European Commission: The European economy is growing for the seventh year and is expected to expand in 2020.

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The European economy has been growing for the seventh year and is expected to grow further in 2020, despite the fact that, despite less favorable conditions and global uncertainties, the economies of all Member States are strengthening, “said the Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs and Tax and Customs on Wednesday. Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner of the European Commission, said on the occasion of the presentation of his spring package on Wednesday in the European Semester, that the number of employees is at record levels and unemployment has never been so low. However, there are still significant differences between countries, regions and population groups. The EU Committee therefore calls on the Member States to build on the results of recent years, as effective reforms are needed to modernize the European economy, accompanied by well-targeted investment strategies and responsible budgetary policies. According to a report by the Member States on the economic and social priorities of the Union, Member States’ public finance indicators have continued to improve, without undermining growth. However, Member States should continue and, if necessary, step up their efforts to combat aggressive tax planning, in the interests of fairness for all taxpayers. In its 2019 country-specific recommendations for the next 12-18 months, the European Commission has stressed that the slowdown in global growth reinforces the need to pursue structural reforms. Member States should promote social convergence, strive for a more balanced recovery within the euro area, and continue their efforts to strengthen the single market and deepen the European economic and monetary union. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission, Commissioner for Euro and Social Dialogue, said that Member States had implemented over two-thirds of their recommendations and made some progress in financial services and employment policies. However, the rate of implementation of the recommendations on broadening the tax base, health and competition for services is low. According to the report, the correction of macroeconomic imbalances is well advanced, while some Member States continue to record unprecedentedly high levels of private and public debt, which reduces the room for maneuver to deal with negative shocks. Further action is needed in all Member States to increase productivity, boost investment and promote potential growth. As reported, in February the EU Committee concluded that there are imbalances in 13 Member States – Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Romania and Sweden. There are excessive imbalances in three countries – Cyprus, Greece and Italy. As in previous years, these imbalances require further specific follow-up under the macroeconomic imbalance procedure. On the basis of the assessment of the Stability and Convergence Programs, the Committee proposed the abolition of the excessive deficit procedure against Spain. As the Council of the European Union takes its decision on this, all the excessive deficit procedures that have come back to the crisis will be closed, he said. In addition, the Committee adopted a report for Belgium, France, Italy and Cyprus to examine their compliance with the deficit and debt criteria contained in the EU Treaties. In the case of Italy, the report concluded that it was appropriate to open a debt-based excessive deficit procedure. As recalled, Hungary and Romania have been subject to so-called significant deviation procedures since 2018 and 2017, as the two countries are permanently different from the medium-term budgetary deficit target (MTO); The committee therefore sent a warning to Hungary and Romania on Wednesday, as last year there was a significant difference in their structural balance and recommended that the Council of the European Union make a recommendation to these countries to correct the divergence. According to the recommendation, measures should be taken to put the two countries on an appropriate path to the medium-term budgetary objective. Finally, the Committee also adopted its third report on Greece in the framework of the enhanced surveillance framework, which was established after the closure of the stability program implemented within the European Stability Mechanism.

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