Procedure : 2012/2150(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A7-0312/2012

Texts tabled :

A7-0312/2012

Debates :

PV 25/10/2012 - 18
CRE 25/10/2012 - 18

Votes :

PV 26/10/2012 - 6.9
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P7_TA(2012)0408

REPORT     
PDF 345kWORD 234k
12 October 2012
PE 492.923v03-00 A7-0312/2012

on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2012 priorities

(2012/2150(INI))

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

Rapporteur: Jean-Paul Gauzès

Rapporteur for the opinion (*): Marije Cornelissen, Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

(*) Associated committee – Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (*)
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgets
 OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
 OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on Womens Rights and Gender Equality
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2012 priorities

(2012/2150(INI))

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its resolution of 1 December 2011 on the European semester for economic policy coordination(1),

–   having regard to the conclusions of the European Council of 28/29 June 2012,

–   having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 136 in combination with Article 121(2) thereof,

–   having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1175/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 November 2011 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1466/97 on the strengthening of the surveillance of budgetary positions and the surveillance and coordination of economic policies(2),

–   having regard to Council Directive 2011/85/EU of 8 November 2011 on requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States(3),

–   having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1174/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 November 2011 on enforcement measures to correct excessive macroeconomic imbalances in the euro area(4),

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EU) No 1177/2011 of 8 November 2011 amending Regulation (EC) No 1467/97 on speeding up and clarifying the implementation of the excessive deficit procedure(5),

–   having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1176/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 November 2011 on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances(6),

–   having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1173/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 November 2011 on the effective enforcement of budgetary surveillance in the euro area(7),

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 December 2011 on the Scoreboard for the surveillance of macroeconomic imbalances: envisaged initial design(8);

–   having regard to Annex I to the European Council Conclusions of 24-25 March 2011 entitled ‘The Euro Plus Pact: Stronger economic policy coordination for competitiveness and convergence’(9),

–   having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 23 November 2011 on the Annual Growth Survey 2012 (COM(2011)0815),

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 February 2012 on the contribution to the Annual Growth Survey 2012(10),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the implementation of the broad guidelines for the economic policies of the Member States whose currency is the euro(11),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Austria and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of Austria, 2011-2016(12),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Belgium and delivering a Council Opinion on the Stability Programme of Belgium, 2012-15(13),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Bulgaria and delivering a Council opinion on the Convergence Programme of Bulgaria, 2012-15(14),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Cyprus and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of Cyprus, 2012-2015(15),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of the Czech Republic and delivering a Council opinion on the Convergence Programme of the Czech Republic, 2012-2015(16),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Denmark and delivering a Council opinion on the Convergence Programme of Denmark, 2012-2015(17),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Estonia and delivering a Council Opinion on the Stability Programme of Estonia, 2012-15(18),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Finland and delivering a Council Opinion on the Stability Programme of Finland, 2012-2015(19),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of France and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of France, 2012-2016(20),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Germany and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of Germany, 2012-16(21),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Greece(22),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Hungary and delivering a Council opinion on the Convergence Programme of Hungary, 2012-2015(23),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Ireland and delivering a Council Opinion on the Stability Programme of Ireland, 2012-2015(24),

–   having regard to the Council recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Italy and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of Italy, 2012-2015(25),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Latvia and delivering a Council Opinion on the Convergence Programme of Latvia, 2012-15(26),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Lithuania and delivering a Council opinion on the Convergence Programme of Lithuania, 2012-15(27),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Luxembourg and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of Luxembourg, 2012-15(28),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Malta and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of Malta, 2012-15(29),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation of 10 July 2012 on the National Reform Programme 2012 of the Netherlands and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of the Netherlands, 2012-2015(30),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Poland and delivering a Council Opinion on the Convergence Programme of Poland, 2012-2015(31),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Portugal and delivering a Council Opinion on the Stability Programme of Portugal, 2012-16(32),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Romania and delivering a Council opinion on the Convergence Programme of Romania, 2012-15(33),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Slovakia and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of Slovakia, 2012-2015(34),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Slovenia and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of Slovenia, 2012-15(35),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Spain and delivering a Council opinion on the Stability Programme of Spain, 2012-2015(36),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation on the National Reform Programme 2012 of Sweden and delivering a Council Opinion on the Convergence Programme of Sweden, 2012-15(37),

–   having regard to the Council Recommendation on the National Reform Programme 2012 of the United Kingdom and delivering a Council opinion on the Convergence Programme of the United Kingdom, 2012-2017(38),

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 June 2012 on ‘Single Market Act: The Next Steps To Growth’(39),

–   having regard to its resolution of 20 May 2010 on delivering a single market to consumers and citizens(40),

–   having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0312/2012),

A. whereas the economic, social, financial and sovereign debt crises have not yet abated;

B.  whereas the current economic situation has demonstrated that stronger coordination between Member States’ macroeconomic and budgetary policies is needed in order to achieve a more integrated and balanced economic union;

C. whereas the European Semester framework was finally codified in Regulation (EU) No 1175/2011 of 16 November 2011 (the Wortmann-Kool report) and, as one of the main cornerstones of the economic and governance package, it has an essential role to play, leading the Union in taking further steps towards the completion of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU);

D. whereas the crisis and the increasing disparities in competitiveness since the introduction of the euro have highlighted the need for enhanced coordination of economic and employment policies and improved budgetary practices;

E.  whereas this is the first time that the European Semester has been fully implemented and whereas the necessary lessons must be drawn in order for it to reach its full potential;

F.  whereas the European Council is firmly committed to mobilising, at every level of governance in the EU, all levers, instruments and policies to stimulate smart, sustainable, inclusive, resource-efficient and job-creating growth by adopting the “Compact for growth and jobs”;

G. whereas the European Council conclusions of 30 January 2012 state: ‘Growth and employment will only resume if we pursue a consistent and broad-based approach, combining a smart fiscal consolidation preserving investment in future growth, sound macroeconomic policies and an active employment strategy preserving social cohesion’, and whereas the EU should assist the Member States in creating a dynamic environment for economic growth and prosperity through sustainable policies;

H. whereas Parliament made recommendations in its resolution of 15 February 2012 on employment and social aspects in the Annual Growth Survey 2012(41), in which it asked the Council to include the following priorities in its guidance for the 2012 European Semester: to ensure coherence and increase ambition to achieve the Europe 2020 objectives, to support sustainable job creation with investment and tax reform, to improve the quality of employment and conditions for increased labour participation, to tackle youth unemployment, to tackle poverty and social exclusion with the emphasis on groups with no or limited links to the labour market and to enhance democratic legitimacy, accountability and ownership;

I.   whereas the European Semester has gained in importance and its process now incorporates multiple documents or subdocuments to be submitted by the Member States (National Reform Programmes (NRPs), Stability and Convergence Programmes (SCPs), National Social Reports (NSRs) and National Job Plans (NJPs)), and whereas these documents need to address increasing numbers of goals; whereas the number of such documents and the overlap between them detract from the transparency and coherence of the European Semester process; whereas the quality of the documents submitted by Member States and the level of involvement of stakeholders and national parliaments in their drafting varies greatly;

J.   whereas between 2008 and mid-2012 the EU-27 unemployment rate climbed from around 7 % to 10.4 %, equating to about 25 million unemployed people;

K. whereas across the EU more than one in five young people is unemployed (22%), with youth unemployment exceeding 50 % in some Member States;

L.  whereas 8.3 million Europeans under the age of 25 are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and whereas this figure is continuing to rise;

M. whereas more than 115 million people are in danger of social exclusion in the EU-27 because they are at an aggravated risk of poverty, are severely materially deprived or live in households with very low work intensity;

N. whereas the single market is needed more than ever as a means of revitalising the European economy, by providing a concrete response to the crisis and acting as an instrument to promote competitiveness and preserve social welfare;

1.  Welcomes the Council’s country-specific recommendations for the euro area; recalls that, due to the implementation of the new economic and governance package, this is the first time that those recommendations have had a macroeconomic scenario of the euro area as a whole, and points out that they have gained a new level of detail; believes that the recommendations have not yet reached their full potential;

2.  Points out that the European Semester is the proper framework within which to ensure the effective economic governance of the euro area Member States that are linked by common responsibility, bringing together the multilateral surveillance of budgetary and macroeconomic policies and the implementation of the European Strategy for Growth and Jobs as embodied in the EU2020 Strategy;

3.  Is concerned to note that, in many Member States, national parliaments, social partners and civil society were not involved in the European Semester process; therefore urges the Commission to ensure that more democratic legitimacy be given to the process through the involvement of national parliaments, social partners and civil society;

4.  Urges the Commission to avoid taking a one-size-fits-all approach to the recommendations given to Member States and to ensure that such recommendations are made according to the specific needs of the Member State concerned;

5.  Recalls that the European Semester allows for the necessary ex-ante surveillance and coordination in the euro area context, both via the exchange of draft budget plans and the previous discussion of all major economic policy reform plans, allowing the reduction and/or elimination of any possible negative spill-over effects that may arise from national actions on other countries or on the euro area as a whole;

6.  Welcomes the measures that have been proposed and believes that they should be progressively improved in order to achieve sound and sustainable public finances, minimize macroeconomic imbalances and boost competitiveness that will lead to higher growth and employment; stresses the need for proper coherence within and among the different Member States’ recommendations, for better use of the macroeconomic scoreboard and for account to be taken of the negative spill-over effects of individual members’ economic policies;

7.  Notes the Commission’s insistence on conducting growth and competitiveness-enhancing structural reforms to allow the EU to get to grips with the crisis and regain its pre-eminent role in the world economy; strongly supports the Commission’s efforts to correct the macroeconomic imbalances within the euro area; calls on the Commission to intensify this work;

8.  Looks forward to the dedicated study from the Commission on the interlinkages between deficits and surpluses in the euro area due to appear in autumn 2012;

9.  Notes that most of the structural reforms are concentrating on a small number of areas, such as labour markets (including wage determination), the taxation system, the banking sector, the pension system, the services sector (by removing unjustified restrictions on regulated trades and professions), liberalising certain industries, improving the efficiency and quality of public expenditure, cutting red tape, removing unnecessary layers of government, combating tax evasion, and reforming mortgage and real estate markets; acknowledges that there is still a long way to go and believes that the right foundations have to be set and that there is still room for improvement;

10. Expresses its concern about the fact that no recommendations have been made on the Europe 2020 objectives to those Member States with a financial assistance programme; calls on the Commission to assess the impact of the economic adjustment programme on progress towards the Europe 2020 headline targets and to propose modifications designed to bring the adjustment programme into line with the Europe 2020 objectives;

11. Acknowledges the Commission’s emphasis on labour market reforms with a view to increasing the competitiveness of the euro area; considers that wage increases should be kept in line with productivity; similarly shares the Commission’s insistence on the importance of the long-term sustainability of pension systems;

12. Calls on the Commission to be more explicit, thorough and coherent in its recommendations, to continue to monitor recommendations made in the past, including detailed explanation and evaluation in those cases where the Commission thinks a country has only partially followed the recommendations and to take full account of the different economic and social realities of each Member State; considers that the Commission should make recommendations to Member States on how to minimise the negative spill-over effects of their internal policies and facilitate compliance of other Member States;

13. Notes that in this year’s country-specific recommendations the Commission urges a number of Member States to restructure national systems for wage formation and/or to reduce national wage levels; stresses that the autonomy of social partners is a crucial element of any well-functioning labour market and should be taken into account;

14. Reiterates that the Commission is in a unique position to develop a truly detailed European macroeconomic plan that can boost growth and jobs and urges the Commission to allow for adjustments of specific recommendations when these prove inadequate to achieve defined objectives; believes that in order to pursue such a plan the Commission should propose that European funds be used as efficiently as possible and should look for ways to adapt them to the needs that the EU currently has, something which requires adequate funding;

15. With a view to increasing the efficiency of the process, stresses the need to better align the timing of the release of the Annual Growth Survey (which targets the EU-27 as a whole) and the Alert Mechanism Report, introduced by the six-pack (which targets specific Member States only);

16. Highlights the fact that the Annual Growth Survey is based on the forecasts prepared by the Commission in the autumn; emphasises, therefore, the need to take potential forecast errors into account, as they may have consequences for the budgetary adjustment required from the Member States;

17. Points out that structural reforms can only yield results in the medium to long term and may not per se solve the recessionary spiral in which the EU currently finds itself;

18. Calls upon the Commission to include the EU2020 Strategy in the European Semester and to ensure that it is better reflected in the country-specific recommendations, such as policies aimed at tackling youth unemployment and combating poverty; notes that in many countries little or no progress is being made with regard to achieving the social and environmental targets of the EU2020 strategy, meaning that the EU as whole is not on track to make good on EU2020;

19. Welcomes the important Commission initiative of 27 June 2012 to reinforce the fight against tax fraud and evasion; stresses that enhanced efforts in this area – at national and EU levels as well as in relation to third countries – should be a crucial element in programmes aimed at consolidating public finances; calls for the raised level of ambition signalled by the initiative to be fully materialised in future legislative proposals and to be clearly reflected in the continuous work within the framework of the European Semester;

20. Encourages the Member States to strictly follow the rules set by the Stability and Growth Pact, as modified by the ‘six-pack’, by pursuing differentiated growth-friendly fiscal consolidation taking into account country-specific circumstances, and to render public finances more resilient and ensure that the European economy becomes more sustainable as well as to reduce pressure from the banking sector; firmly believes that the sustainability of fiscal discipline and fiscal institutions at both national and sub-national level should be strengthened and that government expenditure should be shifted towards long-term investment, which would foster sustainable growth; calls on the Member States to avoid unwanted negative spill-over effects by facilitating compliance by other Member States, in particular by taking due account of recommendations made to other Member States when drawing up their own policies;

21. Welcomes the end of excessive deficit procedures for several Member States; hopes that more procedures can be brought to an end in the near future; urges all political leaders to pursue such efforts and maintain their commitments while taking due account of the macroeconomic context;

22. Acknowledges the very demanding efforts that have been requested of all European citizens in recent years;

23. Takes note of the ratification of the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union by a growing number of the 25 Member States that signed it; urges all other Member States to ratify the Treaty as soon as possible; lauds the positive outcome of the Irish referendum on that Treaty;

24. Urges all parties involved to speedily agree on the ‘two-pack’ to complement current legislation adopted in co-decision;

25. Asks the parties involved in the Council decision-making process not to call the decisions into question shortly after their adoption;

26. Lauds the economic dialogue held so far between European Parliament and national representatives; emphasises the importance of this dialogue with a view to achieving a fully operational European Semester framework and attaining the necessary level of democratic accountability with regard to all those involved; reiterates its commitment to conducting further dialogues that must be an important element of enhanced Europe-wide debate on economic and social priorities and instruments; believes that economic dialogue constitutes a milestone towards enhanced democratic accountability regarding economic policy surveillance and coordination within the EMU;

27. Notes with concern that the European Parliament has been constantly marginalised in the main economic decisions resulting from the crisis, and considers that it must be involved in order to increase the legitimacy of decisions which affect all citizens;

28. Considers it essential to enhance the Semester’s legitimacy and to clear up the remaining legal ambiguities which may otherwise give rise to institutional conflicts in the future, including the superimposition and duplication of competences and responsibilities, and the lack of clarity and increased complexity of the EU’s institutional framework;

29. Regrets that parliamentary scrutiny plays only a minor role in the process, and stresses that the European Semester must in no way jeopardise the prerogatives of the European Parliament and the national parliaments;

30. Underlines the need to strengthen the working methods of the Eurogroup so as to increase its overall accountability towards the European Parliament; further believes that a move towards a stronger Community approach is needed;

31. Is of the opinion that the economic dialogue should be extended along the lines of the monetary dialogue with the ECB, to include regular discussions between the European Parliament, the Commission and the ECOFIN President on the preparation of and follow-up to the Annual Growth Survey and the Country-Specific Recommendations;

32. Reiterates the need to involve Parliament – the only supranational European institution with electoral legitimacy – in economic policy coordination;

33. Recalls that the European Parliament must be recognised as the appropriate European democratic forum for providing an overall evaluation at the end of the European Semester; believes that, as a sign of this recognition, representatives of the EU institutions and the economic bodies involved in the process should provide information to Members of the European Parliament when asked to do so;

34. Reiterates its urgent call to take action to improve the stability of the financial system in the euro area, to foster the creation of a genuine Economic and Monetary Union built on enhanced democratic legitimacy and accountability, and to implement the EU 2020 strategy; recalls that such action is needed to regain stability worldwide since the Union is a decisive global player; urges all political leaders to take the measures necessary to reach this goal;

35. Recalls that the recommendations by the Commission are a contribution to the Spring Council;

36. Recalls that any decision of the Council not to follow the Commission’s recommendations should be duly explained and be accompanied by a full explanatory statement; welcomes the ‘comply or explain’ principle introduced by the ‘six pack’ regarding Country Specific Recommendations; believes that such a clause will increase the transparency and scrutiny of the EU Semester process;

37. Building on the European Semester for economic policy coordination (as codified in Regulation (EC) No 1466/97) the Commission should present a framework regulation specifying the role (including timelines) of the Member States and the EU institutions under the various steps of the Semester cycle;

Sectoral contributions to the European Semester 2012

Employment and Social Policies

38. Welcomes the Commission communication entitled ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’ (COM(2012)0173) and its staff working documents; calls on the Commission to make the exploitation of the job-creation potential of the green economy, health and social care and the ICT sector key priorities in the 2013 AGS;

39. Deplores the fact that, despite their political commitment during the 2012 Spring European Council and the Commission’s guidance in the Employment Package, most Member States did not submit a National Job Plan (NJP) as part of their 2012 NRPs; considers it regrettable that the Commission has not made this a commitment which must be respected by the Member States, and urges it to call on the Member States to deliver their NJPs as soon as possible; calls, furthermore, for NJPs to include comprehensive measures for job creation and green employment, a link between employment policies and financial instruments, labour market reforms, a clear timetable for rolling out the multiannual reform agenda over the next 12 months and an indication of both the fields and regions experiencing specialisation shortages and surpluses; calls on the Commission to follow up its plan for a labour market monitoring system based on objective data and for an individual tracking scheme for countries that do not comply with country-specific recommendations;

40. Proposes that the Commission oversee the preparation of NJPs;

41. Points out that social economy enterprises are part of the European social model and the single market and therefore deserve strong recognition and support, and that their specificities need to be taken into account when designing European policies; reiterates its call on the Commission to draw up a framework for the social economy, recognising its components and involving both the Member States and stakeholders in order to encourage the exchange of best practices, as it is an important element of the European social model and the single market;

42. Stresses the importance of ensuring greater social cohesion, without neglecting cooperation by companies in achieving this, which could be encouraged notably by allowing them to promote their innovative and virtuous actions in social matters through a label which would attract new investors and promote the development of a European social model in the long term;

43. Welcomes the recognition of the importance of access to finance for SMEs, as they are the cornerstone of employment and job creation within the EU and have significant potential for addressing youth unemployment and the gender imbalance; urges the Member States to make access to finance for SMEs an absolute priority in their national growth plans;

44. Regrets that the Council failed to take into account Parliament’s call for a focus on job quality in its guidance for 2012; agrees with the Commission that all employment contracts should give workers access to a core set of rights, including pension rights, social protection and access to lifelong learning; calls on the Commission to include job quality, training and advanced training, core workers’ rights, and support for labour market mobility, self-employment and cross-border mobility by increasing security for workers in transition between jobs in the 2013 AGS;

45. Calls on the Member States to combat the existence and proliferation of non-decent labour contracts and false self-employment and to ensure that people with temporary or part-time contracts or who are self-employed have adequate social protection and access to training and, when feasible, advanced training, and to implement related framework agreements;

46. Calls for labour market flexibility to be improved by introducing modern forms of employment contract; recognises that part-time employment is often the choice of the employee, especially among women;

47. Welcomes the recommendations addressing the low participation of women in the labour market; notes, however, that a broader gender equality perspective going beyond employment rates is missing; calls on the Commission to address labour market segregation, unequal distribution of care responsibilities and the effects of fiscal consolidation on women in its policy guidance;

48. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to address the low labour market participation of disadvantaged groups, including people belonging to minorities (e.g. Roma), coming from the poorest micro-regions or living with disabilities; calls on the Commission and the Member States also to address the unequal distribution of jobs between regions and social groups and the effects of fiscal consolidation on vulnerable social groups;

49. Notes that recommendations have been made to several Member States regarding wages; stresses that wages are, above all, the income that workers need to live on; stresses that the Commission’s practice of determining wage formation and wage levels in programme countries may increase the risk of in-work poverty or wage inequalities which harm low-income groups; calls on the Commission to step up policy guidance to those Member States in which wages have stagnated in comparison with productivity levels, while respecting the autonomy of the social partners, as protected inter alia in Articles 152 and 153(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU);

50. Welcomes the increased focus of the Commission and the Council on combating youth unemployment; calls on the Commission to propose, without prejudice to national legislation, a binding European Youth Guarantee without delay, in order to improve effectively the situation of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) and to gradually overcome the problem of youth unemployment in the EU; stresses that the European Youth Guarantee requires specific European financial support, especially in those Member States with the highest youth unemployment rates, and calls for some of the unspent Structural Funds to be deployed for this purpose; calls on the Council to swiftly decide on the proposals in the Employment Package;

51. Welcomes the inclusion of the recommendation to tackle the social consequences of the crisis in the 2012 guidance and the increased focus on combating poverty in the country-specific recommendations; is gravely concerned, however, about the increase in poverty (including in-work poverty and poverty among elderly people) and unemployment in the EU; calls on the Member States to raise their ambitions, to step up the measures they are taking to combat poverty, and to follow up closely on the Commission’s recommendations; calls on the Commission explicitly to address in-work poverty, poverty among people with limited or no links to the labour market and poverty among elderly people in the 2013 AGS; emphasises that Article 9 of the TFEU needs to be mainstreamed throughout the European Semester;

52. Reiterates the need to require additional commitments from the Member States in the social field, giving the EU the responsibility of implementing the priorities chosen in a context of growth and social cohesion within the single market;

53. Stresses the urgent need to develop new tools to fight social imbalances and unemployment in Europe;

54. Calls on the Member States and on the European Council to involve social and health ministers in the European Semester process and at all stages of the NRP process, as this would involve strengthening the role of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), which is necessary as the issues of pensions, wage policies and the tax wedge on labour fall within its mandate;

55. Calls on the Commission to report on the use of a common, uniform set of benchmarks across the EU for assessing the NRPs; stresses that standards and data should reflect social inclusion and environmental sustainability, in addition to economic data; calls on the Commission to encourage the Member States to use social indicators and data that measure progress and development which go beyond the measure of GDP, as this is crucial in order to measure progress on reaching the Europe 2020 targets;

Budgetary Policies

56. Urges the Commission, in its next AGS, to fully address and underline the role of the EU budget in the European Semester process by providing factual and concrete data on its triggering, catalytic, synergetic and complementary effects on overall public expenditure at local, regional and national levels; believes, moreover, that funding at EU level can generate savings for the Member States’ budgets and that this should be emphasised; considers that in terms of stimulating growth and boosting job creation, as well as successfully reducing macroeconomic imbalances throughout the Union, the EU budget has a vital role to play;

57. Urges the Council, during negotiations on the 2013 EU budget, to accept a political and public debate on the level of appropriations needed to implement the ‘Compact for Growth and Jobs’ adopted at the June 2012 European Council; expresses its strong concern at the position repeatedly taken by the Council to reduce artificially the level of payment appropriations available in the EU budget, which would jeopardise the EU’s ability to meet its legal and political commitments; calls, once more, on the Council to agree with Parliament and the Commission on a common method to assess real payment needs; underlines the urgency of the situation, especially in headings 1A and 1B (competitiveness for growth and employment / cohesion for growth and employment), as well as in rural development funds;

58. Calls on the Member States to fully seize the possibilities agreed in the ‘Compact for Growth and Jobs’ to consider reallocations within their national structural and cohesion fund envelopes (EUR 55 billion) in support of research and innovation, SMEs (including facilitating their access to EU funds) and youth employment; calls on the Commission to provide, in its AGS 2013 to be published in November 2012, a full and complete picture of what has been achieved in that respect;

59. Emphasises, moreover, that the ‘Compact for Growth and Jobs’ expressly invites Member States to use part of their structural fund allocation to work with the EIB on loan risk and loan guarantee facilities for knowledge and skills, resource efficiency, strategic infrastructure and access to finance for SMEs; is of the opinion that Member State authorities should seek to maximise the growth potential offered by other already agreed EU initiatives financed by the EU budget, such as the pilot phase for project bonds, the various existing EU innovative financial instruments in place since 2007 in the field of research innovation, support to SMEs or microcredit schemes; underlines, furthermore, the increased EIB lending capacity for the period 2012-2015; believes that, if properly combined and implemented, all these measures could form the foundations of an EU investment programme for the years to come with a dramatically positive effect on GDP and employment in the EU-27, with some academics estimating a GDP increase of 0.56 % and 1.2 million additional jobs;

60. Calls, therefore, on the Member States neither to consider their national GNI contribution to the EU budget as an adjustment variable in their consolidation efforts, nor to seek to reduce artificially the volume of the EU budget’s growth-enhancing expenditure contrary to the political commitments they have made at the highest level; is, however, aware of the economic tension between the need to consolidate public finances in the short run, on the one hand, and any potential increase for some Member States in their GNI-based contribution brought about by an increase in the level of payments in the EU budget; restates, therefore, its strong calls for reform of the financing of the EU budget – to be agreed in the framework of the 2014-2020 MFF negotiations – by reducing the share of Member States’ GNI-based contributions to the EU budget to 40 % by 2020, thereby contributing to their consolidation efforts(42);

61. Asks the Commission, moreover, to explore the possibility of excluding the GNI-based contribution to the EU budget from the calculation of the structural deficit as defined in the two-pack;

62. Warns that, in the context of the negotiations on the multiannual financial framework for 2014-2020, lowering the level of the EU budget, given its role as a catalyst for investment, would have an adverse effect on the creation of growth and jobs in the Union;

Internal market

63. Urges the Commission to make single market governance a key priority, since it contributes substantially to reaching the targets of the European Semester, namely sustainable economic growth and employment; takes the view that the Commission’s country-specific recommendations should, at the same time, offer the Member States more practical solutions for improving the functioning of the single market, so that stronger public support and political commitment are created to encourage the completion of the single market;

64. Calls on the Council and the Commission to link the European Semester to the Single Market Act in order to secure the coherence of European economic policy and the creation of sustainable growth;

65. Emphasises that the initiatives taken in the framework of the Single Market Act must be consistent with, and contribute to, achieving the objectives of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth;

66. Calls on the Commission to coordinate the annual report on the integration of the single market with other single market monitoring instruments, such as the Internal Market Scoreboard, in order to avoid overlap and to produce efficient and clear recommendations and to secure the coherence of European economic policy;

67. Lauds in this context the Commission’s proposal to define country-specific recommendations relating to the single market, especially concerning correct transposition of legislation and transposition deadlines; calls on the Commission to step up its actions in ensuring the proper implementation and enforcement of EU legislation in the Member States by making determined use of all its powers;

68. Urges the Commission and the Member States to give priority to the adoption of the 12 key actions of the Single Market Act, as an important contribution to strengthening the Single Market in a comprehensive and balanced manner;

Constitutional affairs

69. Considers that close cooperation between the European Parliament and the national parliaments, pursuant to Article 9 of Protocol No 1, is essential in order to establish the necessary democratic legitimacy and national ownership of the Semester process; calls for a reinforcement of the dialogue between the European and the national levels, respecting the division of labour between them;

70. Considers that in addition to ensuring cooperation between parliaments, it is also necessary to make greater efforts to communicate with the citizens and actively include them in the process;

71. Takes the view that, in order to reduce concerns over legitimacy, the national parliaments should play a more active role in the process, and suggests that the Member States adjust their internal procedures so that the national parliaments can be involved in the discussion of their countries’ fiscal and reform plans before their submission to the EU;

Womens Rights and Gender Equality

72. Reiterates its call on the Member States to integrate a gender equality perspective into the European Semester process, as well as to put more focus on training within labour-market policies by taking into account women’s needs and situation when implementing the policy guidance given in the Annual Growth Survey; commends those Member States that have mainstreamed the gender dimension throughout their National Reform Programmes (NRPs) but regrets that many Member States have omitted any mention of gender; calls on the Commission to propose to the Member States a uniform format and criteria for integrating a gender equality perspective into the NRPs;

73. Calls on the Member States to set specific quantitative targets in their respective NRPs in line with women’s employment statistics, and to take specific measures targeting vulnerable groups of women (such as young, migrant, disabled and single mothers);

74. Recalls that the gender pay gap is still an issue in the EU and that it also affects the level of pensions that women later receive, which may consequently result in women finding themselves below the poverty line; calls, therefore, on the Member States to set qualitative targets in NRPs related to closing the gender pay gap, thus reducing both the unfair treatment of women pensioners and the poverty vulnerability of elderly women;

75. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Council, the governments of the Member States, the Commission, the national parliaments and the European Central Bank.

(1)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0542.

(2)

OJ L 306, 23.11.2011, p. 12.

(3)

OJ L 306, 23.11.2011, p. 41.

(4)

OJ L 306, 23.11.2011, p. 8.

(5)

OJ L 306, 23.11.2011, p. 33.

(6)

OJ L 306, 23.11.2011, p. 25.

(7)

OJ L 306, 23.11.2011, p. 1.

(8)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0583.

(9)

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ec/120296.pdf

(10)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0048.

(11)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 95.

(12)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 1.

(13)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 5.

(14)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 9.

(15)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 13.

(16)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 17.

(17)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 21.

(18)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 25.

(19)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 28.

(20)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 31.

(21)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 35.

(22)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 38.

(23)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 40.

(24)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 44.

(25)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 46.

(26)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 50.

(27)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 54.

(28)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 58.

(29)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 61.

(30)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 88.

(31)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 65.

(32)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 69.

(33)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 72.

(34)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 74.

(35)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 77.

(36)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 81.

(37)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 85.

(38)

OJ C 219, 24.7.2012, p. 91.

(39)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0258.

(40)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0186.

(41)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0047.

(42)

Texts adopted P7-TA(2012)0245.


OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (*) (20.9.2012)

for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2012 priorities

(2012/2150(INI))

Rapporteur (*): Marije Cornelissen

(*)       Associated committee – Rule 50 of the Rules of Procedure

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas the economic context remains uncertain and whereas, in 2010, the Member States committed themselves to the Europe 2020 goals for developing a smart, sustainable and inclusive EU economy; whereas, however, the EU is not on track to attain the Europe 2020 goals within the timeframe set, as the combined national targets are too low and the measures taken have not led to significant progress in respect of almost all the goals, especially those concerning energy efficiency, employment, poverty reduction and research and development;

B.  whereas the European Council conclusions of 30 January 2012 state: ‘Growth and employment will only resume if we pursue a consistent and broad-based approach, combining a smart fiscal consolidation preserving investment in future growth, sound macroeconomic policies and an active employment strategy preserving social cohesion’, and whereas the EU should assist the Member States in creating a dynamic environment for economic growth and prosperity through sustainable policies;

C. whereas Parliament made recommendations in its resolution of 15 February 2012 on employment and social aspects in the Annual Growth Survey 2012(1), in which it asked the Council to include the following priorities in its guidance for the 2012 European Semester: to ensure coherence and increase ambition to achieve the Europe 2020 objectives, to support sustainable job creation with investment and tax reform, to improve the quality of employment and conditions for increased labour participation, to tackle youth unemployment, to tackle poverty and social exclusion with the emphasis on groups with no or limited links to the labour market and to enhance democratic legitimacy, accountability and ownership;

D. whereas the social consequences of the euro crisis are very severe in many Member States, and whereas the further measures proposed will exacerbate some of the problems, such as the increasing number of bankruptcies and home repossessions and severe cutbacks in health, disability and special education services;

E.  whereas the European Semester has gained in importance and its process now incorporates multiple documents or subdocuments to be submitted by the Member States (National Reform Programmes (NRPs), Stability and Convergence Programmes (SCPs), National Social Reports (NSRs) and National Job Plans (NJPs)), and whereas these documents need to address increasing numbers of goals; whereas the number of such documents and the overlap between them detract from the transparency and coherence of the European Semester process; whereas the quality of the documents submitted by Member States and the level of involvement of stakeholders and national parliaments in their drafting varies greatly;

F.  whereas between 2008 and mid-2012 the EU-27 unemployment rate climbed from around 7 % to 10.4 %, equating to about 25 million unemployed people;

G. whereas across the EU more than one in five young people is unemployed (22%), with youth unemployment exceeding 50 % in some Member States;

H. whereas 8.3 million Europeans under the age of 25 are not in education, employment or training (NEET) and whereas this figure is continuing to rise;

I.   whereas more than 115 million people are in danger of social exclusion in the EU-27 because they are at an aggravated risk of poverty, are severely materially deprived or live in households with very low work intensity;

Progress towards Europe 2020

1.  Regrets that, despite the Commission’s finding that the commitments set out by the Member States in their National Reform Programmes (NRPs) are insufficient to meet most of the Europe 2020 targets, none was urged in the country-specific recommendations to step up its national targets; calls on the Commission and the Council to address the lack of national ambition in the 2013 Annual Growth Survey (AGS) and to ensure that the national targets set in the 2013 NRPs are at the level required to achieve all the Europe 2020 headline targets;

Sustainable job creation

2.  Welcomes the Commission communication entitled ‘Towards a job-rich recovery’ (COM(2012)0173) and its staff working documents; calls on the Commission to make the exploitation of the job-creation potential of the green economy, health and social care and the ICT sector key priorities in the 2013 AGS;

3.  Deplores the fact that, despite their political commitment during the 2012 Spring European Council and the Commission’s guidance in the Employment Package, most Member States did not submit a National Job Plan (NJP) as part of their 2012 NRPs; considers it regrettable that the Commission has not made this a commitment which must be respected by the Member States, and urges it to call on the Member States to deliver their NJPs as soon as possible; calls, furthermore, for NJPs to include comprehensive measures for job creation and green employment, a link between employment policies and financial instruments, labour market reforms, a clear timetable for rolling out the multiannual reform agenda over the next 12 months and an indication of both the fields and regions experiencing specialisation shortages and surpluses; calls on the Commission to follow up its plan for a labour market monitoring system based on objective data and for an individual tracking scheme for countries that do not comply with country-specific recommendations;

4.  Proposes that the Commission oversee the preparation of NJPs;

5.  Welcomes the recommendation aimed at shifting taxes from labour to environmentally harmful activities while simplifying taxation in the longer term and adapting it to the economic and social conditions in the Member States; calls on the Member States to implement that recommendation while ensuring that this does not penalise lower incomes;

6.  Welcomes the emphasis on resource-efficiency programmes, which have significant employment potential while also benefiting the environment, providing sustainable jobs and offering a clear return on investment for both public and private finances;

7.  Welcomes the emphasis on reducing tax evasion, as this is a problem which affects all the Member States and can significantly reduce the national tax revenues necessary for economic recovery;

8.  Points out that social economy enterprises are part of the European social model and the single market and therefore deserve strong recognition and support, and that their specificities need to be taken into account when designing European policies; reiterates its call on the Commission to elaborate a framework for the social economy, recognising its components and involving both the Member States and stakeholders in order to encourage the exchange of best practices, as it is an important element of the European social model and the single market;

9.  Stresses the importance of ensuring greater social cohesion, without neglecting cooperation by companies in achieving this, which could be encouraged notably by allowing them to promote their innovative and virtuous actions in social matters through a label, which would attract new investors and also promote the development of a European social model in the long term;

10. Welcomes the recognition of the importance of access to finance for SMEs, as they are the cornerstone of employment and job creation within the EU and have significant potential for addressing youth unemployment and the gender imbalance; urges the Member States to make access to finance for SMEs an absolute priority in their national growth plans;

Quality of employment

11. Regrets that the Council failed to take into account Parliament’s call for a focus on job quality in its guidance for 2012; agrees with the Commission that all employment contracts should give workers access to a core set of rights, including pension rights, social protection and access to lifelong learning; calls on the Commission to include job quality, training and advanced training, core workers’ rights, and support for labour market mobility, self-employment and cross-border mobility by increasing security for workers in transition between jobs in the 2013 AGS;

12. Calls on the Member States to combat the existence and proliferation of non-decent labour contracts and false self-employment and to ensure that people with temporary or part-time contracts or who are self-employed have adequate social protection and access to training and, when feasible, advanced training, and to implement related framework agreements;

13. Calls for labour market flexibility to be improved by introducing modern forms of employment contract; recognises that part-time employment is often the choice of the employee, especially among women;

14. Welcomes the recommendations addressing the low participation of women in the labour market; notes, however, that a broader gender equality perspective going beyond employment rates is missing; calls on the Commission to address labour market segregation, unequal distribution of care responsibilities and the effects of fiscal consolidation on women in its policy guidance;

15. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to address the low labour market participation of disadvantaged groups, including people belonging to minorities (e.g. Roma), coming from the poorest micro-regions or living with disabilities; calls on the Commission and the Member States also to address the unequal distribution of jobs between regions and social groups and the effects of fiscal consolidation on vulnerable social groups;

16. Calls on the Commission and the Member States to monitor and report on the impact of health system reforms as recommended in the 2012 AGS; stresses that, in pursuing the reform and modernisation of health systems, it is essential to ensure that reforms are inclusive, prioritise preventive and early intervention methods and provide equal access;

17. Notes that recommendations have been made to several Member States regarding wages; stresses that wages are, above all, the income that workers need to live on; stresses that the Commission’s practice of determining wage formation and wage levels in programme countries may increase the risk of in-work poverty or wage inequalities which harm low-income groups; calls on the Commission to step up policy guidance to those Member States in which wages have stagnated in comparison with productivity levels, while respecting the autonomy of the social partners, as protected inter alia in Articles 152 and 153(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU);

18. Welcomes the emphasis on smart regulation and simplification, which aims to deliver effective EU legislation where it can add value and to allow the Member States sufficient flexibility when national legislation is more appropriate; reiterates the danger of the administrative burden stifling growth and job creation, and the need to ensure that all regulation is fit for purpose;

Combating youth unemployment

19. Welcomes the increased focus of the Commission and the Council on combating youth unemployment; calls on the Commission to propose, without prejudice to national legislation, a binding European Youth Guarantee without delay, in order to improve effectively the situation of young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) and to gradually overcome the problem of youth unemployment in the EU; stresses that the European Youth Guarantee requires specific European financial support, especially in those Member States with the highest youth unemployment rates, and calls for some of the unspent Structural Funds to be deployed for this purpose; calls on the Council to swiftly decide on the proposals in the Employment Package;

Poverty and social exclusion

20. Welcomes the inclusion of the recommendation to tackle the social consequences of the crisis in the 2012 guidance and the increased attention to combating poverty in the country-specific recommendations; is gravely concerned, however, about the increasing poverty (including in-work poverty and poverty among elderly people) and unemployment in the EU; calls on the Member States to raise their ambitions, to step up the measures they are taking to combat poverty, and to follow up closely on the Commission’s recommendations; calls on the Commission explicitly to address in-work poverty, poverty among people with limited or no links to the labour market and poverty among elderly people in the 2013 AGS; emphasises that Article 9 TFEU needs to be mainstreamed throughout the European Semester;

21. Reiterates the need to require additional commitments from the Member States in the social field, giving the EU the responsibility of implementing the priorities chosen in a context of growth and social cohesion within the single market;

Employment and social aspects of the macroeconomic imbalance procedure

22. Calls on the Commission and the Council to revise the scoreboard for the correction of macroeconomic imbalances and to strengthen its social and employment dimension by, inter alia:

–   including indicators on income inequality and education expenditure;

–   adding an indicative lower threshold for nominal unit labour cost, in order to prevent excessive wage restriction;

–   lowering the maximum indicative threshold for three-year average unemployment,

–   applying symmetrical indicative thresholds for the current account balance;

23. Calls on the Commission to present a strong social programme coupled with close monitoring, including a list of common priorities and objectives within the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy;

Social impact of economic adjustment programmes in those Member States experiencing financial difficulties

24. Expresses its concern about the fact that no recommendations have been made on the Europe 2020 objectives to those Member States with a financial assistance programme; calls on the Commission to assess the impact of the economic adjustment programme on progress towards the Europe 2020 headline targets and to propose modifications designed to bring the adjustment programme into line with the Europe 2020 objectives;

25. Calls on the Commission to work with the Member States to ensure that austerity programmes do not hinder employment creation measures and that growth-promoting policies are pursued;

26. Calls on the Council to reach a swift agreement with Parliament and start immediate application of the proposal for the strengthening of surveillance of Member States in serious difficulties, including a social impact assessment and full consistency of the adjustment programmes with the broad economic policy guidelines;

27. Calls for the implementation of a new way of working on the European Semester by discussing social priorities at the same time as economic and budgetary priorities, and linking them to one another;

28. Stresses the urgent need to develop new tools to fight social imbalances and unemployment in Europe;

29. Calls on the Commission to report on the progress made regarding the call issued by Parliament in its resolution of 1 December 2011 on the European Semester for Economic Policy Coordination(2) for ‘the Commission to ask civil society and social partners to contribute an annual shadow report on the progress of the Member States regarding the headline targets and the implementation of measures proposed in the NRPs’;

Improving the democratic legitimacy, accountability and quality of the European Semester process

30. Calls on the Commission and the Council to agree on concrete measures that improve the participation and involvement of the social partners, NGOs and local authorities in the formulation and implementation of sustainable policies in the framework of the European Semester, at both national and European level; welcomes the fact that the Cypriot Presidency has identified this challenge as one of its priorities;

31. Calls on the Member States and on the European Council to involve social and health ministers in the European Semester process and at all stages of the NRP process, as this would involve strengthening the role of the EPSCO Council, which is necessary as the issues of pensions, wage policies and the tax wedge on labour fall within its mandate;

32. Reiterates its call for increased democratic legitimacy for the European Semester; considers it regrettable that the Council did not take up the concerns expressed by Parliament when adopting its 2012 policy guidance; points out that the lack of parliamentary involvement in the drafting of policy guidance constitutes a major democratic flaw;

33. Calls on the Commission to report on the use of a common, uniform set of benchmarks across the EU for assessing the NRPs; stresses that standards and data should reflect social inclusion and environmental sustainability, in addition to economic data; calls on the Commission to encourage the Member States to use social indicators and data that measure progress and development which go beyond the measure of GDP, as this is crucial in order to measure progress on reaching the Europe 2020 targets;

34. Calls on the Commission to agree with Parliament on a format for the AGS that allows Parliament to amend it before its adoption by Council, so as to ensure that a transparent interinstitutional decision-making process culminates in commonly agreed, democratically legitimate policy guidance;

35. Calls on the Commission to improve the quality, transparency and democratic accountability of the European Semester by proposing legislation defining the formal requirements regarding the format and timing of documents to be submitted by the Member States as part of the European Semester, including specific obligations regarding the monitoring of progress towards the Europe 2020 targets and democratic and transparent procedures leading to the formulation of country-specific recommendations;

36. Calls on the Member States to agree on procedures that allow the promotion of social dialogue, a genuine parliamentary debate and stakeholder involvement in the formulation and implementation of NRPs, and to include a detailed overview in their NRPs explaining who was involved and how; calls on the Commission to take stock of the different national practices as regards parliamentary procedures and stakeholder involvement in the European Semester, and to publish the findings in a report by January 2013.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

18.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

33

4

1

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Edit Bauer, Heinz K. Becker, Pervenche Berès, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, Philippe Boulland, Alejandro Cercas, Ole Christensen, Derek Roland Clark, Marije Cornelissen, Emer Costello, Frédéric Daerden, Sari Essayah, Thomas Händel, Marian Harkin, Nadja Hirsch, Stephen Hughes, Ádám Kósa, Jean Lambert, Veronica Lope Fontagné, Olle Ludvigsson, Thomas Mann, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, Csaba Őry, Siiri Oviir, Licia Ronzulli, Elisabeth Schroedter, Jutta Steinruck, Traian Ungureanu, Andrea Zanoni, Inês Cristina Zuber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Kinga Göncz, Richard Howitt, Jan Kozłowski, Svetoslav Hristov Malinov, Anthea McIntyre, Birgit Sippel, Csaba Sógor

(1)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0047.

(2)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0542.


OPINION of the Committee on Budgets (19.9.2012)

for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2012 priorities

(2012/2150(INI))

Rapporteur: Catherine Trautmann

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

The European Semester is primarily a tool to coordinate the national budgets and reform programmes of Member States. Under current conditions, in which fiscal restraint has been imposed on all Member States in order to ensure that the six-pack legislation is enforced, the EU budget can and should play a countercyclical role. As laid down in the Treaties, the EU budget cannot run a deficit, and it is an investment budget that is useful to all 27 Member States (more than 85 % of its allocations go back to the Member States). Through its triggering and leverage effect, particularly in areas of inclusive and sustainable growth, such as cohesion and regional policies, it can help foster growth and increase competiveness and thus support Member States in achieving their economic objectives as agreed in their National Reform Programmes (Europe 2020 strategy), as well as the country-specific recommendations agreed within the framework of the European Semester.

Programme implementation of all policies agreed in the MFF 2007-13 is now well underway. For those of them which are still lagging behind, such as structural and cohesion funds (what for various reasons needs to be carefully addressed and assessed), the European Commission and the Council have agreed to unlock their full potential. Indeed, one of the pillars of the ‘Compact for Growth and Jobs’ endorsed by the June 2012 European Council is based on a re-targeting of structural and cohesion funds that are so far not fully committed (estimated at EUR 55 billion) towards support for SMEs, research and innovation, and youth employment.

This constitutes a further step in the right direction and a more than welcome shift in the focus of EU economic policy. It is very much complementary to the important steps endorsed by Council and Parliament in 2010-2011 to ease temporarily the co-financing rules for those Member States hardest hit by the current crisis. For Member States benefiting from financial assistance programmes, the co-financing rates have been temporarily increased in order to make sure that necessary investments take place now despite severely constrained national budgets.

However, in order to be successful, these measures need to be translated fully into the EU annual budget in a timely manner. During the negotiations on the 2011 and 2012 budgets, the Council imposed – very much against the will of the EP – a very low level of payment appropriations. By systematically refusing an adequate level of payments, based on real and tangible needs, the Council is putting economic recovery at risk, since beneficiaries in the Member States themselves, such as regional authorities, universities or SMEs, cannot be paid on time and are facing enormous cash-flow problems.

On the positive side, during this European Semester 2012, a very important agreement could be reached on a pilot phase (2012-2013) for project bonds to stimulate the financing of key infrastructure projects able to generate growth in Member States in the areas of transport, energy and ICT. The European Investment Bank will start implementing it from July 2012 onwards. Your rapporteur believes that this constitutes only a first step towards a much needed EU investment programme for the years to come.

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Budgets suggests to the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, as the committee responsible, to take up the following considerations in its report:

1.  Regrets the absence of a wide, credible and frank public debate on the European Semester process; believes that this absence is at odds with national practices, where economic policy orientations are openly and democratically debated; warns, in particular, against setting up the Annual Growth Survey as a bureaucratic measure which lacks the approval of the European Parliament, and underlines the need for a democratisation of the European Semester through stronger roles for both national parliaments and the European Parliament in all phases of the European Semester; recalls the EP’s proposal that the EU institutions agree on an interinstitutional agreement; recalls that Article 13 of the Treaty on ‘Stability, Coordination and Governance in the EMU’ provides for the organisation of a parliamentary conference of the relevant committees of the EP and representatives of national parliaments; emphasises that the EP Budget Committee is one of the above-mentioned relevant EP committees;

2.  Urges the Commission to prepare the next Annual Growth Survey 2013 on the basis of sound, ambitious and unbiased economic data which reflect the actual macroeconomic situation of Member States as well as the macroeconomic imbalances between them;

3.  Calls on Member States, when national elections in the course of a European Semester change political majorities, to adapt their National Reform Programmes in a timely manner in order to underline the political nature of reforms and ensure the commitment of the new government;

4.  Urges the Commission, in its next AGS, to fully address and underline the role of the EU budget in the European Semester process by providing factual and concrete data on its triggering, catalytic, synergetic and complementary effects on overall public expenditure at local, regional and national levels; believes, moreover, that funding at EU level can generate savings for the Member States’ budgets and that this should be emphasised; considers that in terms of stimulating growth and boosting job creation, as well as successfully reducing macroeconomic imbalances throughout the Union, the EU budget has a vital role to play;

5.  Urges the Council, during negotiations on the EU Budget 2013, to accept a political and public debate on the level of appropriations needed to implement the ‘Compact for Growth and Jobs’ adopted at the June 2012 European Council; expresses its strong concern at the position repeatedly taken by the Council to reduce artificially the level of payment appropriations available in the EU budget, which would jeopardise the EU’s ability to meet its legal and political commitments; calls, once more, on the Council to agree with the EP and the Commission on a common method to assess real payment needs; underlines the urgency of the situation, especially in headings 1A and 1B (competitiveness for growth and employment / cohesion for growth and employment), as well as in rural development funds;

6.  Calls on the Member States to fully seize the possibilities agreed in the ‘Compact for Growth and Jobs’ to consider reallocations within their national structural and cohesion fund envelopes (EUR 55 billion) in support of research and innovation, SMEs (including facilitating their access to EU funds) and youth employment; calls on the Commission to provide, in its AGS 2013 to be published in November 2012, a full and complete picture of what has been achieved in that respect;

7.  Emphasises, moreover, that the ‘Compact for Growth and Jobs’ expressly invites Member States to use part of their structural fund allocation to work with the EIB on loan risk and loan guarantee facilities for knowledge and skills, resource efficiency, strategic infrastructure and access to finance for SMEs; is of the opinion that Member State authorities should seek to maximise the growth potential offered by other already agreed EU initiatives financed by the EU budget, such as the pilot phase for project bonds, the various existing EU innovative financial instruments in place since 2007 in the field of research innovation, support to SMEs or microcredit schemes; underlines, furthermore, the increased EIB lending capacity for the period 2012-2015; believes that, if properly combined and implemented, all these measures could form the foundations of an EU investment programme for the years to come with a dramatically positive effect on GDP and employment in the EU-27, with some academics estimating a GDP increase of 0.56 % and 1.2 million additional jobs;

8.  Calls, therefore, on the Member States neither to consider their national GNI contribution to the EU budget as an adjustment variable in their consolidation efforts, nor to seek to reduce artificially the volume of the EU budget’s growth-enhancing expenditure contrary to the political commitments they have made at the highest level; is, however, aware of the economic tension between the need to consolidate public finances in the short run, on the one hand, and any potential increase for some Member States in their GNI-based contribution brought about by an increase in the level of payments in the EU budget; restates, therefore, its strong calls for reform of the financing of the EU budget – to be agreed in the framework of the 2014-2020 MFF negotiations – by reducing the share of Member States’ GNI-based contributions to the EU budget to 40 % by 2020, thereby contributing to their consolidation efforts(1);

9.  Asks the Commission, moreover, to explore the possibility of excluding the GNI-based contribution to the EU budget from the calculation of the structural deficit as defined in the two-pack;

10. Warns that, in the context of the negotiations on the MFF 2014-20, lowering the level of the EU budget, given its role as a catalyst for investment, would have an adverse effect on the creation of growth and jobs in the Union.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

19.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

27

2

3

Members present for the final vote

Marta Andreasen, Richard Ashworth, Francesca Balzani, Zuzana Brzobohatá, Andrea Cozzolino, James Elles, Göran Färm, Eider Gardiazábal Rubial, Salvador Garriga Polledo, Ivars Godmanis, Lucas Hartong, Jutta Haug, Monika Hohlmeier, Sidonia Elżbieta Jędrzejewska, Ivailo Kalfin, Sergej Kozlík, Jan Kozłowski, Alain Lamassoure, Giovanni La Via, George Lyon, Barbara Matera, Claudio Morganti, Juan Andrés Naranjo Escobar, Dominique Riquet, Alda Sousa, Derek Vaughan, Angelika Werthmann

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

François Alfonsi, Alexander Alvaro, Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Paul Rübig, Peter Šťastný

(1)

EP resolution P7- TA 2012/245, June 2012. Paragraph 3.


OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (19.9.2012)

for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

on European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2012 priorities

(2012/2150(INI))

Rapporteur:

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

–   having regard to its resolution of 14 June 2012 on Single Market Act: The Next Steps To Growth(1),

–   having regard to its resolution of 20 May 2010 on delivering a Single Market to consumers and citizens(2),

A. whereas the Single Market is needed more than ever as a means to revitalise the European economy, by providing a concrete response to the crisis and acting as an instrument to promote competitiveness and preserve social welfare;

1.  Considers that the European Semester must focus on the aim of fostering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, competitiveness, employment and territorial and social cohesion by overcoming internal imbalances and producing converging dynamics among Member States’ economies;

2.  Underlines the need to fully take into account the Europe 2020 Strategy in the implementation of the European Semester;

3.  Urges the Commission to make Single Market governance a key priority, since it contributes substantially to reaching the targets of the European Semester, namely sustainable economic growth and employment; takes the view that the Commission’s country-specific recommendations should, at the same time, offer the Member States more practical solutions for improving the functioning of the Single Market, so that stronger public support and political commitment are created to encourage the completion of this Single Market;

4.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to link the European Semester to the Single Market Act in order to secure the coherence of European economic policy and the creation of sustainable growth;

5.  Emphasises that the initiatives taken in the framework of the Single Market Act must be consistent with, and contribute to, achieving the objectives of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth;

6.  Welcomes the Commissions’ proposal to prepare an annual report on the integration of the Single Market in the framework of the European Semester in order to measure the functioning of the Single Market, identify the main policy challenges and set priorities for action; believes that this will help guarantee a level playing field throughout the Union;

7.  Emphasises that this assessment should examine how citizens, workers, consumers and businesses alike benefit from the Single Market and tackle obstacles in its performance; acknowledges that the dialogue with social partners, national parliaments and civil society plays an essential role in restoring confidence in the Single Market; invites, therefore, citizens and businesses to make suggestions on how best to achieve the full realisation of the Single Market;

8.  Calls on the Commission to coordinate the annual report on the integration of the Single Market with other Single Market monitoring instruments, such as the Internal Market Scoreboard, in order to avoid overlap and to produce efficient and clear recommendations and to secure the coherence of European economic policy;

9.  Lauds in this context the Commissions’ proposal to define country-specific recommendations relating to the Single Market, especially concerning correct transposition of legislation and transposition deadlines; calls on the Commission to step up its actions in ensuring the proper implementation and enforcement of EU legislation in the Member States by making determined use of all its powers;

10. Reiterates the need to reduce the transposition deficit of Single Market directives and emphasises the key role of full, uniform, timely and correct transposition for citizens and businesses to be able to fully benefit from the Single Market; supports the setting up of a network of civil servants at Member States level, coordinated by the Commission, in charge of the implementation of all new EU legislation to improve the overall quality of the implementation;

11. Urges the Commission and the Member States to give priority to the adoption of the 12 key actions of the Single Market Act, as an important contribution to strengthening the Single Market in a comprehensive and balanced manner.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

17.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

27

1

0

Members present for the final vote

Adam Bielan, Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, Birgit Collin-Langen, Lara Comi, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Cornelis de Jong, Vicente Miguel Garcés Ramón, Małgorzata Handzlik, Malcolm Harbour, Sandra Kalniete, Toine Manders, Hans-Peter Mayer, Phil Prendergast, Mitro Repo, Heide Rühle, Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab, Catherine Stihler, Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, Gino Trematerra, Bernadette Vergnaud, Barbara Weiler

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Constance Le Grip, Olga Sehnalová, Sabine Verheyen

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Silvia Costa, Jutta Steinruck

(1)

Texts adopted, P7_TA-PROV(2012)0258.

(2)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0186.


OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (19.9.2012)

for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2012 priorities

(2012/2150(INI))

Rapporteur: Paulo Rangel

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Constitutional Affairs calls on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

1.  Considers that the European Semester reinforces economic coordination among Member States under the Community method, thus guaranteeing a better economic governance which represents added value for Europe;

2.  Welcomes the fact that the European Semester has been institutionalised by means of Regulation (EU) No 1175/2011 amending Regulation (EC) No 1466/97 on the strengthening of the surveillance of budgetary positions and the surveillance and coordination of economic policies;

3.  Is nevertheless of the opinion that the legitimacy, transparency and effectiveness of the European Semester should be improved;

4.  Considers it essential to enhance the Semester’s legitimacy and to clear the remaining legal ambiguities which may otherwise give rise to institutional conflicts in the future, including the superimposition and duplication of competencies and responsibilities, and the lack of clarity and increased complexity of the EU institutional framework;

5.  Regrets that parliamentary scrutiny plays only a minor role in the process, and stresses that the European Semester must in no way jeopardise the prerogatives of the European Parliament and the national parliaments;

6.  Notes with concern that the European Parliament has been constantly marginalised in the main economic decisions resulting from the crisis, and considers that it must be involved in order to increase the legitimacy of decisions which affect all citizens;

7.  Expresses the view that the European Parliament is the appropriate venue for economic dialogue and cooperation between national parliaments and the European institutions;

8.  Reiterates that the provisions on the economic dialogue and the new coordination mechanism incorporated into Regulation (EC) No 1466/97 should be fully enforced, and that the European semester should be subject at all stages to full democratic scrutiny;

9.  Is of the opinion that the economic dialogue should be extended on the model of the monetary dialogue with the ECB, to include regular discussions between the European Parliament, the Commission and the ECOFIN President on the preparation of and follow-up to the Annual Growth Survey and the Country-Specific Recommendations;

10. Recalls that, with a view to ensuring democratic legitimacy, transparency and access to information should be a key element of the process, and that the European Semester and the economic dialogue should be regarded as part of the EU institutional framework and should promote the Community method, involving the Union institutions at all stages;

11. Recalls Herman Van Rompuy’s report presented to the Council meeting of 28 and 29 June 2012, entitled ‘Towards a genuine economic and monetary union’ and calling for a more enforceable framework for policy coordination in the context of the European Semester;

12. Considers that close cooperation between the European Parliament and the national parliaments, pursuant to Article 9 of Protocol No 1, is essential in order to establish the necessary democratic legitimacy and national ownership of the Semester process; calls for a reinforcement of the dialogue between the European and the national levels, respecting the division of labour between them;

13. Considers that in addition to ensuring cooperation between parliaments, it is also necessary to make greater efforts to communicate with the citizens and actively include them in the process;

14. Takes the view that, in order to reduce concerns over legitimacy, the national parliaments should play a more active role in the process, and suggests that the Member States adjust their internal procedures so that the national parliaments can be involved in the discussion of their countries’ fiscal and reform plans before their submission to the EU;

15. Calls for closer involvement of and active participation by the European Parliament in the process, and considers that, on the basis of Article 121(5) TFEU, the Commission and the Council should be accountable to Parliament for the country-specific recommendations adopted;

16. Urges the Commission to provide proper justification of its policy recommendations, and to differentiate and prioritise policy actions across countries in order to guide the Council on the countries to which it should pay particular attention;

17. Considers that, in order to preserve the credibility of the Annual Growth Survey on which the Commission’s recommendations are based, as well as the transparency of the European Semester, it is important that the Council should continue to justify any divergences on its part from the Commission’s recommendations;

18. Recalls that economic policy coordination under the European Semester should be based on Article 5 TFEU, and that the priorities determined by the Semester should fully respect the objectives and requirements set out in Article 3 (3) TEU and in other treaty provisions, with particular reference to Article 121 TFEU (broad economic policy guidelines), Article 126 TFEU (excessive government deficits) and Article 148 TFEU (employment policy);

19. Recalls that the European Parliament must be recognised as the appropriate European democratic forum for providing an overall evaluation at the end of the European Semester; believes that, as a sign of this recognition, representatives of the EU institutions and the economic bodies involved in the process should provide information to Members of the European Parliament when asked to do so;

20. Expresses the view that the European Parliament should adapt its organisational structure to the newly introduced European semester, by measures such as the creation of an ad hoc/temporary committee or a working or steering group for the yearly monitoring of the European Semester.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

17.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

19

2

0

Members present for the final vote

Andrew Henry William Brons, Carlo Casini, Andrew Duff, Roberto Gualtieri, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Zita Gurmai, Gerald Häfner, Daniel Hannan, Stanimir Ilchev, Constance Le Grip, Paulo Rangel, Algirdas Saudargas, József Szájer, Rafał Trzaskowski, Manfred Weber, Luis Yáñez-Barnuevo García

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Zuzana Brzobohatá, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Isabelle Durant, Marietta Giannakou, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, György Schöpflin


OPINION of the Committee on Womens Rights and Gender Equality (21.9.2012)

for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2012 priorities

(2012/2150(INI))

Rapporteur: Barbara Matera

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality calls on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions in its motion for a resolution:

A. whereas in times of economic crisis, strengthening women’s position in the labour market and economic independence is not only a moral imperative, but also an economic necessity; whereas greater efforts must be made to address the barriers that prevent equal labour force participation of women and men in order to achieve the headline target, set in the EU 2020 Strategy, of increasing the labour market participation of women to 75 % as this would: a) free an important amount of untapped talent, especially in the field of science and technology, and b) contribute to economic efficiency, increased productivity and a greater tax base in the event that the gender wage gap is reduced, as well as lifting at least 20 million people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion, with attention to the specific situation of both women and men,

B.  whereas Europe’s future economic competitiveness and prosperity depends crucially on its ability to fully utilise its labour resources, i.a. by increasing the participation of women in the labour market and ensuring that they gain better access to highly skilled jobs; whereas one of priorities of the Europe 2020 Strategy is to reach a 75 % employment rate for women by 2020; whereas comparatively more women than men work in part-time jobs or on temporary contracts and are therefore be more easily made redundant in crisis periods, and there is a risk that the current recession will delay advances – or even reverse progress – towards gender equality,

C. whereas access to capital is severely limited by the banking crisis, a problem that is likely to hit women entrepreneurs disproportionately, as women increasingly work in a self-employed capacity so as to better combine work and family life,

1.  Reiterates its call on the Member States to integrate a gender equality perspective into the European Semester process, as well as to put more focus on training within labour-market policies by taking into account women’s needs and situation when implementing the policy guidance given in the Annual Growth Survey; commends those Member States that have mainstreamed the gender dimension throughout their National Reform Programmes (NRPs) but regrets that many Member States have omitted any mention of gender; calls on the Commission to propose to the Member States a uniform format and criteria for integrating a gender equality perspective into the NRPs;

2.  Calls on the Commission to assess systematically the impact of the NRPs and the National Stability and Convergence Programmes (NSCP) on gender equality, on the situation of women on the labour market and on poverty among women;

3.  Calls on the Member States to set specific quantitative targets in their respective NRPs in line with women’s employment statistics, and to take specific measures targeting vulnerable groups of women (such as young, migrant, disabled and single mothers);

4.  Calls on the Member States to introduce gender budgeting with the intention of analysing not only programmes that are specifically targeted at women, but also to examine all government programmes and policies, their effects on resource allocation and their contribution to equality between women and men;

5.  Stresses the need to ensure continued funding for programmes that promote gender equality and the fight against all types of violence against women, children and young people in order to tackle deeply rooted stereotypes in our society;

6.  Calls on the Commission to assess the impact of the economic adjustment programmes of Member States in receipt of financial assistance on gender equality, on the situation of women on the labour market and on poverty among women;

7.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to assess the gender impact of the economic and financial crisis by means of gender impact assessments and subsequent gender budgeting measures; calls on the Commission to apply gender-sensitive indicators in the monitoring of progress towards the EU 2020 objectives, and to break down the EU 2020 targets and indicators by gender as much as possible; calls on the Commission to follow up on the recommendations of the study by the Parliament’s policy department entitled ‘Data for the evaluation of the European semester process from a gender equality perspective’(1);

8.  Recalls that the gender pay gap is still an issue in the EU and that it also affects the level of pensions that women later receive, which may consequently result in women finding themselves below the poverty line; calls, therefore, on the Member States to set qualitative targets in NRPs related to closing the gender pay gap, thus reducing both the unfair treatment of women pensioners and the poverty vulnerability of elderly women;

9.  Stresses that fiscal consolidation without consideration for gender equality risks leading to increased gender segregation in the labour market, increased precarious work among women, a wider gender pay gap, increased feminisation of poverty and more difficulties in combining caring and working;

10. Stresses that income and high-quality gainful employment for women are the key to their economic independence and to greater equality between men and women in society as a whole; recalls that most part-time jobs are held by women, which limits their economic independence when it is not chosen and which strongly affects women in vulnerable situations such as single mothers; calls, therefore, on the Commission and the Member States to monitor women’s employment both in terms of quantity and in terms of quality, that is, on the basis of the number of hours worked per week, contract type and hence their ability to ensure their financial independence; calls on the Members States to adopt family-friendly measures such as flexitime and teleworking and to expand affordable childcare and accessible after-school facilities; calls on the Member States to insert a strong gender dimension to any measure and action aiming at promoting business , self-employment and women’s entrepreneurship;

11. Stresses that women should be encouraged to diversify their professional choice in order to enter sectors with the highest employment potential, which are mainly male-dominated, such as sectors within the low-carbon, resource-efficient economy (‘green jobs’) or the digital economy; calls, in light of this, for measures to improve the links between vocational training for women and the labour market, in keeping with the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy; stresses that in the health and social sectors (‘white jobs’), which employ many women, jobs should receive better recognition in terms of types of contracts and salaries; calls on the Commission to address this matter in the upcoming Annual Growth Survey;

12. Notes that the access of women to higher-qualified employment should also be promoted without stereotypes, prejudice or discrimination based on sex, in order to narrow the productivity gap of the EU and hence increase the EU competitiveness on global markets.

RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

19.9.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

25

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Regina Bastos, Andrea Češková, Marije Cornelissen, Edite Estrela, Iratxe García Pérez, Zita Gurmai, Mikael Gustafsson, Mary Honeyball, Lívia Járóka, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Nicole Kiil-Nielsen, Silvana Koch-Mehrin, Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Astrid Lulling, Barbara Matera, Krisztina Morvai, Norica Nicolai, Antonyia Parvanova, Joanna Senyszyn, Joanna Katarzyna Skrzydlewska, Marina Yannakoudakis, Anna Záborská, Inês Cristina Zuber

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Minodora Cliveti, Silvia Costa, Mariya Gabriel, Sylvie Guillaume, Christa Klaß, Ana Miranda, Doris Pack, Antigoni Papadopoulou, Licia Ronzulli, Angelika Werthmann

(1)

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/studiesdownload.html?languageDocument=EN&file=72951


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

9.10.2012

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

30

8

0

Members present for the final vote

Burkhard Balz, Elena Băsescu, Jean-Paul Besset, Sharon Bowles, Udo Bullmann, Nikolaos Chountis, George Sabin Cutaş, Leonardo Domenici, Diogo Feio, Markus Ferber, Elisa Ferreira, Ildikó Gáll-Pelcz, Jean-Paul Gauzès, Sven Giegold, Sylvie Goulard, Liem Hoang Ngoc, Astrid Lulling, Arlene McCarthy, Sławomir Witold Nitras, Ivari Padar, Alfredo Pallone, Anni Podimata, Olle Schmidt, Peter Simon, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, Ivo Strejček, Sampo Terho, Marianne Thyssen, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Corien Wortmann-Kool, Pablo Zalba Bidegain

Substitute(s) present for the final vote

Jean-Pierre Audy, Ashley Fox, Robert Goebbels, Sophia in ‘t Veld, Olle Ludvigsson, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Emilie Turunen

Substitute(s) under Rule 187(2) present for the final vote

Timothy Kirkhope

Last updated: 22 October 2012Legal notice