Brussels Daily
09 Nov 2016


Brussels Daily


Autumn 2016 Economic Forecast: Modest growth in challenging times

Economic growth in Europe is expected to continue at a moderate pace, as recent labour market gains and rising private consumption are being counterbalanced by a number of hindrances to growth and the weakening of supportive factors. In its autumn forecast released today, the European Commission expects GDP growth in the euro area at 1.7% in 2016, 1.5% in 2017 and 1.7% in 2018 (Spring forecast: 2016: 1.6%, 2017: 1.8%). GDP growth in the EU as a whole should follow a similar pattern and is forecast at 1.8% this year, 1.6% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2018 (Spring forecast: 2016: 1.8%, 2017: 1.9%). Vice-President Dombrovskis said: “EU economies have proven to be resilient. We expect all Member States economies to grow next year. In the light of increased global uncertainty, it is now even more important to pursue sound and prudent macroeconomic and budgetary policies. At the same time it is vital to address inequalities in our societies, so that no-one feels left behind.” Commissioner Moscovici added: “European growth will hold up in 2017 against a more challenging backdrop than in the spring. The pace of job creation, boosted by recent reforms in many countries, decreasing public deficits in the euro area, a pick-up in investment and more dynamic EU-intra trade are particularly encouraging. In these volatile and uncertain times, no effort must be spared to safeguard and strengthen this recovery – and ensure that all sections of society feel its benefits. A press release is available online. Commissioner Moscovici’s remarks (including the slides) at the press conference are also available online. See below for further information,

2016 Enlargement Package: credible enlargement process key to driving transformation and anchoring stability in Southeast Europe

The European Commission adopted today its annual Enlargement Package. It assesses where the countries of the Western Balkans and Turkey stand in implementing key political and economic reforms, and what needs to be done to address the remaining challenges. The Commission recommends, among other things, that Member States consider opening accession negotiations with Albania. This is, however, strictly subject to credible and tangible progress in the implementation of the judicial reform, in particular the re-evaluation of judges and prosecutors (“vetting”). Presenting the Enlargement Package, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn said: “The prospect of EU membership continues to drive transformation and anchor stability in the countries of Southeast Europe, and a credible enlargement process remains an irreplaceable tool to strengthen these countries and help them carry out political and economic reforms. Today we reiterate the EU’s continued support for these efforts and call on the governments of the enlargement countries to embrace the necessary reforms more actively and truly make this their political agenda – not because the EU is asking for it, but because it is in the best interest of their citizens, and Europe as a whole.” The full press release is available online. Also available online are the Memos on Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey. The press conference by Commissioner Hahn will be live-streamed on EBS.


BXL WEDNESDAY    Daily-News-09-11-2016

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