The EU economy is now going through the most challenging times in its history. The focus of the 2012 Annual Growth Survey is on implementation of the priorities agreed as part of the new economic governance and the Europe 2020 strategy. It takes into account the need to adjust the level of ambition and priorities to a worsening economic context.
The European Commission would like Member States to give priority to:
- Improving their business environments by minimising administrative burdens,
- avoiding “gold plating” when transposing EU legislation
- reducing unnecessary regulations and permits, and introducing simpler and quicker procedures, in particular in their judicial systems.
In its proposal on exempting micro enterprises from new regulations, the Commission will keep a scoreboard about reducing administrative burden. Cases where the legislator adds burdens during the process of co-decision and national transposition will be highlighted.
- Ensuring that exchanges between administrations and enterprises as well as citizens can be done digitally, in order to increase administrative efficiency, transparency and the quality of service. Online public services can be particularly beneficial for SMEs and should be adapted to their needs
- Facilitating the creation of new businesses by implementing the Small Business Act which would reduce the time for a company start up to 3 days. 25 Member States which have not already done so should make the changes by the end of 2012.
- Where absorption rates of EU structural funds is low, building administrative capacity, including the necessary expertise and continuity of management, to ensure speedier disbursement of unused funds on growth-enhancing projects and using available technical assistance for this purpose.
The Commission invites:
- The European Council to take note of this Annual Growth Survey and to task Council formations to consider it and report to the Spring European Council so that the March European Council can adopt appropriate guidance for the 2012 European semester.
- The Member States to reflect the guidance agreed by the Spring European Council in their next Stability and Convergence Programmes and their National Reform Programmes in the spring 2012. These will be examined by the Commission when it issues new or updated country-specific recommendations next year, taking into account the degree of implementation of the 2011 recommendations, including the commitments made under the Euro Plus Pact.
- The Member States to step up implementation of their Stability and Convergence Programmes, National Reform Programmes and the 2011 country-specific recommendations.
- The European Parliament and the European Council to agree to fast track the proposals with a view to adopting them by the end of 2012.