REPORT 

    4.2.2008 - (COM(2007)0803 – 2007/2275(INI))

    on the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (Part: broad guidelines for the economic policies of the MemberStates and the Community): Launching the new cycle (2008–2010)
    Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs
    Rapporteur: Margarita Starkevičiūtė

    Procedure : 2007/2275(INI)
    Document stages in plenary
    Document selected :  
    A6-0029/2008

    MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

    on the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (Part: broad guidelines for the economic policies of the Member States and the Community): Launching the new cycle (2008–2010)

    (2007/0000(INI))

    The European Parliament,

    –       having regard to the Commission’s communication on Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2008-2010) (COM(2007)0803, Part V),

    –       having regard the Commission's communication on Member States and Regions delivering the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs through EU cohesion policy, 2007-2013 (COM(2007)0798),

    –       having regard to the 27 Lisbon National Reform Programmes (NRPs) as presented by the Member States,

    –       having regard to the Presidency conclusions following the meetings of the European Council in March 2000, March 2001, and March 2005,

    –       having regard to the Commission’s Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (2005-2008) (COM(2005)0141) (the Integrated Guidelines),

    –       having regard to the Commission communication entitled, "Strategic report on the renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs: launching the new cycle (2008-2010)" (COM(2007)0803),

    –       having regard to its resolution of 15 November 2007 on the European interest: succeeding in the age of globalisation[1],

    –       having regard to Article 99(2) of the EC Treaty,

    –       having regard to Rules 107 and 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

    –       having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A6‑0029/2007),

    A.     whereas macroeconomic stability is secured by a sound mix of a number of economic policies; whereas challenges to stability should be addressed not only by way of macroeconomic measures but also by the implementation of structural reforms in goods, labour and capital markets,

    B.     whereas more remains to be done to prepare the European Union and Member States for globalisation and strengthen foundations for economic success and more social cohesion in the medium to longer term,

    C.     whereas there is an opportunity to “capitalise for everybody” on the momentum of the unique competitive advantage derived from the enlargements of the European Union and its further integration,

    D.     whereas sharing a common currency and a common monetary policy offers an extra dimension for integrating economies and coordinating policy strategies that could strengthen the role of the euro area in delivering growth and jobs for the whole European Union,

    E.     whereas the integrated guidelines are a central instrument of EU macroeconomic policies for growth and jobs, focusing on a medium-term period of three years,

    F.     whereas the European Union and Member States must carry out macroeconomic as well as microeconomic policies to make Europe a more attractive place in which to invest and work and to boost knowledge and innovation for growth,

    G.     whereas financial services are particularly important since this sector plays a key role as an enabler in the development of so many areas of economic activity,

    H.     whereas policies aimed at increasing investment in knowledge and human resources as well as those strengthening the innovation capacity of the EU economy are at the heart of the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs,

    I.      whereas economic conditions for converting the creative energy of people into innovative economic results, e.g. new ideas, high-tech businesses and regional development, are insufficiently developed and remain fragmented,

    J.      whereas in the context of accelerated globalisation, improved international consistency of legislative provisions, including a commitment to high environmental and social standards, is of decisive importance,

    K.     whereas stability and trust in the European Union can be ensured only through the common understanding of laws and rules that properly reflect reality,

    L.     whereas it is not possible to achieve substantial progress in creating a knowledge-driven society without the active involvement of all EU citizens,

    Economic framework  

    Securing growth and macroeconomic stability

    1.      Welcomes the Commission's Strategic report assessing the implementation of the renewed Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs, including updated Integrated Guidelines; supports the Council's view that the renewed strategy must add value at Community level to improve the coherence of reforms and maximise positive spill-over effects and ensure that the Lisbon reform agendas effectively result in more and better jobs throughout the European Union;

    2.      Underlines, once again, the importance of a vigorous implementation of the Lisbon strategy and the Integrated Guidelines, emphasising the interdependence of economic, social and environmental progress in creating a dynamic and innovative sustainable economy;

    3.      Considers that growing imbalances, aggregate demand and global inflationary pressure may become a significant challenge for monetary policy given the prolonged uncertainty on financial markets; underlines that a healthy and stable macro-economic environment requires high-quality public finances with budgets that are further consolidated, and an intelligent private and public investment policy that delivers forward-looking infrastructure and opens up tomorrow’s markets today; calls for coordinated action to increase the resilience of the EU economy;

    4.      Believes that sound economic policies would help to strengthen confidence and reduce uncertainty in the current financial turmoil; considers that for 2008, the European Union needs to enhance its growth potential in order to be able to generate employment, particularly in the light of its enlargement to 27 Member States;

    5.      Points out that in the interest of macroeconomic stability, the rise in productivity must go hand-in-hand with a fairer distribution of the benefits of growth and a strengthening of social cohesion; draws attention, in this connection, to the call for the rise in incomes to keep pace with medium-term growth in productivity;

    6.      Stresses that growing financial imbalances and excessive volatility of exchange rates as well as the credit squeeze and the prolonged uncertainty on financial markets are a significant challenge for macro-economic policy makers and monetary policy in particular;

    7.      Points out that increased attention should be paid to better synergies between budgetary policy, wages and productivity growth while also considering the implications of budgetary policy on macroeconomic developments;

    8.      Is concerned about the high levels of the euro exchange rate that harm the competitiveness of the European economy, and that, at those levels, reduce the margin of manoeuvre for the monetary policy; emphasises that the appreciation of the euro exchange rate is the result of mounting imbalances in third countries and lack of internal demand in the euro area;

    9.      Stresses the need for a sound fiscal policy as a pre-condition for sustained growth and job creation in each Member State in line with the relevant provisions of the Treaty as common responsibility of the European Union; underlines the high importance of public finance efficiency and considers that in most countries consolidation of public finances could help keep intact the long-term fiscal sustainability; underlines the importance of modernisation of public administration as a source for improving efficiency and effectiveness of public finances;

    Sound financial markets

    10.    Points out that a well-integrated financial system might enhance the efficiency of monetary policy, especially in the euro area; believes that financial markets can make a substantial contribution to macroeconomic and fiscal sustainability;

    11.    Notes that the risk-based approach in capital requirements facilitates cross-border capital flows driven by specific corporate strategies in big financial groups and poses a macroeconomic challenge for smaller Member States; is strongly convinced that effective financial supervision and transparency are essential in order to contain macroeconomic imbalance;

    12.    Stresses the interdependence of Member States' economies, especially in the euro area; considers that the Integrated Guidelines should set a broad framework for closer economic policy coordination to align NRPs; suggests that, in doing so, a more delicate approach towards convergence, which reflects economic diversity and differing traditions in order to strengthen broad-based support for the common EU project;

    13.    Takes the view that, while respecting financial consolidation, a simultaneous and coordinated approach by the Member States to growth - intensive spending, stimulating private investment and joint initiatives in the area of private and public cooperation - can unleash substantial synergies, improve Europe's ability to meet the existing challenges in the fields of science and research, transport and communication, energy and environmental sustainability and will support the efficient allocation of resources throughout Europe;

    Shaping the external agenda

    14.    Highlights that a deregulated global financial system is beyond the direct influence of EU policies and can transmit a risk of financial instability; stresses that a homogeneous and coherent approach of regulators and legislators is a necessary prerequisite to counterbalance the cross-border spread of risk; believes that it is necessary to re-assess the impact of the business model and role of multinational financial groups on global financial markets;

    15.    Points out that the European Union and the Member States have a shared responsibility for addressing the challenges, opportunities and uncertainties facing citizens as a result of globalisation; is convinced that in order to promote European competitiveness in a globalised world, the external dimension of the internal market must be developed; recalls that the European Union will not merely adapt passively to globalisation, but will, on the contrary, shape globalisation; underlines the importance of enhanced strategic cooperation with international, particularly through the transatlantic relations, and working together within stronger multilateral organisations by promoting core EU principles - solidarity, democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights;

    16.    Calls for measures to be taken to combat protectionism both inside and outside the European Union; stress that protectionism undermines rather than protects consumers' and citizens' rights;

    Regaining business dynamism

    Strengthening economic policy co-ordination

    17.    Considers that the European Union should demonstrate, in the course of multilateral rounds of various multilateral negotiations such as those of the WTO, the common view which really shares the interests of every single Member State;

    Focusing on priority areas

    18.    Urges the Commission to develop a consistent integrated policy towards sustainable development; believes that the sustainable use of resources and strengthening the synergies between environmental protection and growth as well as improving innovative performance can by achieved by encouraging the development and use of environmentally friendly technologies, and "greening" public procurement, with particular attention to SMEs;

    19.    Stresses the role of market-based instruments (MBIs) to deliver the targets set at the 2007 Spring European Council to transform Europe into an energy-efficient and renewable based economy; considers that continued upward pressure on energy prices and accumulating threats to the climate mean that it is important to promote energy efficiency improvements as a contribution to both growth and sustainable development; points out that EU companies are among the world leaders in developing renewable energy technologies;

    20.    Welcomes the proposal by the Commission to establish a "fifth freedom" in the context of research and innovation – the freedom of knowledge – complementing the four freedoms of movement of goods, services, people and capital;

    21.    Considers that in the context of rising food prices that appear to be permanent rather than cyclical, the mechanisms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that constrain supply should be revised; believes that the CAP can play a key role in stabilising food prices;

    22.    Reiterates its view of the benefits of shifting the tax burden from labour to environmental degradation as an effective way to address both environmental and employment issues and is of the opinion that the burden on labour has to be diminished to create more jobs and fight the black economy;

    Enhancing internal market

    23.    Points out that as a result of the failure to complete the internal market, EU productivity is lagging behind its potential and does not allow the full exploitation of global market opportunities; considers that while the internal market for goods is relatively well integrated, services markets, including financial services, remain rather fragmented; calls for accelerated integration of the services market by the consistent and coherent implementation and enforcement of the agreed rules and the removal of obstacles to competition and market entry; notes that the delivery, at affordable prices, of effective services of general economic interest has an important role to play in a competitive and dynamic economy; ask the Commission to ensure a level playing field for services of general interest (including social services), accessible to all;

    24.    Emphasises that the implementation of the four freedoms should be carried out in the same way and to the same extent across European Union and that their functioning should be constantly monitored;

    25.    Stresses the necessity to open up the network industries for competition by ensuring a level playing field and effective competition in European-wide integrated markets; in this sense, believes that public ownership in the electricity and gas markets is one of the main elements leading to distortions at the European level, and that the stimulus for competition in those markets must be further improved; is convinced that expansion, improvement and linking up European infrastructure, especially focusing on cross-border projects and interconnection between old and new Europe, should help to develop adequate conditions for substantial improvement in productivity of transport, energy and ICT sectors;

    Contribution of taxation policy to the Lisbon Agenda

    26.    Notes the need for a coordinated fiscal framework, including corporate tax arrangements, which should be favourable to companies, in particular SMEs, and geared to renewing growth and generating employment;

    27.    Points out that, in terms of state funding, the European Union must promote tax arrangements to facilitate competition in the global economy in order to encourage the creation of new businesses and technological innovation; notes that this might involve, inter alia, a reduction in taxes that undermine efficiency and job creation, particularly for specific social groups such as women, the long-term unemployed and the elderly;

    Investing in people and modernising labour markets

    Entrepreneurship and creativity

    28.    Is convinced that it is crucial for promoting an entrepreneurial culture and creating a supportive environment for SMEs that the governance system of an institutional framework for innovation is streamlined, underpinned by an efficient funding system that provides funding during all stages of the innovation process, from the development of an idea to its implementation at enterprise level; points out that structural policy must be drafted in a flexible way to accommodate the creative self-expression and facilitate a gainfully utilisation of creative ideas;

    29.    Strongly believes that better regulation and the implementation of ambitious targets in reducing the burden arising from new EU legislation contributes to a more competitive business environment and encourages private initiative; calls on Member States to set equally ambitious targets stemming from all levels of national legislation; points out that particular attention must be paid to strengthening the efficiency of institutional and administrative capacity of Member States;

    Life-cycle approach

    30. Considers that active labour policies should combine "flexicurity" orientated policies with new forms of security, including motivation for active job searching as well as better anticipation and positive management of change, including economic restructuring, to minimise social exlusion and facilitate adaptation; is convinced that particular attention should be focused on ways in which to reach citizens more effectively and address their expectations and needs;

    31. Considers that the life-cycle approach should be developed to actively encounter demographic challenges, including the modernisation of pension systems, to ensure financial, economic and social sustainability;

    32. Believes that education is a key determinant of long-term growth potential and an effective instrument to fight poverty and exclusion and enables people to improve living standards; recommends more effective measures to be implemented by the EU and Member States to invest more in education and improve access to education and training for all;

    33. Is of the opinion that, with a view to enhancing participation in continuous and workplace training throughout the life-cycle, especially for the low-skilled and older workers, efficient life-long learning strategies can counter-balance negative impact of the ageing EU population on labour markets; considers, however, that a determined effort must be made to raise the basic skills of young people, drastically reduce early school leaving and the underdevelopment of skills in general, and reinforce the social and labour integration of migrants and disabled people, in particular by fostering skills development;

    Immigration policy

    34. Is strongly convinced that an effective immigration policy should be considered in the light of skills shortages and labour market requirements; believes that further developing a comprehensive European migration policy complementing Member States' policies remains a fundamental priority in order to meet the challenges and harness the opportunities which migration represents in a new era of globalisation;

    35. Considers that promoting growth and cooperation with third countries, and further economic openness of the European Union, remains vital for the purpose of well-managed migration flows and fight against illegal immigration; admits that the European Union urgently needs a strategy for common and integrated border control which defines criteria and procedures for economic migration;

    Improving economic governance

    36. Welcomes the country reports drawn up by the Commission; calls, however, for a more systematic approach, which highlights successes as well as shortcomings; supports the Commission's proposal to introduce particular points to watch as part of multilateral surveillance as well as a chance to improve national policy responses; acknowledges that the role of the regional level in delivering growth and jobs should be increased, as it is recognised in the new generation of programmes of the cohesion policy covering the period 2007-2013;

    37. Regrets the still weak visibility of the Lisbon Strategy in the national politics of many Member States; takes the view that the mobilisation of all economic stakeholders is essential to ensure its effective implementation; in particular, believes that a better involvement of social partners, national parliaments, regional and local authorities as well as civil society will improve the results of the Lisbon Strategy and enhance the public debate on appropriate reforms; supports the Commission's proposal to the Member States to deepen the collaboration with national and regional parliaments while providing for annual debates on the implementation of their NRPs;

    38. Calls on the Council to take account of the following modifications:

    Commission recommendation

     

    Modifications by Parliament

    Guideline 1

    Guideline 1. To secure economic stability for sustainable growth

     

    Guideline 1. To secure economic stability for sustainable growth in the global environment

    1. In line with the Stability and Growth Pact, Member States should respect their medium-term budgetary objectives. As long as this objective has not yet been achieved, they should take all the necessary corrective measures to achieve it. Member States should avoid pro-cyclical fiscal policies. Furthermore, it is necessary that those Member States having an excessive deficit take effective action in order to ensure a prompt correction of excessive deficits.

    1. In line with the Stability and Growth Pact, Member States should respect their medium- term budgetary objectives. As long as this objective has not yet been achieved, they should take all the necessary corrective measures to achieve it and ensure the modernisation of public administration as well as the consolidation of public finances. Member States should avoid pro-cyclical fiscal policies. Furthermore, it is necessary that those Member States having an excessive deficit take effective action in order to ensure a prompt correction of excessive deficits.

    2. Member States posting current account deficits that risk being unsustainable should work towards correcting them by implementing structural reforms, boosting external competitiveness and, where appropriate, contributing to their correction via fiscal policies.

    2. Member States posting current account deficits that risk being unsustainable should work towards correcting them by implementing structural reforms, boosting external competitiveness and, where appropriate, contributing to their correction via fiscal policies as well as through the consolidation of the results of economic growth and paying attention to better synergies between budgetary policy and productivity growth.

     

    2a. In the interest of stability, Member States should not leave to monetary policy alone the whole responsibility of fighting the risk of inflation, particularly in the current situation of high exchange rates. Member States should put in place all other policies that can help fight the risk of inflation.

     

    2b. Member States should increase the resilience of the EU economy by developing the external dimension of the internal market to address the issues related to growing global imbalances.

    Guideline 2

    Guideline 2. To safeguard economic and fiscal sustainability as a basis for increased employment

    Guideline 2. To safeguard economic and fiscal sustainability as a basis for enhanced growths prospects

    Member States should, in view of the projected costs of ageing populations,

    Member States should, in view of the projected demographic challenges ahead:

    1. undertake a satisfactory pace of government debt reduction to strengthen public finances;

    1. reform and re-enforce pension, social insurance and health care systems to ensure that they are financially viable and sustainable as well as socially adequate and accessible;

    2. reform and re-enforce pension, social insurance and health care systems to ensure that they are financially viable, socially adequate and accessible;

    2. undertake a satisfactory pace of government debt reduction at the same time improving debt management to strengthen public finances;

    3. take measures to increase labour market participation and labour supply especially amongst women, young and older workers, and promote a lifecycle approach to work in order to increase hours worked in the economy.

    3. take measures to increase labour market participation and labour supply especially amongst women, young and older workers, and promote a lifecycle approach to work in order to increase hours worked in the economy; and

     

    4. implement the "fifth freedom" of knowledge and promote new skills; ensure life-long learning for all and modernise infrastructures for research, education and training systems.

    Guideline 3

    Guideline 3. To promote a growth- and employment-orientated and efficient allocation of resources

    Guideline 3. To promote a growth- and employment-orientated and efficient allocation of resources and strengthen confidence in the economy

    Member States should, without prejudice to guidelines on economic stability and sustainability, re-direct the composition of public expenditure towards growth-enhancing categories in line with the Lisbon strategy, adapt tax structures to strengthen growth potential, ensure that mechanisms are in place to assess the relationship between public spending and the achievement of policy objectives, and ensure the overall coherence of reform packages.

    Member States should, without prejudice to guidelines on economic stability and sustainability, re-direct the composition of public expenditure towards growth-enhancing categories in line with the Lisbon strategy, adapt tax structures to strengthen growth potential encouraging productivity-led growth, ensure that mechanisms are in place to assess the relationship between public spending and the achievement of policy objectives, such as high-quality investment in the Lisbon targets, and ensure the overall coherence of reform packages.

    Guideline 4

    Guideline 4. To ensure that wage developments contribute to macroeconomic stability and growth

    Guideline 4. To ensure that wage developments contribute to macroeconomic stability and growth

    And to increase adaptability, Member States should encourage the right framework conditions for wage-bargaining systems, while fully respecting the role of the social partners, with a view to promote nominal wage and labour cost developments consistent with price stability and the trend in productivity over the medium term, taking into account differences across skills and local labour market conditions.

    And to increase adaptability, Member States should encourage the right framework conditions for wage-bargaining systems, while fully respecting the role of the social partners, with a view to promote nominal wage and labour cost developments consistent with price stability and the trend in productivity over the medium term, in particular taking into consideration financial market professionals, as well as differences across skills and local labour market conditions.

    Guideline 5

    Guideline 5. To promote greater coherence between macroeconomic, structural and employment policies

    Guideline 5. To promote greater coherence between macroeconomic, structural and employment policies

     

    Member States should:

    1. improve economic policy coordination to align their national reform agendas while taking into consideration economic diversity and differing traditions;

    Member States should pursue labour and product markets reforms that at the same time increases the growth potential and support the macroeconomic framework by increasing flexibility, factor mobility and adjustment capacity in labour and product markets in response to globalisation, technological advances, demand shift, and cyclical changes. In particular, Member States should: renew impetus in tax and benefit reforms to improve incentives and to make work pay; increase adaptability of labour markets combining employment flexibility and security; and improve employability by investing in human capital.

    2. pursue labour and product markets reforms that at the same time increases the growth potential and support the macroeconomic framework ensuring flexibility by way of new forms of security, factor mobility and adjustment capacity in labour and product markets in response to globalisation, technological advances, demand shift, and cyclical changes. In particular, Member States should: renew impetus in tax and benefit reforms to improve incentives and to make work pay; increase adaptability of labour markets combining employment flexibility and security; and improve employability by investing in human capital;

     

    3. pay particular attention to strengthening institutional and administrative efficiency; and

     

    4. contribute to developing a comprehensive EU policy on immigration, including criteria and procedures for economic migration appropriate to labour market requirements.

    Guideline 6

    Guideline 6. To contribute to a dynamic and well-functioning EMU, euro area Member States need to ensure better co-ordination of their economic and budgetary policies, in particular:

    Guideline 6. To contribute to a dynamic and well-functioning EMU, euro area Member States need to ensure better co-ordination of their economic and budgetary policies, in particular:

     

    1. maximise positive spill-over effects of reforms as sharing a common currency and a common monetary policy offers an extra dimension to coordination;

    1. pay particular attention to fiscal sustainability of their public finances in full compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact;

    1a. pay particular attention to fiscal sustainability of their public finances in full compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact;

    2. contribute to a policy mix that supports economic recovery and is compatible with price stability, and thereby enhances confidence among business and consumers in the short run, while being compatible with long term sustainable growth;

    2. contribute to a policy mix that supports economic recovery and is compatible with price stability, and thereby enhances confidence among business and consumers in the short run, while being compatible with long term sustainable growth;

    3. press forward with structural reforms that will increase euro area long-term potential growth and will improve its productivity, competitiveness and economic adjustment to asymmetric shocks, paying particular attention to employment policies; and

    3. press forward with structural reforms and pursue investment priorities in line with the Lisbon goals that will increase euro area long-term potential growth and will improve its productivity, competitiveness and economic adjustment to asymmetric shocks, paying particular attention to employment policies; and

    4. ensure that the euro area’s influence in the global economic system is commensurate with its economic weight.

    4. ensure that the EU and euro area’s influence in the global economic system is commensurate with its economic weight.

    Guideline 7, introductory part and paragraphs 1, 2 and 3

    Guideline 7. To increase and improve investment in R & D, in particular by private business, the overall objective for 2010 of 3 % of GDP is confirmed with an adequate split between private and public investment, Member States will define specific intermediate levels. Member States should further develop a mix of measures appropriate to foster R & D, in particular business R & D, through:

    Guideline 7. To increase and improve investment in R & D, in particular by private business and to promote an entrepreneurial culture and encourage private initiative, Member States should further develop a mix of measures appropriate to foster the modernisation of the economy and all forms of innovation, through the:

    1. improved framework conditions and ensuring that companies operate in a sufficiently competitive and attractive environment;

    1. development of market-responsive institutions and improved framework conditions to ensure that companies operate in a sufficiently competitive business environment and benefit from implementation of innovations;

    2. more effective and efficient public expenditure on R & D and developing PPPs;

    2. strengthen economic incentives, including by simplifying tax systems;

    3. developing and strengthening centres of excellence of educational and research institutions in Member States, as well as creating new ones where appropriate, and improving the cooperation and transfer of technologies between public research institute and private enterprises;

    3. improve access to finance, in order to favour the creation of SMEs and growth, in particular micro loans and other forms of risk capital;

     

    3a. encourage the decentralisation of industrial research centres for their further reconnection with education centres, exploration of diversity of different research cultures;

    Guideline 11, paragraph 4

    4. continue to fight against climate change, while implementing the Kyoto targets in a cost-effective way, particularly in regard to SMEs.

    4. continue to fight against climate change, while implementing the Kyoto targets in a cost-effective way, particularly in regard to SMEs;

     

    4a. deliver on the commitments they have taken at the 2007 Spring European Council to tackle the energy and environmental challenge; and

     

    4b. in a context of rising food prices that seems not to be cyclical but will remain in place, revise the mechanisms of the Common Agricultural Policy that constrains the supply.

    Guideline 12, introductory part and paragraphs 1 and 6

    Guideline 12. To extend and deepen the internal market, Member States should:

    Guideline 12. To extend and deepen the internal market and ensure open and competitive markets, Member States should:

    1. speed up the transposition of internal market directives;

    1. speed up the transposition of internal market directives and eliminate remaining obstacles to cross-border activity;

    6. accelerate financial market integration by a consistent and coherent implementation and enforcement of the Financial Services Action Plan.

    6. accelerate market integration of services, including financial services, by a coherent implementation of internal market legislation and enforcement of the Financial Services Action Plan while improving transparency, responsibility and supervision for investors, markets and regulators with regard to alternative as well as non-alternative financial market investment activities;

     

    6a. contribute to the development of a balanced approach towards the regulation of the cross-border spread of financial risk;

     

    6b. develop adequate conditions for enhanced resource-efficiency in transport and energy infrastructures, focusing on cross-border sections, peripheral regions and the interconnection between "old" and "new" Member States; and

     

    6c. play a leading role at the international level regarding issues of crisis management and the improvement of the current global supervision arrangements.

    Guideline 13, paragraph 6

    6. the promotion of external openness, also in a multilateral context;

    6. the promotion of external openness, also in a multilateral context, particularly through transatlantic relations;

     

    6a. the completion of a transatlantic market;

    o

    o o

    39. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

    EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

    Since Parliament's last report on the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines for 2007 there have been important changes in Europe. Although, the upswing the European economy saw has sustained and growth picked up almost to 3% in 2007, recent turmoil on the global financial markets and the slowdown of the US economy have substantially increased the risks to the downside. The Commission's latest economic outlook 2008-2009 therefore indicates a deceleration of growth.

    In its Strategic report on the Renewed Lisbon Strategy published on 11 December 2007, the Commission proposes to re-confirm the existing Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPG) for the period 2008-2010, as part of the Integrated Guidelines. The BEPG are the main instrument for EU economic policy in the context of the overall Lisbon Strategy as well as benchmark for the yearly stability and convergence programmes. The Commission is of the opinion that the focus should now be on implementation. This view is confirmed by external consultants who have evaluated the Integrated Guidelines and by EcoFin Council conclusions on 13 November 2007.

    Notwithstanding this reconfirmation, the Commission acknowledges that the context within which the Integrated Guidelines should be implemented needs to be updated. A stronger emphasis should be put on measures aimed at investing more in people and at modernising labour markets.

    The Commission takes the view that not all Member States have undertaken reforms with equal determination. While underlining the importance of macro-economic stability, it emphasises the need to implement outstanding reforms to reinforce the fundamentals to sustain solid economic growth in the future and help the EU withstand adverse developments in the global economy.

    As the centre of gravity for the next cycle is proposed to shift to implementation, each Member State should, as part of its implementation report, submit an action plan in which it sets out the measures it will take to follow-up the recommendations and/or 'points to watch'. This mechanism is believed to facilitate the coordination of reforms and the multilateral surveillance in Council. The need for coordination is even higher within the euro area for which the Commission will present proposals for more effective coordination and governance before Summer 2008.

    The European Parliament is, as the only European Union body directly elected by its citizens, the appropriate forum for assessing and analysing the strategies and measures that the Member States are taking to improve economic policy coordination and implement the Lisbon guidelines. In view of the drafting and ensuing assessment of the Integrated Guidelines, this must also be reflected in appropriate entitlement to institutional participation.

    RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

    Date adopted

    29.1.2008

    Result of final vote

    +:

    –:

    0:

    24

    2

    13

    Members present for the final vote

    Gabriele Albertini, Mariela Velichkova Baeva, Zsolt László Becsey, Pervenche Berès, Sebastian Valentin Bodu, Udo Bullmann, Ieke van den Burg, Manuel António dos Santos, Christian Ehler, Anne Ferreira, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, Jean-Paul Gauzès, Robert Goebbels, Donata Gottardi, Gunnar Hökmark, Karsten Friedrich Hoppenstedt, Sophia in 't Veld, Piia-Noora Kauppi, Christoph Konrad, Guntars Krasts, Astrid Lulling, Gay Mitchell, Cristobal Montoro Romero, John Purvis, Alexander Radwan, Bernhard Rapkay, Dariusz Rosati, Heide Rühle, Antolín Sánchez Presedo, Olle Schmidt, Peter Skinner, Margarita Starkevičiūtė, Ivo Strejček, Cornelis Visser, Sahra Wagenknecht

    Substitute(s) present for the final vote

    Katerina Batzeli, Daniel Dăianu, Ján Hudacký, Vladimír Maňka, Thomas Mann, Bilyana Ilieva Raeva

    Substitute(s) under Rule 178(2) present for the final vote

     

    Alfonso Andria