the real economy, the proposals call for the implementation of the Economic Recovery Plan, but stress the need not to undermine the single market, i.e. against protectionism. Whilst the Commission supports member states measures to stimulate demand in key areas like raising skills, increasing investment in innovation, broad band, renewing existing transport and energy infrastructure, they underline that these measures should be only temporary.
The fourth pillar focuses as before on supporting people through the crisis. This prioritises defending existing jobs and ensuring reintegration in the labour market, whilst supporting the “most vulnerable” through increases in minimum income/wages, extended coverage on unemployment benefit/ tax rebates and measures against over-indebtedness and repossession. It also underlines the need to strengthen social protection and to invest in social and health infrastructure.
EAPN is consulting with its members on the impact of the crisis (See EAPN’s letters to the EPSCO and Spring Council and initial input to Economic Recovery Plan) and is preparing a position in response to the Communication.
See Commission’s Communication.
For more information contact Sian Jones, EAPN Policy Coordinator email@example.com.