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Parliamentary questions
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18 March 2016
Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-014997/2015

1. The importance of EU market access to third countries is indicated, among others, by the fact that 90% of future growth will come outside the European Union. This figure was calculated based on GDP(1) data from the IMF(2) World Economic Outlook database (April 2015). These calculations were updated to reflect the latest available IMF data (October 2015). As it can be seen in the table attached, the world GDP is expected to reach USD119 trillion in 2016 and USD149 trillion in 2020. The respective forecasts for the EU GDP are USD20 trillion and USD23 trillion.

This means that in 2016 11% of the world GDP growth will come from the EU and 89% from non-EU countries, whereas in 2020 90% of the world GDP growth will come from outside the EU.

EU trade and investment policy is a vehicle to reap the benefits of globalisation and hence an important driver of EU growth. EU trade negotiating agenda could boost EU GDP by more than 2%.

2. The Commission has prioritised three policy strands(3): re-launching investment to kick-start growth, notably through the Investment Plan for Europe; stepping up structural reforms to help lift potential output; and pursuing responsible public finances with the twin objectives of long term debt sustainability and the need to support the recovery. For the euro area as a whole, the Commission has recommended a broadly neutral fiscal stance in 2016.

3. Countries in difficulty have benefited and will continue to benefit from EU funds and assistance. The European Structural and Investment Funds as well as the policy recommendations from the Commission are aimed at generating growth and employment.

Besides, a new structural reform support service has been created to provide technical support available upon request.

See annex : Annex

(1)Gross Domestic Product.
(2)International Monetary Fund.
(3)2016 Annual Growth Survey: COM(2015)0690.

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