Policy highlights - March 2014

1.European Commission-ECFIN: Commission concludes in-depth reviews to identify macroeconomic imbalances and assesses progress in fiscal consolidation (5 March 2014)

The contribution of large Member States to growth in Europe is important. Among the largest euro area Member States, the policy priorities should be on: strengthening domestic demand and medium-term growth in Germany; addressing bottlenecks to medium-term growth while working on structural reforms and fiscal consolidation in France and Italy; and continuing the orderly deleveraging and structural transformation of the economy that will contribute to sustainable growth, and addressing social issues in Spain. …

… Several macroeconomic challenges need to be addressed in the context of the euro area. There is a need to increase investment and boost demand, address financial fragmentation and the challenge of indebtedness and rebalancing in a very low inflation scenario and a difficult economic climate. As recommended by the Council last June, Member States should take responsibility, individually and collectively, for the aggregate policy stance in the euro area in order to ensure the good functioning of the Economic and Monetary Union and to increase growth and employment. …

…The Commission considers that 14 Member States are experiencing imbalances: Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. In Croatia, Italy and Slovenia, these imbalances are considered excessive.”

2.European Commission: Special Eurobarometer 409 - Climate change (March 2014)

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of the modern age. As Europe takes action to meet its objectives, it is important to understand the attitudes and behaviour of EU citizens towards climate change and their expectations for the future. This Eurobarometer survey measures these and compares them with the last poll on this issue carried out in 2011.”


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