European Semester 2017 Spring Package: Commission issues country-specific recommendations

Today Vice-President Dombrovskis, Commissioner Thyssen and Commissioner Moscovici presented the 2017 country-specific recommendations (CSRs), spelling out the economic policy guidance for Member States for the coming 12 to 18 months. The European economy has proven resilient in the face of significant challenges; reflected in growth rates of nearly 2 % in both the euro area and the EU in 2016, improving public finances and employment levels at a record of nearly 233 million people. Unemployment is at its lowest level since 2009 and investments exceed pre-crisis levels in some Member States – also helped by the Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan. Although economic conditions in the euro area and the EU are improving, challenges remain: slow productivity growth and the legacies of the crisis, including disparities within and across countries, continue to weigh on the economy, as does uncertainty stemming mostly from external factors. The Commission therefore calls on Member States to use this window of opportunity to strengthen the fundamentals of their economies by implementing the economic and social priorities identified in common at European level – boosting investment, pursuing structural reforms and ensuring responsible fiscal policies. Particular attention is paid to the challenges and priorities identified for the euro area. Priorities vary across the EU but further efforts across the board are essential to achieve more inclusive, robust and sustainable growth.