Deeper economic policy coordination will require Member States to act on structural reform recommendations and also improve transparency, says Parliament's reaction to the Commission's annual growth survey and employment guidelines. The resolutions adopted on Wednesday also call for more effort on growth, employment and poverty.
Speaking ahead of the vote Jean-Paul Gauzès (EEP, FR), rapporteur on the Annual Growth Survey (AGS), said: "We want Member States to implement the structural reforms to which they have committed themselves. This reform policy should not become a dead letter".
Marije Cornelissen (Greens, NL), rapporteur on the employment and social aspects of the AGS, said: "There is a friction between fiscal policy and employment policy but we have to ensure more coherence between the two. There is a way to address both, through better economic governance".
Pervenche Berès (S&D, FR), rapporteur on the employment guidelines said, "The EP wants to strike a balance between the goals of the EU2020 strategy and the Stability and Growth Pact. Member States are currently placing too much emphasis on the Stability and Growth Pact, to the detriment of growth and investment".
Budget cuts alone do not restore economies or confidence
Budgetary, growth and employment measures need to be taken together, say all the resolutions. For example, the AGS resolution says that the Commission's roadmap "overlooks the need to take urgent action to support short-term activity and employment".
The need to build confidence among investors, consumers and citizens is also stressed by the resolutions, which argue that the Commission's AGS document does too little to address it. The AGS resolution emphasises that democratic legitimacy and national ownership need to be substantially increased to step up the pace of economic reforms. It asks the Commission to shed more light on what Member States are doing and not doing as regards implementing the reform recommendations they receive. The resolution underlines that limited implementation of these reform recommendations will stall growth.
The same resolution also says banks should be made to lend more to the real economy and calls for legislative proposals on bank crisis management before the summer.
Employment and social aspects
The resolution on the social and employment aspects of the AGS calls on the European Council to ensure that fiscal consolidation does not increase poverty or hamper efforts to tackle unemployment and in particular youth unemployment.
MEPs propose introducing, in cooperation with the social partners, a Youth Guarantee scheme to secure the right of every young person to be offered a job, an apprenticeship or training after four months of unemployment.
Furthermore, they call on the European Council to set up a tax on financial transaction.
In the same resolution, MEPs also express their concerns about Member States' commitments as set out in national reform programmes, which they say are insufficient to achieve the Europe 2020 headline targets for employment, education and poverty reduction.
Procedure: Consent and non-legislative resolutions