Earlier today, we published Eurodiaconia assessment of the 2019 Annual Growth Survey, a key document of the “Autumn Package” – recently released by the European Commission in launching the new European Semester Cycle.
The Annual Growth Survey (AGS) is the most general and comprehensive document of the Autumn Package, analysing the most recent trends in terms of economic and social policies in Europe. Building on this analysis, it sets out the EU’s economic and budgetary priorities and announces the main policy steps for the coming year.
Although the virtuous triangle of investments, structural reforms, and responsible fiscal policies, all very economically focused, is still structuring the document, this year’s AGS has gone a step further in addressing social challenges. Far from being too complacent about the all-time high of the European employment rate, the European Commission shows some realism in its assessment of the damaging inequalities and persisting poverty in Europe.
Ahead of this year’s AGS, Eurodiaconia priorities have been to rethink the virtuous triangle from a social as well as economic standpoint, to promote quality employment, to tackle child poverty, to provide targeted and tailored services for migrants, to ensure affordable and accessible housing, and to increase the focus on health and social care services. Some developments in these areas are evident in the AGS but not all.
Eurodiaconia welcomes the focus on tackling inequalities and on health and social services which this year’s AGS puts forward. However, it is regrettable that extreme destitution (housing, child poverty) and the promotion of quality employment are not put forward as priorities but merely touched on. For more details, please read Eurodiaconia assessment of the 2019 Annual Growth Survey.
Do you agree with the priorities set out in the AGS? Give us your opinion by answering the ongoing poll on our homepage!
To know more about the AGS and our work on the European Semester, please have a look at Eurodiaconia Semester Toolkit.
To know more about this year’s Autumn Package, please visit the European Commission website.