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CAPITOLUL I: Strategia UE pentru Cretere i Locuri de Munc & Fondurile Structurale CAPITOLUL II: Unde i Cum putem obine

finanare pentru proiecte de dezvoltare n Regiunea Nord-Vest (Transilvania de Nord)

&

Centrul regional Europe Direct Transilvania de Nord


Aceasta brosur, precum i alte informaii despre UE sunt disponibile online la urmtoarea adres de internet: http://europedirect.nord-vest.ro/ . Realizarea brourii a fost cofinanat de Comisia European i ADR Nord-Vest, n cadrul proiectului Centrul regional Europe Direct Transilvania de Nord. Reproducerea este autorizat.

strada Sextil Pucariu, nr. 2, Cluj-Napoca, Cluj, Romnia Tel: 00-40-264-431550, Fax: 00-40-264-439222 E-mail: europedirect@nord-vest.ro, secretariat@nord-vest.ro http://europedirect@nord-vest.ro, www.nord-vest.ro Telefon local: 00 40 264 599544 Telefon gratuit, unic la nivel european: 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11

Strategia UE pentru Cretere i Locuri de Munc & Fondurile Structurale


Minisite-ul Comisiei Europene: Growth and Jobs poate fi accesat aici INTRODUCERE PLANUL EUROPEAN DE REDRESARE ECONOMIC RAPORT DE EXECUIE PENTRU PROGRAMUL COMUNITAR DE LA LISABONA 2008-2012 RAPORT DETALIAT ASUPRA PROGRESELOR N IMPLEMENTAREA REFORMELOR STRATEGIEI LISABONA N STATELE MEMBRE N 2008 RECOMANDAREA CONSILIULUI EUROPEI PRIVIND ACTUALIZAREA POLITICILOR ECONOMICE I DE OCUPARE A STATELOR MEMBRE ORIENTRI INTEGRATE PENTRU CRETERE I LOCURI DE MUNC 2008-2010 RAPORT DE IMPLEMENTARE A PROGRAMULUI NAIONAL DE REFORME N 2008 EUROBAROMETRU SPECIAL 316 PRIVIND OCUPAREA FOREI DE MUNC I IMPACTUL SOCIAL AL CRIZEI FACT SHEETS EUROBAROMETRU SPECIAL 316 EUROBAROMETRU 71 EUROPENII I CRIZA ECONOMIC LECTURI SUPLIMENTARE Politica economic a UE: ec.europa.eu/economy_finance Avantajele monedei euro: ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/publication9869_ro.pdf Zece ani de euro - 10 poveti de succes: ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/emu10/successes/index_ro.htm Politica UE n domeniul ocuprii forei de munc i al afacerilor sociale: ec.europa.eu/social

CRETERE I OCUPAREA FOREI DE MUNC INTRODUCERE


Ce este Strategia Lisabona pentru Cretere i Ocupare? Dac UE adopt reformele economice corecte n acest moment, poate asigura un viitor prosper i durabil pentru Europa. Poate garanta faptul c economiile noastre sunt bine plasate astfel nct s beneficieze de oportunitile oferite de globalizare. Poate pune astfel Europa ntr-o poziie din care s gestioneze schimbrile demografice care arat c societatea noastr are mai multe persoane vrstnice i mai puini tineri cu putere de munc. La summitul de la Lisabona, din martie 2000, liderii Uniunii Europene au stabilit o nou strategie pentru modernizarea Europei, bazat pe consensul ntre statele membre. Aceast strategie a devenit cunoscut ca Strategia Lisabona. Dup ce a avut iniial doar rezultate modeste, n 2005 Strategia Lisabona a fost simplificat i relansat. n prezent, aceasta contribuie semnificativ la creterea economic din Europa. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------De ce se concentreaz Strategia Lisabona pe cretere i ocupare? Pentru c, dei creterea nu reprezint un scop n sine, este o condiie esenial pentru meninerea i sporirea prosperitii Europei i, astfel pentru pstrarea i dezvoltarea modelelor sociale. Creterea trebuie s fie durabil; dei uneori exist costuri pe termen scurt pentru protecia mediului, pe termen lung, costurile pentru ne-tratarea problemelor de mediu precum schimbrile climatice, ar fi mult mai mari. Avem nevoie de mai multe locuri de munc din dou motive. n primul rnd pentru c viaa mult prea multor oameni este afectat de omaj i n al doilea rnd pentru c, doar prin antrenarea mai multor oameni n munc, ne putem asigura c societatea noastr va face fa schimbrilor demografice. O populaie mbtrnit nseamn costuri crescute cu pensiile i asigurrile sociale, care trebuie acoperite din taxele i contribuiile persoanelor care muncesc i ale companiilor. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Care sunt cei mai importani pai pentru a genera mai multe locuri de munc i cretere n Europa? n acest puzzle exist foarte multe piese. Ceea ce conteaz e ntregul ansamblu de politici. Europa i-a propus s devin un loc atractiv pentru investiii i locuri de munc. Acest lucru presupune un buget sustenabil, o legislaie adecvat, sisteme de impozitare eficiente. Trebuie s mbuntim educaia i pregtirea astfel nct, ct mai multe persoane s i ating potenialul maxim. Trebuie s investim n cercetare pentru a ne menine avantajul comparativ n competiia regional. Avem nevoie de mai mult competiie pentru a ne asigura c cercetarea genereaz o inovare real, ntruct companiile lupt pentru a se menine n top ntr-o pia competitiv. Avem nevoie s facem

din economia noastr una mai adaptabil la schimbare i mai rezistent la ocurile externe. Avem nevoie ca mai multe persoane de toate vrstele s fie angajate astfel nct s finanm cheltuielile sociale pe msur ce populaiile noastre mbtrnesc. Trebuie s folosim energia mai eficient i mai sustenabil i s negociem mai avantajos cu statele care ne aprovizioneaz cu energie. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Care sunt principalele obiective ale strategiei privind creterea i ocuparea? n prezent, exist dou obiective principale: investiii totale (publice i private) de 3% din PIB-ul Europei trebuie orientate spre cercetare i dezvoltare pn n 2010, i rata de ocupare (procentul populaiei cu vrst de lucru din Europa n totalul ocuprii) trebuie s fie de 70%, pn la aceeai dat. Desigur, acestea nu sunt singurele aspecte care conteaz, dar atingerea ambelor prioriti este esenial pentru antrenarea economiilor noastre pentru a face fa globalizrii. i se nregistreaz progrese in ceea ce privete amndou obiective. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Cum se realizeaz implementarea Strategiei Lisabona pentru cretere i ocupare? ntre Comisie i statele membre exist un parteneriat prin care s-au mprit clar responsabilitile i prin care s-a pus accent pe maximizarea sinergiilor dintre Comisie i nivelele naionale precum i ntre diferite domenii de politic economic. Statele membre implementeaz reforme pe baza programelor naionale de reform prezentate n 2006, a recomandrilor agreate colectiv de statele membre n 2008 precum i pe baza unei serii de aciuni n cadrul a patru sectoare prioritare. n fiecare an, statele membre transmit rapoarte privind implementarea programelor naionale de reform proprii. Fiecare stat membru are un coordonator pentru Strategia Lisabona, care urmrete i conduce implementarea acesteia. Comisia European sprijin, monitorizeaz i evalueaz acest proces. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Managementul Strategiei a funcionat ntotdeauna n acest fel? Nu, Strategia Lisabona a fost relansat n 2005. nainte exista un sistem mult mai complicat, cu diferite obiective i mecanisme de raportare i mai puine sinergii ntre diferitele procese de reform. Dei s-au nregistrat progrese, rezultatele nu au fost satisfctoare. Astfel, Comisia a propus o relansare, bazat pe recomandrile realizate n urma unei evaluri efectuate la mijlocul perioadei de implementare, de ctre fostul premier olandez Wim Kok. Liderii UE au fost de acord cu aceast propunere la Consiliul de primvar din 2005. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------De ce avem nevoie de o strategi european dac multe dintre msurile necesare trebuie luate la nivel naional?

Economiile noastre sunt interdependente. Prosperitatea unui stat membru creeaz prosperitate n alt stat membru. ntrzierea dezvoltrii ntr-un stat ine n urm i pe altele. De aceea, europenii trebuie s lucreze mpreun pentru a realiza reformele economice, mprtind politicile care au dat rezultate. n plus, politicile naionale nu pot, independent, s asigure succesul Strategiei Lisabona. Politicile UE sunt de asemenea eseniale pentru Strategie. De exemplu, o pia intern eficient, politici adecvate n domeniul comerului exterior, actualizarea i ntrirea legislaiei n domeniul competiiei, programe corect orientate n domeniul cercetrii, folosirea eficient a fondurilor structurale i de coeziune - toate sunt cruciale pentru construirea unei societi moderne i prospere, acesta fiind obiectivul final al Strategiei Lisabona. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Care este rolul Comisiei Europene in implementarea Strategiei? n primul rnd, Comisia propune ghidul integrat pentru reform, care este apoi aprobat de Consiliu i constituie baza pentru programele naionale de reform ale statelor membre. n al doilea rnd, n raportul anual de progres Comisia evalueaz coninutul i gradul de implementare a programelor de reform, permind astfel celor interesai c vad n ce stadiu se afl fiecare stat membru. n acest raport, Comisia emite recomandri specifice pentru fiecare stat, care sunt mai apoi aprobate de ctre Consiliu. n al treilea rnd, Comisia lucreaz permanent cu statele membre pentru a le ajuta n schimburi de experien, nvare reciproc, implementare, actualizare i mbuntire a programelor lor naionale, avnd n vedere deficienele constatate n rapoartele anuale de progres. Acest rol de catalizator nu este ntotdeauna vizibil, ns este o preocupare central a Comisiei nc de la constituirea comunitii europene. n fine, Comisia contribuie la continuarea Strategiei Lisabona propunnd o serie de aciuni concrete (de exemplu reducerea timpului de nfiinare a unei companii la 7 zile) ce sunt apoi adoptate de Consiliu i implementate de statele membre. Prin programul comunitar Lisabona Comisia stimuleaz elaborarea de politici i finanri la nivel european, pentru atingerea obiectivelor cretere i ocupare. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------Care e legtura dintre Strategia pentru Cretere i Ocupare i Fondurile Structurale? Legtura este foarte clar dozat. Comisia se asigur c fondurile structurale i de coeziune sunt utilizate astfel nct s contribuie la ndeplinirea obiectivelor de cretere i ocupare ale Strategiei Lisabona. n piaa unic aceste fonduri sunt utilizate pentru achiziia de lucrri, bunuri i servicii din toat Uniunea European. Astfel, beneficiaz de fonduri toate statele membre, nu doar acelea care au alocri substaniale. Comisia a lucrat mpreun cu statele membre pentru a se asigura c programele lor operaionale pentru perioada 2007-2013 reflect prioritile de cretere i ocupare.

Statele membre UE 15 s-au angajat s aloce cel puin 60% din investiiile cu fondurile structurale pentru cretere i ocupare n regiunile convergente i respectiv 75% n regiunile aflate sub obiectivul de competitivitate regional i ocupare. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------i menine UE obiectivul de a deveni cea mai competitiv economie bazat pe cunoatere din lume, pn n 2010? Principalul scop este acela de a intra ntr-un ritm de cretere anual nalt-sustenabil i de a avea un omaj sczut, pn n 2010 dar i de a crete flexibilitatea economiilor noastre pentru a face fa unui context economic global mai srac. Ceea ce conteaz n cele din urm este c noi, n Europa, putem menine i crete calitatea vieii i a copiilor i nepoilor notri n contextul globalizrii, schimbrilor demografice i provocrilor de mediu. La acesta se refer, n final, Strategia Lisabona. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

COMISIA COMUNITILOR EUROPENE

Bruxelles, 26.11.2008 COM(2008) 800 final

COMUNICAREA COMISIEI CTRE CONSILIUL EUROPEAN Un plan european de redresare economic

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Acum este momentul s acionm Adevratul test pentru guvernele i instituiile europene este cel n care acestea se confrunt cu circumstanele cele mai dificile. n asemenea momente, ele trebuie s fac dovad de imaginaie; trebuie s dovedeasc hotrre; i trebuie s dovedeasc flexibilitate; trebuie s arate c sunt n sintonie cu nevoile familiilor i comunitilor din Uniunea European, i c sunt la nlimea sarcinii de a gsi rspunsul corect la declinul brusc ce afecteaz perspectiva creterii economice i a locurilor de munc n Europa. nainte de toate Europa va fi judecat pe baza rezultatelor. De la preluarea mandatului, actuala Comisie a insistat asupra abilitii Uniunii Europene de a furniza rezultate pentru cetenii si. i-a concentrat aciunile n domenii care au un impact asupra europenilor din toate colurile UE. A militat pentru o abordare n parteneriat pentru a conlucra cu actorii cheie la fiecare nivel. A subliniat c aciunea nu este ncheiat dect atunci cnd impactul este nregistrat pe teren. Actuala criz economic ofer o nou oportunitate pentru a arta c Europa i slujete cel mai bine cetenii atunci cnd piatra de ncercare sunt aciunile concrete . Europa poate marca o schimbare n aceast privin. n vremuri dificile tendina este de a ne simi neputincioi. Dar Europa nu este neputincioas. Prghiile guvernelor, instrumentele Uniunii Europene, influena unei coordonri inteligente constituie o for puternic care s opreasc alunecarea spre o recesiune mai profund. O Europ care este gata s ntreprind aciuni, rapide ndrznee, ambiioase i bine intite va fi o Europ capabil s frneze declinul i s nceap s schimbe mersul evenimentelor. Ne scufundm sau notm mpreun. Contribuia special a Uniunii Europene o reprezint capacitatea acesteia de a ajuta partenerii s conlucreze. Prin valorificarea aciunii statelor membre i a Comunitii se va obine o prghie puternic pentru schimbare. Ea va crea premisa utilizrii punctelor forte ale fiecrei pri a Europei pentru cel mai bun efect. Ne va permite s conturm un rspuns global la aceast criz global. Acum o lun, Comisia a avut iniiativa stabilirii modului n care o aciune decisiv i coordonat ar putea s rspund crizei economice. Am plcerea s constat c guvernele naionale n eforturile lor de a rezolva propriile situaii, s-au inspirat din principiile comune convenite pentru o aciune la nivel european. Astzi, Comisia consolideaz aceast platform de aciune comun cu un plan care s aib n vedere amploarea declinului i care s stimuleze cererea i ncrederea, prin salvarea a sute de mii de locuri de munc i prin meninerea n activitate a ntreprinderilor mici i mijlocii, n ateptarea revenirii creterii. Planul european de redresare economic are doi piloni principali i un principiu de baz: Primul pilon const ntr-o infuzie major de putere de cumprare n economie, pentru a impulsiona cererea i a stimula ncrederea. Comisia propune, ca msur de urgen, ca statele membre i UE s cad de acord asupra unui impuls bugetar imediat, care se ridic la 200 de miliarde de EUR (1,5% din PIB), pentru a susine cererea, cu respectarea deplin a Pactului de stabilitate i de cretere. Al doilea pilon se bazeaz pe necesitatea de a direciona aciunile pe termen scurt pentru a consolida competitivitatea Europei pe termen lung. Planul stabilete un program cuprinztor de orientare a aciunii spre investiiile inteligente. O investiie inteligent

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nseamn s investeti n abilitile potrivite pentru nevoile de mine; s investeti n eficiena energetic pentru a crea locuri de munc i a economisi energie; s investeti n tehnologii curate pentru a susine sectoare precum construcii i automobile pe viitoarele piee ale produselor cu emisii de carbon sczute; i s investeti n infrastructur i interconectare pentru a promova eficiena i inovaia. n acelai timp, cele zece aciuni pentru redresare incluse n plan vor ajuta statele membre s instituie prghiile economice i sociale adecvate pentru a face fa provocrilor actuale: s deschid noi linii de finanare pentru IMM-uri, s elimine sarcina administrativ i s demareze investiiile pentru modernizarea infrastructurii. Aceasta va conduce la o Europ competitiv, pregtit pentru economia bazat pe emisiile sczute de bioxid de carbon. Principiul fundamental al acestui plan este solidaritatea i justiia social. n vremuri grele aciunea noastr trebuie s fie canalizat nspre acordarea de ajutor celor care au cea mai mare nevoie de el, nspre protejarea locurilor de munc prin aciune la nivelul contribuiilor sociale, nspre abordarea perspectivei unui loc de munc pe termen lung pentru cei care i pierd locul de munc, prin Fondul european de ajustare la globalizare i printr-un Fond Social European accelerat, nspre reducerea costurilor de energie pentru cei vulnerabili prin eficien energetic, nspre a rspunde nevoilor celor care nu pot utiliza n acest moment internetul ca pe un instrument de conectare. Am convingerea c n vreme de criz, se deschid oportunitile pentru accelerarea schimbrii i pentru introducerea de reforme structurale, pentru a reui n economia globalizat a viitorului. Aceasta reprezint o mare oportunitate pentru Europa. Un plan de redresare cuprinztor i ambiios se afl acum pe mas. Cu ct se va nfptui mai repede cu att mai curnd le vom acorda europenilor ajutorul necesar la acest moment. Jos Manuel Duro Barroso Bruxelles, 26 noiembrie 2008

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1.

INTRODUCERE

Criza financiar global a dat o lovitur grea Uniunii Europene. O reducere a posibilitilor de creditare, scderea preurilor locuinelor i piee bursiere n declin, toate se adaug la diminuarea ncrederii consumatorilor, a consumului i a investiiilor. Gospodriile se afl sub o veritabil presiune. Registrele comerciale nregistreaz scderi. Sectoarele care depind de creditele de consum cum ar fi sectorul construciilor private sau industria automobilelor au asistat la o deteriorare brusc a propriei piee n mai multe state membre. Ultimele previziuni economice au prefigurat o imagine sumbr, n care creterea economic este aproape zero i exist riscuri de reducere a activitilor economice n UE n 2009, omajul crete cu 2,7 milioane n urmtorii doi ani, n cazul n care nu se ntreprind aciuni corective. n sptmnile care au urmat formulrii previziunilor, condiiile economice s-au deteriorat i mai mult. Condiiile pieei financiare rmn sensibile i este posibil s rmn restrnse pentru o perioad mai ndelungat dect se prevedea. ncrederea nregistrat n gospodrii i ntreprinderi a sczut mai mult dect se preconiza. ncetinirea a atins i economiile emergente, ceea ce are consecine negative asupra exporturilor europene. Zona euro i mai multe state membre se afl deja n recesiune. Exist riscul ca situaia s se agraveze i mai mult: investiiile i achiziiile de bunuri de consum vor fi amnate, antrennd un cerc vicios cu o cerere n scdere, planuri de afaceri diminuate, inovare redus i reduceri ale locurilor de munc. Aceasta ar putea mpinge UE ctre o recesiune accentuat i de lung durat, economia contractndu-se mai mult anul viitor, iar omajul ar putea crete cu cteva milioane de persoane. Este necesar o aciune rapid i decisiv pentru a opri aceast spiral descendent. Europa trebuie s foloseasc toate instrumentele de care dispune. Aceasta nseamn ca statele membre i Uniunea s acioneze mpreun, n mod coordonat n cadrul Europei i participnd la elaborarea unui rspuns mai larg la nivel global. n abordarea crizei financiare, Uniunea s-a asigurat c aciunea la nivelul UE s-a coordonat cu aciunea naional. Acest fapt a reuit s aduc stabilitate ntr-un moment de pericol imediat. Acum, statele membre ar trebui s profite din nou de avantajul punctelor forte ale Uniunii coordonare eficient, cadre viabile oferite de Pactul de stabilitate i cretere i de Strategia de la Lisabona, precum i de beneficiile economiei de scar oferite de moneda euro i de cea mai mare pia unic din lume. Aciunile naionale corelate cu aciunea UE pot ajuta toate statele membre s reduc cele mai negative efecte ale tulburrilor economice globale i s ias din criz mai puternice. Moneda euro, n special, s-a dovedit un avantaj extrem de important pentru economiile UE, precum i un element esenial de stabilitate. Sprijinit de rolul important jucat de Banca Central European, ca organism independent, moneda euro ofer protecie mpotriva variaiilor destabilizatoare ale cursului de schimb, care ar fi complicat n mod semnificativ rspunsul naional la criz. Acum o lun, Comisia a luat iniiativa de a-i contura planurile de rezolvare a crizei financiare, abordnd dificultile economiei globale i fcnd din Europa un actor esenial n

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rspunsul global la criza financiar1. La nceputul lunii noiembrie, efii de stat i de guvern ai UE au convenit asupra necesitii unui rspuns coordonat i au cerut Comisiei s elaboreze propuneri ce urmeaz s fie discutate n cadrul ntlnirii lor din decembrie. Un plan european de redresare economic Prezentul plan european de redresare economic constituie rspunsul Comisiei la situaia economic actual. Avnd n vedere dimensiunea crizei cu care ne confruntm, UE are nevoie de o abordare coordonat, destul de important ca dimensiune i de ambiioas pentru a putea restabili ncrederea consumatorilor i a ntreprinderilor. Aceasta trebuie s reuneasc toate mijloacele de aciune politic disponibile la nivel comunitar i naional. Majoritatea mijloacelor de aciune ale politicii economice, n special cele care pot stimula cererea consumatorilor pe termen scurt, se afl la ndemna statelor membre. Statele membre au puncte diferite de plecare n ceea ce privete marja de manevr bugetar, ns acest fapt confer o importan i mai mare unei coordonri eficiente. Toate statele membre vor trebui s ia msuri pentru a contracara criza. Coordonate corespunztor, eforturile naionale pot viza n paralel obiective diferite. Acestea pot atenua pe termen scurt efectele recesiunii, dar pot, de asemenea, promova, simultan, reformele structurale necesare pentru a ajuta UE s ias mai puternic din criz, fr s submineze pe termen mai lung viabilitatea fiscal. Din acest motiv, prezentul plan de redresare pune un accent special pe inovare i pe ecologizarea investiiilor UE. Nivelul comunitar poate aciona ca un catalizator pentru astfel de aciune inteligent, combinnd politicile i fondurile UE pentru a sprijini statele membre s menin sau s atrag investiii care s creeze locuri de munc, s impulsioneze cererea i s consolideze capacitatea Europei de a obine beneficii din globalizare. Obiectivele strategice ale planului de redresare sunt: stimularea rapid a cererii i consolidarea ncrederii consumatorilor; diminuarea costurilor umane ale ncetinirii creterii economice i ale impactului acesteia asupra persoanelor celor mai vulnerabile. Muli lucrtori i familiile acestora sunt sau vor fi afectai de criz. Se pot ntreprinde aciuni pentru a mpiedica pierderea locurilor de munc iar apoi pentru a ajuta oamenii s revin rapid pe piaa muncii, n loc s se confrunte cu omajul pe termen lung; sprijinul acordat Europei pentru a valorifica creterea, atunci cnd se va produce, astfel nct economia european s fie n consonan cu cererile competitivitii i necesitile viitorului, astfel cum au fost conturate n Strategia de la Lisabona pentru cretere i locuri de munc. Aceasta nseamn continuarea reformelor structurale necesare, sprijinirea inovrii i construirea unei economii a cunoaterii; accelerarea trecerii la o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon, fapt care va face ca Europa s fie bine plasat pentru a-i aplica strategia de limitare a schimbrilor climatice i de promovare a securitii energiei: o strategie care va ncuraja noile tehnologii, va crea noi locuri de munc ecologice i va deschide noi posibiliti pe pieele mondiale n cretere

Comunicarea din 29 octombrie - COM(2008) 706.

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rapid, va ine sub control factura de energie a cetenilor i ntreprinderilor i va reduce dependena Europei de energia de peste hotare. Pentru ndeplinirea acestor obiective, planul european de redresare economic este conceput pentru a: exploata sinergiile i a evita efectele colaterale negative prin intermediul unei aciuni coordonate; valorifica toate mijloacele de aciune politic, politicile fiscale, reformele structurale i financiare ale pieei i aciunile externe disponibile; asigura o coeren deplin ntre aciunile imediate i obiectivele UE pe termen mediu sau lung; lua pe deplin n considerare natura global a problemei i a defini contribuia UE la rspunsul internaional. Prezentul plan european de redresare economic propune un rspuns macroeconomic anticiclic la criz, sub forma unui ansamblu ambiios de aciuni de sprijin al economiei reale. Obiectivul este acela de a evita o recesiune accentuat. Planul are la baz Pactul de stabilitate i cretere i Strategia de la Lisabona pentru cretere i locuri de munc. Planul cuprinde: un impuls bugetar imediat n valoare de 200 de miliarde (1,5% din PIB-ul UE), constnd ntr-o extindere bugetar imediat, n valoare de 170 de miliarde (aproximativ 1,2% din PIB-ul UE) i ntr-o finanare UE pentru sprijinirea aciunilor imediate n valoare de 30 de miliarde ( aproximativ 0,3% din PIB-ul UE), precum i o serie de aciuni prioritare, bazate pe Strategia de la Lisabona i concepute pentru a adapta n acelai timp economiile noastre la provocrile pe termen lung, continund punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale destinate s sporeasc creterea potenial.

2.

SPRIJINIREA ECONOMIEI REALE I CONSOLIDAREA NCREDERII

Deoarece economiile tuturor statelor membre sunt puternic integrate, dispunnd de o pia unic i de multe politici economice comune, orice tip de rspuns trebuie s combine aspectele monetare i de creditare, politica bugetar i aciuni din Strategia de la Lisabona pentru cretere i locuri de munc. 2.1. 2.1.1. Condiii monetare i de creditare Rolul Bncii Centrale Europene i al celorlalte bnci centrale

n circumstanele actuale, politica monetar joac, de asemenea, un rol esenial. Pe fondul unor estimri privind reducerea inflaiei pe termen mediu, Banca Central European (BCE) pentru zona euro, mpreun cu celelalte bnci centrale din UE, au redus deja ratele dobnzilor. BCE a afirmat c exist posibilitatea unor reduceri suplimentare. BCE s-a dovedit deja important n stabilizarea pieelor prin acordarea de mprumuturi bncilor i contribuirea la lichiditi.

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2.1.2.

Rolul bncilor

La originea problemelor din economia real se afl instabilitatea pieelor financiare. Un sector financiar de ncredere i eficient este premisa unei economii solide, cu cretere. Prin urmare, stabilizarea sistemului bancar este primul pas ctre stoparea ncetinirii economice i promovarea redresrii rapide i viabile. Uniunea European trebuie s susin acest obiectiv comun de restabilire a stabilitii i ncrederii n sectorul financiar care este n continuare fragil i s creeze condiiile pentru o redresare economic susinut. Criza a scos n eviden riscurile actualei guvernane a pieelor financiare, riscuri care au devenit sau ar putea deveni reale i sistemice n situaia unor turbulene grave. Ritmul reformei va fi meninut n lunile urmtoare pentru a restaura stabilitatea i a proteja interesele cetenilor i ntreprinderilor din Europa. ns este crucial ca n prezent bncile s i reia rolul normal de a furniza lichiditi i a sprijini investiiile n economia real. Statele membre ar trebui s utilizeze sprijinul financiar major oferit de sectorul bancar pentru a ncuraja rentoarcerea la activitile normale de creditare i a garanta c reducerea ratei dobnzii la nivel central ajunge i la mprumutai. Comisia va continua monitorizarea impactului economic i concurenial al msurilor adoptate pentru sprijinirea sectorului bancar. 2.1.3. Rolul Bncii Europene de Investiii i al Bncii Europene pentru Reconstrucie i Dezvoltare

Criza actual necesit intervenii consolidate din partea grupului Bncii Europene de Investiii (BEI). BEI va spori interveniile sale anuale n UE printr-o sum de aproximativ 15 miliarde , pentru urmtorii doi ani. Deoarece aceast activitate sporit se va efectua sub form de mprumuturi, aciuni, garanii, finanare cu partajarea riscului, ea va genera, de asemenea, o mobilizare pozitiv a investiiilor suplimentare din surse private. n total, acest pachet propus de BEI va ajuta mobilizarea unor resurse private complementare care s sprijine investiiile suplimentare n urmtorii doi ani. Pentru a permite BEI s i sporeasc activitile de finanare, statele membre ar trebui s decid nainte de sfritul anului s ncorporeze rezervele BEI pentru a consolida capitalul de baz al acesteia de ordinul a 60 de miliarde , ceea ce va transmite un semnal politic foarte vizibil ctre piee i va mri n mod semnificativ capacitatea de acordare de mprumuturi a bncii. De asemenea, se preconizeaz c Banca European pentru Reconstrucie i Dezvoltare (BERD) va aduga 500 de milioane pe an la nivelul actual de finanare n noile state membre. 2.2. Politica bugetar

Restabilirea ncrederii va depinde de capacitatea Europei de a impulsiona cererea prin utilizarea politicii bugetare n cadrul flexibilitii oferite de Pactul de stabilitate i cretere revizuit. n circumstanele actuale, politica bugetar are de jucat un rol i mai important n stabilizarea economiilor i sprijinirea cererii. Europa va putea contracara tendina preconizat descendent a cererii, cu efectele sale colaterale negative asupra investiiilor i ocuprii forei de munc, numai cu ajutorul unui pachet semnificativ de stimuli. Prin urmare, Comisia propune ca statele membre s convin asupra unui pachet coordonat de stimuli bugetari care ar trebui s fie oportun, specific, temporar i pus imediat n aplicare.

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n contextul bugetelor naionale pentru anul 2009, acest impuls bugetar ar trebui s fie de 170 miliarde , ceea ce reprezint 1,2% din PIB-ul Uniunii, pentru a produce un impact rapid, pozitiv i substanial asupra economiei europene i ocuprii forei de munc, pe lng rolul stabilizatorilor automai. Cheltuielile i/sau reducerile taxelor i impozitelor prevzute n impulsul bugetar ar trebui s fie n conformitate cu flexibilitatea oferit de Pactul de stabilitate i cretere i ar trebui s consolideze reformele structurale ale Strategiei de le Lisabona. Acest stimul bugetar ar trebui s fie temporar. Statele membre ar trebui s se angajeze s contracareze deteriorarea bugetar i s se rentoarc la intele fixate n obiectivele pe termen mediu. Pentru maximizarea impactului, stimulul bugetar ar trebui s ia n considerare poziiile de plecare ale fiecrui stat membru. Este evident faptul c nu toate statele membre se afl n aceeai poziie. Acele state care au valorificat perioadele benefice pentru a obine poziii mai viabile ale finanelor publice i pentru a mbunti poziia concurenial au o marj mai mare de manevr acum. Pentru acele state membre, n special cele din afara zonei euro, care se confrunt cu dezechilibre externe semnificative, politica bugetar ar trebui, n esen, s aib ca obiectiv corectarea acestor dezechilibre. Acest stimul bugetar trebuie bine conceput i trebuie s se bazeze pe urmtoarele principii: (1) Ar trebui s fie oportun, temporar, specific i coordonat Pachetele naionale de stimulente bugetare ar trebui s fie: oportune, pentru a sprijini rapid activitatea economic n perioada n care cererea este mic, deoarece ntrzieri legate de punerea n aplicare ar putea nsemna c impulsul fiscal ar sosi numai n momentul n care redresarea este deja n curs; temporare, pentru a evita deteriorarea permanent a poziiilor bugetare, care ar submina viabilitatea i ar necesita n ultim instan o finanare viitoare prin creterea susinut a taxelor i impozitelor; specifice, axate pe originea problemei economice (omaj n cretere, ntreprinderi/gospodrii care se confrunt cu restricii de creditare etc.), deoarece aceasta optimizeaz efectul stabilizator al resurselor bugetare limitate; coordonate, astfel nct s multiplice impactul pozitiv i s asigure viabilitatea bugetar pe termen lung. (2) Ar trebui s cuprind att instrumente privind veniturile ct i instrumente privind cheltuielile n general, se consider c cheltuielile publice discreionare vor avea un impact pozitiv mai mare asupra cererii, pe termen scurt, comparativ cu reducerea taxelor i impozitelor. Aceasta deoarece unii consumatori prefer s economiseasc i nu s cheltuie, cu excepia cazului n care reducerea taxelor i impozitelor este limitat n timp. innd seama de situaiile diferite ale statelor membre, se pot lua n considerare urmtoarele msuri2:

Recomandrile generale i aciunile specifice legate de domeniile prioritare prevzute n prezentul document fac obiectul respectrii normelor privind piaa intern i a celor privind concurena, n special n ceea ce privete ajutorul de stat.

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Cheltuielile publice au un impact asupra cererii pe termen scurt. Msurile care pot fi introduse rapid i care vizeaz gospodriile populaiei cel mai tare afectate de ncetinire vor avea cel mai probabil un efect aproape direct asupra consumului, de exemplu creterea temporar a indemnizaiilor acordate omerilor sau gospodriilor populaiei cu un venit mic ori prelungirea temporar a perioadei de acordare a indemnizaiei de omaj. De asemenea, aceasta se poate realiza prin devansarea investiiilor publice n proiecte ceea ce ar putea aduce beneficii IMM-urilor i ar putea sprijini obiectivele de politic public pe termen lung precum mbuntirea dotrii din infrastructur sau combaterea schimbrilor climatice. Subveniile la garanii i mprumuturi pentru a compensa nivelul actual deosebit de mare al primei de risc pot fi eficiente, n special, ntr-un mediu n care creditul face n general obiectul unor restricii. Subveniile pot contribui la compensarea, pe termen scurt, a lipsei de capital circulant, care n prezent constituie o problem pentru multe societi. Stimulente financiare bine concepute pentru a accelera procesul de adaptare al economiilor noastre la provocrile pe termen lung, precum schimbrile climatice, inclusiv spre exemplu stimulente pentru eficiena energetic. Reducerea taxelor i impozitelor, precum i a contribuiilor sociale: reducerea contribuiilor sociale ale angajatorului poate avea un impact pozitiv asupra pstrrii i crerii locurilor de munc, n timp ce reducerea impozitrii veniturilor salariale poate sprijini puterea de cumprare n special pentru persoanele cu venituri salariale mici; Reducerea temporar la nivel general a cotei de TVA poate fi introdus rapid i ar putea asigura un impuls fiscal pentru a sprijini consumul. (3) Ar trebui s se desfoare n cadrul Pactului de stabilitate i cretere Politica bugetar ar trebui s se desfoare n temeiul Pactului de stabilitate i cretere, astfel nct s se asigure un cadru comun i credibil de politic. Revizuirea din 2005 a pactului permite luarea mai atent n considerare a condiiilor ciclice, ntrind n acelai timp disciplina fiscal pe termen mediu i lung. Cadrul astfel obinut implic mai multe exigene n perioadele bune i permite o mai mare flexibilitate n vremuri grele. Circumstanele extraordinare caracterizate prin criz financiar i recesiune justific expansiunea bugetar coordonat n UE. Ca urmare, unele state membre pot nclca valoarea de referin a deficitului de 3% din PIB. Pentru acele state membre care sunt considerate a fi ntr-o situaie de deficit excesiv, aciunea corectiv va trebui s fie luat n intervale de timp consecvente cu procesul de redresare al economiei. Aceasta va fi deplin consecvent cu procedurile Pactului de stabilitate i cretere care garanteaz c deficitul excesiv va fi corectat n timp util, asigurnd viabilitatea pe termen lung a poziiilor bugetare. Pactul de stabilitate i cretere va fi aplicat, aadar, judicios pentru a asigura strategii de politic fiscal credibile pe termen mediu. Statele membre care pun n aplicare msuri anticiclice ar trebui s prezinte un program de stabilitate sau de convergen actualizat, pn la sfritul lunii decembrie 2008. Aceast actualizare ar trebui s pun n eviden msurile care vor fi instituite pentru a contracara deteriorarea finanelor publice i pentru a asigura viabilitatea pe termen lung. Apoi, Comisia va analiza msurile bugetare de impulsionare, precum i programele de stabilitate i convergen pe baza previziunilor actualizate i va oferi ndrumare cu privire la poziia adecvat, bazndu-se pe urmtoarele obiective: asigurarea reversibilitii msurilor care duc la creterea deficitului pe termen scurt;

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mbuntirea elaborrii politicii bugetare pe termen mediu, prin ntrirea normelor i a cadrelor bugetare naionale; asigurarea viabilitii pe termen lung a finanelor publice, n special prin reforme care vizeaz reducerea creterii cheltuielilor legate de vrst.

(4) Ar trebui s fie nsoit de reforme structurale care sprijin cererea i promoveaz reziliena n timp ce efectul imediat asupra creterii i locurilor de munc pe termen scurt trebuie s vin de la stimulul monetar i fiscal, un plan de redresare amplu trebuie s integreze, de asemenea, o agend de reform structural ambiioas, elaborat n funcie de nevoile fiecrui stat membru i conceput astfel nct statele membre s dispun de instrumente care s le permit s depeasc criza i s devin mai puternice. i aceasta, n parte, deoarece unele reforme structurale pot contribui, de asemenea, la susinerea cererii agregate pe termen scurt. Mai mult, reformele structurale sunt necesare pentru a rspunde la unele din cauzele de baz ale actualei crize, precum i pentru a consolida capacitatea de ajustare a economiei, lucru necesar pentru o redresare rapid. O economie caracterizat prin rezilien i flexibilitate contribuie la atenuarea efectelor nefavorabile ale unei crize economice. Prin Strategia de la Lisabona s-au consolidat deja bazele economice ale Europei. Corect elaborate, reformele structurale din cadrul Strategiei de la Lisabona ar putea reprezenta un rspuns de politic adecvat pe termen scurt la criz dat fiind c reformele ntresc reziliena economic i flexibilitatea. Statele membre ar trebui s aib n vedere msurile expuse n continuare. Sprijinirea puterii de cumprare a consumatorilor prin ameliorarea funcionrii pieei: politicile care mbuntesc modul de funcionare a pieelor-cheie pot contribui la susinerea cererii prin reducerea preurilor, sprijinind astfel puterea de cumprare a gospodriilor populaiei. Rezolvarea imediat a problemelor de competitivitate: n statele membre care se confrunt cu probleme legate de inflaie i competitivitate trebuie s se adopte de urgen msuri care s ntreasc corelaia ntre mecanismul de stabilire a salariilor i evoluia productivitii. Sprijinirea ocuprii forei de munc i facilitarea tranziiei pieei muncii: n prezent, principala provocare a pieei muncii este evitarea suprimrii nechibzuite a forei de munc de ctre industriile care sunt afectate temporar de distorsiunile pe termen scurt la nivelul cererii. n acest sens, o mai mare flexibilitate la nivelul acordurilor cu privire la timpul de lucru sau consolidarea serviciilor de ocupare a forei de munc ar putea fi utile. Reducerea sarcinii normative i administrative a ntreprinderilor: reformele de acest tip contribuie la creterea productivitii i consolideaz competitivitatea. Msurile care pot fi puse n aplicare rapid includ efortul continuu de reducere a timpului necesar pentru deschiderea unei afaceri. 2.3. Aciuni n cele patru domenii prioritare ale Strategiei de la Lisabona

Pentru a obine avantaje maxime i pentru a atinge obiectivele planului de redresare, i anume protejarea oamenilor i evitarea distragerii ateniei ca urmare a crizei de la interesele pe

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termen lung ale UE i de la necesitatea de a investi n viitorul acesteia ar trebui s existe o legtur strns ntre stimulul fiscal i aciunile din cele patru domenii prioritare ale Strategiei de la Lisabona (oameni, afaceri, infrastructur i energie, cercetare i inovare), astfel cum se arat n prezenta seciune. Pentru a atinge acest obiectiv, ca parte din pachetul anual de la Lisabona, Comisia va emite, n data de 16 decembrie 2008, rapoarte individuale pentru fiecare stat membru care vor conine i propuneri de recomandri. Combinaia corect de politici i fonduri ale UE poate aciona ca factor catalizator pentru investiiile-cheie care ndreapt Uniunea European n direcia unei viitoare prosperiti durabile. n egal msur, este important s se asigure condiii cadru stabile i previzibile pentru a ntri ncrederea, a facilita investiiile i pentru a identifica soluii la problemele comune, cu costuri ct mai reduse. Unele dintre aciunile propuse n aceast seciune sunt concepute n vederea devansrii finanrii UE pentru a contribui direct la stimulul fiscal i pentru a asista statele membre n punerea n aplicare a politicilor lor. Alte aciuni au ca scop mbuntirea condiiilor cadru pentru viitoarele investiii, reducerea sarcinii administrative i accelerarea inovrii. n ansamblu, aciunile alctuiesc un pachet integrat: implicaiile lor bugetare ar trebui s ia n considerare principiile definite n seciunea anterioar. 2.3.1. Protejarea ocuprii forei de munc i promovarea antreprenoriatului

Principala prioritate trebuie s o reprezinte protejarea cetenilor Europei de cele mai nefavorabile efecte ale crizei financiare. Cetenii sunt cei care vor fi afectai n primul rnd, fie n calitate de lucrtori, gospodrii sau antreprenori. Atunci cnd abordeaz aspectele legate de ocuparea forei de munc i impactul social al crizei financiare, statele membre ar trebui s implice, n mod activ, partenerii sociali. a) Oamenii Punerea n aplicare a politicilor de incluziune activ i a politicilor integrate de flexicuritate, care se axeaz pe msurile de activare a forei de munc, de recalificare profesional i perfecionare sunt eseniale pentru a promova stimularea ocuprii forei de munc, pentru a asigura reintegrarea rapid pe piaa muncii a lucrtorilor disponibilizai i pentru a evita omajul de lung durat. n acest context, protecia social corespunztoare care ofer stimulente pentru a lucra, meninnd n acelai timp puterea de cumprare va fi, de asemenea, important. 1. Lansarea unei importante iniiative europene de sprijinire a ocuprii forei de munc a) Comisia propune simplificarea criteriilor pentru sprijinul din Fondul Social European (FSE) i accelerarea plii avansurilor de la nceputul anului 2009, astfel nct statele membre s poat aib acces mai repede la fonduri, n limita a 1.8 miliarde , cu urmtoarele obiective: n cadrul strategiilor de flexicuritate, s consolideze rapid sistemele de activare, n special pentru persoanele slab calificate, care s cuprind componente privind consilierea profesional personalizat, (re)calificarea i perfecionarea intensiv a lucrtorilor, ucenicii, subvenionarea locurilor de munc, precum i finanri nerambursabile pentru activitile independente, pentru iniierea unei afaceri, ca i reorientarea programelor pentru a direciona sprijinul ctre categoriile cele mai vulnerabile i, atunci cnd este necesar, optarea pentru finanarea integral de ctre

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Comunitate a proiectelor n cursul acestei perioade; mbuntirea monitorizrii i a corelrii dezvoltrii de competene i actualizarea acestora cu locurile de munc vacante disponibile n prezent i cu cele anticipate; aceasta se va realiza n strns cooperare cu partenerii sociali, serviciile de ocupare a forei de munc din sectorul public i cu universitile; n colaborare cu statele membre, Comisia propune reprogramarea cheltuielilor Fondului Social European pentru a asigura ndeplinirea prioritilor imediate. b) Comisia va propune, de asemenea, revizuirea normelor i Fondului european de ajustare la globalizare astfel nct s poat interveni mai rapid n sectoarele-cheie, fie pentru a cofinana formarea profesional i plasarea forei de munc n cazul persoanelor disponibilizate, fie pentru a pstra pe piaa muncii lucrtorii calificai de care va fi nevoie de ndat ce economia va intra n faza de redresare. Comisia va revizui mijloacele bugetare disponibile pentru fond, lund n considerare punerea n aplicare a normelor revizuite. 2. Crearea cererii de munc Statele membre ar trebui s aib n vedere reducerea cheltuielilor sociale ale angajatorilor n cazul veniturilor mici pentru a promova stimularea ocuprii forei de munc n rndul lucrtorilor slab calificai. De asemenea, statele membre ar trebui s ia n considerare introducerea unor soluii inovatoare care au fost deja iniiate cu succes n unele pri ale Uniunii (de exemplu: tichete de servicii pentru ntreinerea gospodriilor i a copiilor, subvenii temporare pentru ncadrarea n munc a grupurilor vulnerabile). Consiliul ar trebui s adopte, nainte de Consiliul European de primvar din 2009, directiva propus, astfel nct cotele reduse de TVA pentru serviciile cu utilizare intensiv a forei de munc s aib un caracter permanent. b) Afaceri Accesul n condiii de suficien i disponibilitate la finanare este o condiie prealabil pentru investiii, cretere i creare de locuri de munc n sectorul privat. Statele membre trebuie s recurg la mecanismele de care dispun prin asigurarea unui important sprijin financiar sectorului bancar pentru a garanta c bncile i reiau activitatea normal de acordare de mprumuturi. Pentru a sprijini ntreprinderile mici i antreprenoriatul, UE i statele membre trebuie s ia msuri urgente pentru a reduce semnificativ sarcina administrativ a IMM-urilor i microntreprinderilor, n special prin accelerarea propunerilor corespunztoare ale Comisiei. n acest sens, iniiativa european pentru IMM-uri European Small Business Act ar trebui, de asemenea, pus n aplicare imediat. Normele UE n materie de ajutoare de stat ofer statelor membre o gam variat de posibiliti pentru a asigura sprijin financiar societilor, regiunilor i lucrtorilor/omerilor, precum i pentru a stimula cererea. n acelai timp, aceste norme asigur condiii de egalitate, garantnd c ajutoarele de stat sunt folosite pentru a sprijini obiectivele UE, ca de exemplu cercetare i dezvoltare, inovare, tehnologia informaiei i comunicrii (TIC), transporturile i eficiena energetic i c nu denatureaz concurena n mod nejustificat prin favorizarea anumitor societi sau sectoare. n actualele condiii excepionale, accesul la finanare reprezint o mare

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preocupare pentru ntreprinderi, iar Comisia va elabora orientri temporare care s permit sprijinul statului pentru mprumuturi (a se vedea mai jos). 3. Creterea accesului ntreprinderilor la finanare BEI particip cu un pachet global de 30 de miliarde de pentru mprumuturi destinate IMM-urilor, ceea ce reprezint o cretere de 10 miliarde de fa de mprumuturile obinuite n acest sector; BEI va crete, de asemenea, cu 1 miliard de anual mprumuturile destinate societilor mijlocii, un sector cheie al economiei UE. Mai mult, 1 miliard de suplimentar va fi acordat de BEI Fondului European de Investiii (FEI) pentru o facilitate de finanare mezanin; Comisia va institui un pachet de simplificare, cu precdere pentru a accelera adoptarea deciziilor la nivelul su cu privire la ajutorul de stat. Orice ajutor de stat ar trebui s fie canalizat prin intermediul unor scheme orizontale destinate s promoveze obiectivele procesului Lisabona, mai ales cercetarea, inovaia, formarea, protecia mediului i n special tehnologiile curate, transporturile i eficiena energetic. Comisia va autoriza, temporar, statele membre s simplifice accesul societilor la finanare prin subvenii la garanii i mprumuturi pentru investiii n produse care depesc standardele UE privind mediul3. 4. Reducerea sarcinii administrative i promovarea antreprenoriatului n vederea dezvoltrii iniiativei Small Business Act, i n vederea reducerii semnificative a sarcinii administrative pentru ntreprinderi, a promovrii fluxului lor numerar i a unui sprijin acordat la ct mai multe persoane pentru a deveni antreprenori, UE i statele membre ar trebui: s se asigure c demararea unei ntreprinderi oriunde n UE poate fi realizat n trei zile fr cheltuieli i c formalitile de angajare pentru primul salariat pot fi ndeplinite prin intermediul unui punct de acces unic; s anuleze obligaia de pregtire de ctre microntreprinderi a conturilor anuale (economiile estimate pentru aceste societi sunt de 7 miliarde de anual) i s limiteze obligaiile de capital pentru societile private europene la un euro; s accelereze adoptarea propunerii de statut pentru societatea privat european astfel nct, de la nceputul lui 2009, aceasta s poat facilita activitile transfrontaliere ale IMM-urilor i s le permit s acioneze n baza unui set unic de norme pentru ntreprinderi, valabile n UE; s se asigure c autoritile publice pltesc facturile, inclusiv ctre IMM-uri, pentru

Aceasta se va realiza prin majorarea actualului prag de siguran pentru capitalul de risc de la 1,5 milioane la 2,5 milioane i permind, sub rezerva unor condiii i sume maxime: (a) acordarea de ajutor pentru garaniile aferente mprumuturilor n favoarea ntreprinderilor care ntmpin dificulti n contractarea mprumuturilor i (b) acordarea de ajutoare n limita de 50% (pentru IMM-uri) i 25% (pentru ntreprinderi mari) din rata de referin, pentru mprumuturi aferente investiiilor n fabricarea de produse care respect anticipat noile standarde comunitare care cresc nivelul de protecie a mediului i care nu au intrat nc n vigoare, sau n fabricarea de produse care respect standarde mai ridicate.

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achiziii de bunuri i servicii, n termen de o lun pentru a reduce constrngerile legate de lichiditi i accept facturarea electronic drept echivalent facturii pe suport de hrtie (aceasta ar putea conduce la o reducere de pn la 18 miliarde de ); ar trebui, de asemenea, achitat orice rest de plat datorat de organismele publice; s reduc cu pn la 75% taxele pentru cererile de brevete i pentru meninerea brevetelor i s njumteasc costurile pentru o marc comunitar. 2.3.2 Continuarea investiei n viitor Ne confruntm cu nceputul unei schimbri structurale majore ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon. Aceasta ofer UE oportunitatea crerii de noi ntreprinderi, noi industrii i de milioane de locuri de munc noi i bine pltite. Toate sectoarele trebuie s participe: de exemplu, decizia recent privind controlul sntii n cadrul PAC angajeaz 3 miliarde de pentru investiii ecologice pentru dezvoltare rural. Acesta este domeniul n care aciunea pe termen scurt poate aduce Uniunii beneficii imediate i totodat durabile. Pentru a accelera investiiile, Comisia va preciza cadrul juridic pentru parteneriatul dintre sectoarele public i privat care urmresc realizarea de investiii majore de infrastructur, i n cercetare, pentru a facilita aceast modalitate mixt de finanare. c) Infrastructur i energie Cheia pentru beneficii maxime i costuri minime o reprezint mobilizarea oportunitilor n vederea susinerii creterii eficienei energetice, de exemplu cea a cldirilor, iluminatului, sistemelor de rcire i nclzire, precum i a altor tehnologii cum ar fi vehicule i utilaje. Se pot obine n timp scurt efecte majore pozitive la nivelul gospodriilor i ntreprinderilor. n acelai timp, Europa are nevoie s i accelereze investiiile n infrastructur, n special n ceea ce privete modurile de transport ecologic, care fac parte din reelele transeuropene (TEN-urile), reelele TIC de mare vitez, interconexiunile n domeniul energiei i infrastructurile paneuropene de cercetare. Accelerarea investiiilor n infrastructur nu vor atenua doar ocul din sectorul construciilor, care nregistreaz ncetiniri n majoritatea statelor membre, ci va mri, totodat, potenialul de cretere durabil pe termen lung al Europei. n special n sectorul energiei un numr de proiecte transeuropene de mare anvergur ar contribui la creterea securitii energetice a UE i la integrarea unui numr mai mare de state membre n reeaua european de electricitate. 5. Accelerarea investiiilor n vederea modernizrii infrastructurii Europei n urmtorii doi ani, cel puin, este foarte puin probabil ca bugetul UE s cheltuie ntreaga sum stabilit n cadrul financiar. Prin urmare, pentru 2009 i 2010, Comisia propune mobilizarea unei sume suplimentare de 5 miliarde pentru proiecte de infrastructur pentru interconexiuni energetice transeuropene i de band larg. Pentru aceasta, Consiliul i Parlamentul vor trebui s fie de acord cu revizuirea cadrului financiar, rmnndu-se n acelai timp n limitele bugetului curent; Cu un pachet financiar de peste 347 de miliarde EUR pentru perioada 2007-2013, politica de coeziune ofer un sprijin considerabil investiiilor publice ale statelor membre i regiunilor. Cu toate acestea, exist riscul ca presiunea asupra bugetelor naionale s ncetineasc ritmul investiiilor planificate. Pentru o impulsionare imediat a economiei, ar trebui accelerat implementarea fondurilor structurale.

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n acest scop: Comisia va propune creterea prefinanrii programelor pentru a face disponibili, la nceputul lui 2009, 4,5 miliarde ; Statele membre ar trebui s profite de flexibilitatea disponibil pentru a devansa finanarea proiectelor prin mrirea prii finanate de ctre comunitate; Comisia va propune un numr de alte msuri destinate avansrii executrii proiectelor majore de investiii, pentru a facilita utilizarea fondurilor de inginerii financiare, pentru a simplifica procedurile legate de avansurile pltite ctre beneficiari i de a lrgi posibilitile de cheltuieli eligibile pe baza de sum forfetar pentru toate fondurile; Comisia subliniaz necesitatea adoptrii din timp a acestor propuneri. La sfritul lunii martie 2009 Comisia va lansa o cerere de propuneri de proiecte de transport transeuropean (TEN-T) pentru 500 de milioane , proiecte n care aceti bani ar putea determina nceperea construciei nainte de finalul lui 2009. Aceasta va determina avansarea de fonduri existente care ar fi fost realocate la revizuirea intermediar a programului multianual TEN-T din 2010; n paralel BEI va crete n mod semnificativ finanarea investiiilor n domeniile schimbrile climatice, securitatea energetic i infrastructur cu pn la 6 miliarde EUR pe an, accelernd n acelai timp punerea n aplicare a celor dou instrumente financiare inovative dezvoltate n comun cu Comisia, i anume mecanismul de finanare cu partajarea riscurilor pentru a sprijini domeniul cercetrii i dezvoltrii i instrumentul de garantare a creditelor pentru proiectele TEN-T, pentru a stimula o mai mare participare a sectorului privat; BERD i va dubla eforturile, i chiar mai mult, n ceea ce privete eficiena energetic, atenuarea schimbrilor climatice i finanarea destinat municipalitilor i altor servicii de infrastructur. Aceasta ar putea conduce, prin mobilizarea sectorului privat n vederea finanrii, la investiii n valoare de 5 miliarde de . 6. mbuntirea eficienei energetice a cldirilor Acionnd mpreun, statele membre i instituiile UE ar trebui s ia urgent msuri n vederea mbuntirii eficienei energetice a fondului locativ i a cldirilor publice, precum i a promovrii adoptrii rapide a produselor ecologice: Statele membre ar trebui s stabileasc obiective exigente pentru a se asigura c cldirile publice i locuinele, att cele private ct i cele sociale, ndeplinesc cele mai nalte standarde europene de eficien energetic i pentru a le supune unei certificri energetice periodice. Pentru a facilita atingerea obiectivelor lor naionale, statele membre ar trebui s aib n vedere introducerea unei reduceri a impozitului pe

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proprietate pentru cldirile performante din punct de vedere energetic. Comisia a naintat recent propuneri4 n vederea unei mbuntiri majore a eficienei energetice a cldirilor i solicit Consiliului i Parlamentului s acorde prioritate adoptrii lor; n plus, statele membre ar trebui s i modifice programele operaionale cu finanare din fondurile structurale pentru a aloca o parte mai mare investiiilor legate de eficiena energetic, inclusiv acolo unde se finaneaz locuine sociale. Pentru a lrgi posibilitile, Comisia propune o modificare a regulamentelor privind fondurile structurale pentru a sprijini aceast direcie i subliniaz necesitatea unei adoptri, din timp, a modificrilor; Comisia va colabora cu BEI i cu alte bnci naionale de dezvoltare pentru a lansa un fond pentru energie, schimbrile climatice i infrastructur pe 2020 n vederea finanrii proiectelor de capital i cvasi-capital; Comisia solicit statelor membre i industriei s i dezvolte urgent modele de finanare inovatoare, de exemplu, acolo unde renovrile sunt finanate prin repli, pe baza economiilor la facturile de energie, pe mai muli ani. 7. Promovarea adoptrii rapide a produselor ecologice Comisia va propune cote TVA reduse pentru produsele i serviciile ecologice menite s mbunteasc n special eficiena energetic a cldirilor. Ea ncurajeaz statele membre s furnizeze n continuare stimulente pentru consumatori, pentru a impulsiona cererea de produse ecologice; n plus, statele membre ar trebui s pun rapid n aplicare cerine de performan ecologic pentru sursele de alimentare cu energie electric extern, consumul de energie electric n stand-by i oprit, decodoare i lmpi fluorescente; Comisia va elabora de urgen msuri pentru alte produse cu potenial foarte ridicat de economisire a energiei, cum ar fi televizoarele, iluminatul casnic, frigidere i congelatoare, maini de splat, boilere i aparate de aer condiionat. d) Cercetare i inovare Criza financiar i presiunea asupra resurselor financiare care rezult n urma acesteia, att publice ct i private, ar putea s-i determine pe unii s ntrzie sau s reduc n mod substanial investiiile n cercetare i dezvoltare i educaie planificate, aa cum s-a ntmplat n trecut cnd Europa s-a confruntat cu un declin economic. n lipsa unor precauii, asemenea decizii au condus la distrugerea unui capital major i de cunoatere cu efecte foarte negative asupra perspectivelor de cretere i ocupare a forei de munc pe termen lung i mediu ale Europei. Cu toate acestea, au existat, de asemenea, exemple de ri, att n Europa ct i n afara ei, care i-au luat precauia de a mri cheltuielile pentru cercetare i dezvoltare i educaie n momente economice dificile, punnd astfel bazele pentru o poziie puternic n domeniul inovrii.

COM(2008) 755 13.11.2008

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8. Creterea investiiilor n cercetare i dezvoltare, inovare i educaie Statele membre i sectorul privat ar trebui s sporeasc investiiile planificate n educaie, cercetare i dezvoltare (n concordan cu obiectivele naionale ale acestora n materie de cercetare i dezvoltare) pentru a stimula creterea i productivitatea. De asemenea, acestea ar trebui s ia n calcul mijloace de sporire a investiiilor din sectorul privat n domeniul cercetrii i dezvoltrii, de exemplu, prin oferirea de stimulente fiscale, finanri nerambursabile i/sau subvenii; statele membre ar trebui s menin investiiile pentru a crete calitatea educaiei. 9. Dezvoltarea tehnologiilor ecologice pentru automobile i construcii Pentru a sprijini inovarea n procesele de fabricaie, n special n industria construciilor i n sectorul autovehiculelor, care au nregistrat recent scderi ale cererii ca urmare a crizei i care se confrunt cu serioase dificulti n procesul de tranziie ctre economia ecologic, Comisia propune lansarea a 3 parteneriate majore ntre sectorul public i cel privat: n sectorul autovehiculelor, o iniiativ european privind automobilele ecologice, care s presupun cercetare n domeniul unei game largi de tehnologii i al infrastructurii energetice inteligente, eseniale pentru a realiza o inovaie semnificativ n ceea ce privete utilizarea surselor regenerabile i nepoluante de energie, securitatea i fluiditatea traficului. Parteneriatul ar urma s fie finanat de ctre Comunitate, BEI, industrie i prin contribuiile statelor membre, cu un pachet financiar combinat de cel puin 5 miliarde . n acest context, BEI ar urma s acorde credite bazate pe cheltuieli productorilor i distribuitorilor de autovehicule pentru a finana inovarea, n special n domeniul tehnologiilor care mbuntesc sigurana i performana ecologic a automobilelor, de exemplu autovehiculele electrice. Ar trebui incluse n iniiativ msuri care s vizeze cererea, precum o reducere din partea statelor membre a taxelor de nmatriculare i de rulare pentru automobilele cu emisii reduse, precum i eforturi de a casa automobilele vechi. n plus, Comisia va sprijini dezvoltarea unei reele de achiziii din partea autoritilor regionale i locale, care s centralizeze cererea de autobuze i alte autovehicule ecologice i s accelereze punerea n aplicare a iniiativei CARS21; n sectorul construciilor, o iniiativ european privind cldirile eficiente din punct de vedere energetic, pentru a promova tehnologiile ecologice i dezvoltarea sistemelor i a materialelor eficiente din punct de vedere energetic n cldirile noi i n cele renovate, n vederea reducerii radicale a consumului de energie i a emisiilor de CO25. Iniiativa ar trebui s aib o component important de reglementare i standardizare i s implice o reea de achiziii a autoritilor regionale i locale. Pachetul financiar estimat pentru acest parteneriat este de 1 miliard . Iniiativa ar urma s fie sprijinit de aciuni specifice propuse n cadrul aciunilor 5 i 6 privind infrastructura i eficiena energetic; pentru a crete utilizarea tehnologiei n procesele de fabricaie, o iniiativ privind fabricile viitorului: obiectivul este de a ajuta productorii din UE din diversele sectoare, i n special IMM-urile, s se adapteze la presiunile concurenei

n prezent cldirile reprezint 40% din consumul de energie.

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globale, prin sporirea bazei tehnologice a productorilor din UE, prin intermediul dezvoltrii i integrrii tehnologiilor corespunztoare ale viitorului, precum tehnologiile de inginerie pentru utilaje i procese industriale adaptabile, TIC i materialele avansate. Pachetul financiar estimat pentru acest parteneriat este de 1,2 miliarde de . 10. Internet de mare vitez pentru toi Conexiunile de mare vitez la internet promoveaz difuzarea rapid a tehnologiilor, ceea ce genereaz, la rndul lor, cerere pentru produse i servicii inovatoare. Echiparea Europei cu infrastructur modern este la fel de important precum construirea de ci ferate n secolul al XIX-lea. Pentru a impulsiona poziia de lider pe care o deine Europa n domeniul comunicaiilor fixe i fr fir i pentru a accelera dezvoltarea serviciilor cu valoare adugat ridicat, Comisia i statele membre ar trebui s conlucreze cu prile interesate pentru a dezvolta o strategie privind banda larg cu scopul de a accelera mbuntirea i extinderea reelelor. Strategia va fi finanat din fonduri publice, cu scopul de a oferi acces n band larg zonelor sub-deservite i care presupun costuri ridicate n cazurile n care piaa nu poate obine aceste rezultate. Obiectivul ar trebui s fie realizarea unei acoperiri de 100% a internetului de mare vitez pn n 2010. n plus, i de asemenea n vederea mbuntirii performanelor reelelor existente, statele membre ar trebui s promoveze instrumente competitive n domeniul reelelor de fibr optic i s adopte propunerile Comisei de liberalizare a spectrului de band larg fr fir. Utiliznd finanarea menionat la aciunea 5 menionat anterior, Comisia va canaliza o sum suplimentar de 1 miliard ctre investiiile privind aceste reele n 2009-2010. 3. CUTND SOLUII GLOBALE

Dificultile cu care se confrunt UE n prezent sunt parte a provocrilor macroeconomice globale subliniate de recentul Summit privind pieele financiare i economia mondial de la Washington. Prezentul plan european de redresare economic va face parte din contribuia UE la o cooperare macroeconomic internaional mai strns, inclusiv cu rile emergente, destinat s relanseze creterea, s evite efectele colaterale negative i s sprijine rile n curs de dezvoltare. n ultimele decenii, UE a avut beneficii considerabile datorate sporirii capitalului transfrontalier i a fluxurilor comerciale cu rile dezvoltate i din ce n ce mai mult, de asemenea, cu economiile emergente. Criza financiar a artat ct de interdependent a devenit lumea. Msura i viteza cu care o pierdere de ncredere ntr-o zon a globului a afectat fr ntrziere pieele financiare i a afectat negativ economiile reale mondiale reprezint, pe bun dreptate, o preocupare serioas. n lumea de astzi, un oc suferit de o pia financiar de importan sistemic este o problem mondial i trebuie abordat corespunztor. Prin urmare, o parte important a oricrui rspuns coordonat al UE la ncetinirea creterii economice va trebui s presupun un angajament sporit cu partenerii notri internaionali i cu organizaiile internaionale, conlucrnd pentru a face fa provocrilor interne i din exteriorul granielor, inclusiv n rile n curs de dezvoltare, care vor fi printre cele mai grav afectate. Meninerea ritmului schimburilor comerciale Redresarea Europei depinde de capacitatea ntreprinderilor noastre de a folosi cel mai bine posibilitile pe care le ofer pieele mondiale. Reluarea creterii temeinice n Europa va depinde, de asemenea, de capacitatea sa de a exporta. Meninerea legturilor comerciale i a

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oportunitilor de investiii reprezint, de asemenea, cele mai bune mijloace de a limita impactul mondial al crizei, din moment ce redresarea mondial va depinde n mod crucial de performanele economice durabile ale economiilor emergente i n curs de dezvoltare. Prin urmare, trebuie s meninem angajamentul de a deschide pieele la nivel mondial, meninnd piaa intern ct de deschis posibil i insistnd ca rile tere s fac acelai lucru, n special prin asigurarea conformitii cu normele OMC. Pentru a atinge acest obiectiv, Europa ar trebui s relanseze aciuni pentru: a ajunge la un acord prealabil privind un acord comercial global n cadrul Rundei de la Doha din cadrul OMC. Ca urmare a angajamentelor rennoite asumate cu ocazia Summitului de la Washington din 15 noiembrie, Comisia a intensificat imediat eforturile, mpreun cu partenerii-cheie din OMC, de a ncheia un acord privind modalitile de realizare pn la sfritul anului. O rund ncheiat cu succes va trimite un semnal de ncredere puternic pe termen scurt n noua ordine economic mondial. n timp, acesta va aduce consumatorilor i ntreprinderilor de pretutindeni beneficii n ceea ce privete reducerea preurilor, prin eliminarea tarifelor ridicate care au rmas pe pieele partenere importante; a continua s sprijine consolidarea economic i social a rilor candidate i a Balcanilor de Vest n interesul reciproc al UE i al regiunii. n acest scop, Comisia va nfiina un pachet privind rspunsul la criz n valoare de 120 de milioane de , mobiliznd credite n valoare de 500 de milioane de de la instituiile financiare internaionale; a crea o reea de acorduri cuprinztoare i aprofundate de liber schimb n vecintate, ca o etap ctre o pia regional mai integrat. n cadrul activitii sale privind politica de vecintate, UE se poate baza pe Uniunea pentru Mediterana i planurile acesteia pentru un nou parteneriat estic; a accelera eforturile de a garanta acorduri noi i ambiioase de liber schimb cu ali parteneri comerciali; a construi o relaie de lucru apropiat cu noua administraie a SUA, inclusiv prin intermediul Consiliului Economic Transatlantic. O cooperare mai eficace la nivelul reglementrii ar putea fi continuat, de asemenea, cu ali parteneri industrializai importani, precum Canada i Japonia; a continua dialogul cu partenerii bilaterali importani precum China, India, Brazilia i Rusia i utilizarea acestui dialog pentru a aborda aspecte privind achiziiile publice, concurena i dreptul de proprietate intelectual. Combaterea schimbrilor climatice Criza economic intervine n pragul unei tranziii structurale majore ctre economia cu emisii sczute de carbon. Obiectivul de a lupta mpotriva schimbrilor climatice poate fi combinat cu noile oportuniti economice majore de a dezvolta noile tehnologii, a crea locuri de munc i a consolida securitatea energetic. Acordul privind strategia intern a UE n materie de schimbri climatice din cadrul Consiliului European din decembrie i cu Parlamentul European va consolida rolul de lider pe care UE trebuie s ncerce s l joace n garantarea unui acord internaional ambiios privind schimbrile climatice la conferina CCONUSC de la Copenhaga de la sfritul anului 2009.

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Sprijinirea rilor n curs de dezvoltare Criza actual se va aduga presiunilor existente asupra rilor n curs de dezvoltare, care nu se afl, de obicei, pe cea mai bun poziie pentru a face fa unor astfel de situaii. Prin urmare, este cu att mai important ca UE i celelalte pri implicate s i menin angajamentele privind Obiectivele de Dezvoltare ale Mileniului (ODM). De asemenea, ar putea fi necesar ca rile i regiunile dezvoltate, lund exemplul UE, s adopte noi instrumente, flexibile i inovatoare, pentru a ajuta rile n curs de dezvoltare s fac fa impactului rapid al crizei, precum recentul instrument de ajutor alimentar al UE. Continuarea ajutorrii rilor emergente i n curs de dezvoltare pe calea creterii durabile prezint o relevan deosebit n perioada premergtoare Conferinei internaionale privind finanarea dezvoltrii, care va avea loc la Doha ntre 29 noiembrie i 2 decembrie. La aceast reuniune, UE care n 2007 a continuat s fie cel mai important donator de asisten pentru dezvoltarea teritoriilor de peste mri (ODA) i va reafirma angajamentele de atingere a unei inte de ODA la un nivel de 0,56% din PNB pn n 2010 i 0,7% pn n 2015. UE va invita, de asemenea, ali donatori s i continue activitatea n scopul realizrii acestor obiective. Sprijinirea dezvoltrii durabile, prin realizarea obiectivelor ODA i ODM, inter alia, dar i prin abordarea provocrilor legate de guvernana general reprezint un aspect cu att mai important n perioade de criz economic. Partajarea beneficiilor dezvoltrii durabile, lupta mpotriva schimbrilor climatice, securitatea energetic i alimentar i buna guvernan reprezint provocri interdependente n legtur cu care instituiile financiare internaionale, precum i alte organisme internaionale, au, de asemenea, un rol important de jucat. 4. CONCLUZII

Este clar faptul c UE se va confrunta cu o perioad dificil n urmtoarele luni, deoarece efectele ncetinirii economiei mondiale i europene exercit presiuni asupra locurilor de munc i asupra cererii. Cu toate acestea, conlucrnd, statele membre i instituiile europene pot aciona n vederea redrii ncrederii consumatorilor i ntreprinderilor, a relansrii creditelor i a stimulrii investiiilor n economiile noastre, crend locuri de munc i ajutnd omerii s i gseasc noi locuri de munc. Planul european de redresare economic elaborat n prezenta comunicare este destinat s creeze o baz pentru un acord nentrziat ntre statele membre pentru a relansa economia european. Comisia European solicit Parlamentului European s acorde sprijinul su deplin pentru acest plan european de redresare economic. De asemenea, Comisia European solicit efilor de stat i de guvern prezeni la reuniunea din 11 - 12 decembrie 2008: (1) (2) (3) s adopte prezentul plan european de redresare economic; s cear Comisiei Europene i Consiliului s conlucreze pentru a se asigura c msurile combinate, la nivel naional i european, nsumeaz cel puin 1,5% din PIB; s asigure c Programele actualizate de stabilitate i convergen, incluznd msurile naionale de impulsionare, sunt evaluate n conformitate cu procedurile stabilite n Pactul de stabilitate i cretere, utiliznd n acelai timp gradul de flexibilitate pe care acesta l ofer;

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(4)

s adopte cele 10 aciuni subliniate n planul european de redresare economic; s insiste ca Parlamentul i Consiliul s accelereze activitile legislative necesare pentru aplicarea acestor msuri; s se pun de acord, pe baza unei contribuii din partea Comisiei nainte de Consiliul European de primvar din 2009, care va evalua progresele realizate n procesul de punere n aplicare a planului, s identifice msurile suplimentare necesare la nivelul EU i al statelor membre pentru a stimula redresarea; s continue s conlucreze strns cu partenerii internaionali pentru aplicarea soluiilor globale pentru a consolida guvernana global i a promova redresarea economic.

(5)

(6)

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COMISIA COMUNITILOR EUROPENE

Bruxelles, 16.12.2008 COM(2008) 881 final

COMUNICARE A COMISIEI CTRE PARLAMENTUL EUROPEAN, CONSILIU, COMITETUL ECONOMIC I SOCIAL EUROPEAN I COMITETUL REGIUNILOR Raport de execuie pentru programul comunitar de la Lisabona 2008 2010

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1.

INTRODUCERE

n cadrul strategiei rennoite de la Lisabona pentru cretere i locuri de munc, Comisia a adoptat, n decembrie 2007, o propunere de program comunitar de la Lisabona 2008-2010, n care se stabileau cele 10 obiective cheie i aciunile politice corespunztoare acestora la nivel comunitar pentru urmtorii trei ani. n martie 2008, innd cont de prioritile identificate de Consiliu, Consiliul European a invitat Comisia European, Parlamentul European i Consiliul s i continue aciunile n direcia celor 10 obiective identificate n PCL, fiecare n cadrul su de competen. Obiectivele i aciunile prioritare identificate n PCL se bazeaz pe cele patru domenii prioritare, confirmate recent n planul european de redresare economic propus de Comisie la 26 noiembrie. Astfel, PCL continu s ofere rspunsuri politice corespunztoare n contextul actualei crize economice i financiare. Prezenta comunicare evalueaz execuia programului comunitar de la Lisabona 2008-2010 n primul an al noului ciclu i identific aciunile prioritare care nu sunt nc n curs i care ar trebui acum s fie declanate cu cea mai mare prioritate pentru completarea aciunilor identificate n PRE i de ctre statele membre n programele lor actualizate de reform la nivel naional. n general, s-au nregistrat progrese substaniale n primul an al programului comunitar de la Lisabona i s-au atins deja mai multe repere eseniale. Printre cele mai importante se numr: Adoptarea de ctre Parlamentul European i Consiliu a pachetului Bunuri pentru impulsionarea pieei interne i ntrirea proteciei consumatorilor. Adoptarea de ctre Comisie a Small Business Act care stabilete prioritile politice adecvate pentru mbuntirea situaiei i sporirea dinamismului IMMurilor. Adoptarea de ctre Comisie a agendei sociale rennoite care abordeaz necesitatea mbuntirii anselor de ocupare a unui loc de munc i a asigurrii solidaritii. Adoptarea de ctre Comisie a pachetului Schimbri climatice i energii regenerabile i a planului de aciune pentru aciune industrial, consum i producie sustenabile. Memorandumul de nelegere privind cooperarea ntre autoritile de supraveghere financiar, bncile centrale i ministerele de finane ale UE cu privire la stabilitatea financiar transfrontalier care va contribui la detensionarea crizei financiare. Comisia a progresat, de asemenea, n cadrul agendei pentru o mai bun legiferare care vizeaz s reduc costurile inutile i s nlture obstacolele din calea inovaiilor. Adoptarea de ctre Parlamentul European i Consiliu a Codului vamal modernizat i a deciziei privind vama electronic pentru crearea unui mediu informatizat pentru vmi i comer. Au fost suplimentate n mod substanial finanrile comunitare consacrate creterii i locurilor de munc prin intermediul politicii de coeziune.

Prin aceasta, s-au pus bazele unei schimbri de prioritate a execuiei esenial pentru obinerea unui impact substanial i pozitiv la nivelul ntregii Comuniti. Prezentul document ofer o

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evaluare detaliat a realizrilor i a aciunilor prioritare nefinalizate n legtur cu toate obiectivele. 2. 2.1. PROGRESE NREGISTRATE N PRIVINA CELOR 10 OBIECTIVE-CHEIE ALE PCL 20082010 Investiii n resurse umane i modernizarea pieelor muncii

Obiectivul 1: Comisia va propune, pn la jumtatea anului 2008, o agend social rennoit, cuprinznd n mod special domeniile educaiei, migraiei i evoluiilor demografice, i va contribui la abordarea lacunelor n materie de competene, prin ameliorarea monitorizrii i previzionarea necesitilor viitoare n materie de competene. Comisia a adoptat, n iulie 2008, agenda social rennoit. Prin modernizarea pieelor forei de munc i a sistemelor de protecie social, agenda social va ajuta oamenii s profite de oportunitile create de concurena internaional, progresele tehnologice i schimbarea structurii populaiei i i va proteja, n acelai timp, pe membrii cei mai vulnerabili ai societii. Pentru Consiliu i Parlamentul European, adoptarea propunerilor din agenda social reprezint o prioritate, pentru mbuntirea oportunitilor de ocupare a unui loc de munc, mbuntirea accesului la servicii de calitate i asigurarea solidaritii. n mod special, prin iniiativa Noi competene pentru noi locuri de munc, Comunitatea i nteete eforturile de evaluare a necesitilor de competene emergente, de promovare a dialogului ntre toi actorii implicai, de mbuntire a serviciilor de cutare a locurilor de munc la nivelul ntregii UE i de promovare a dezvoltrii competenelor. Dezvoltarea competenelor i nvarea de-a lungul vieii vor fi sprijinite printr-un cadru strategic actualizat pentru cooperarea european n educaie i formare profesional i msuri specifice de promovare a calitii i mobilitii n educaia i formarea profesional. n 2008 s-a lansat un exerciiu de previzionare pentru 16 sectoare, inclusiv textile, produse electronice i servicii financiare, care se va extinde la domeniul tehnologiilor ecologice i energetice. Sunt necesare eforturi suplimentare, n funcie de prioriti, pentru abordarea obstacolelor legislative semnificative impuse n calea dezvoltrii pieei unice a forei de munc, inclusiv insuficienta comparabilitate i recunoatere a calificrilor i restriciile majore n calea portabilitii pensiilor i a beneficiilor sociale. nlturarea acestor obstacole se va altura eforturilor statelor membre de a facilita o mai bun utilizare a competenelor i de a elimina discrepanele ntre cererea i oferta de competene. Comisia a propus simplificarea, ncepnd cu prima parte a anului 2009, a criteriilor pentru obinerea de sprijin i pli anticipate prin Fondul social european (FSE), pentru ca statele membre s aib acces ct mai rapid la fonduri de pn la 1,8 miliarde Euro pentru a ntri rapid sistemele de activare, pentru schimbarea prioritilor n programele lor n vederea concentrrii sprijinului ctre cei mai vulnerabili i pentru mbuntirea monitorizrii i a corelrii cererii i ofertei de competene. Comisia a propus, de asemenea, s se revizuiasc normele Fondului european pentru adaptare la globalizare astfel nct acesta s poat interveni mai rapid n sectoare eseniale, fie pentru cofinanarea formrii i a plasrii n noi locuri de munc a celor concediai, fie pentru meninerea pe piaa forei de munc a lucrtorilor calificai care vor fi din nou necesari atunci cnd economia va ncepe s i revin. Obiectivul 2: Comisia va prezenta, n 2008, propuneri privind o politic comun n materie de imigraie. Comisia a prezentat deja propuneri iniiale, n mod special cu privire la un sistem de carte albastr pentru migranii cu nalte calificri. Dup cum s-a enunat n comunicarea O

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politic comun de imigrare pentru Europa: principii, aciuni i instrumente1 din 17 iunie 2008 (COM/2008/359), Comisia va face noi propuneri n 2009, cu privire la norme pentru transferurile intracorporatiste, lucrtorii sezonieri i participanii remunerai la programele de formare profesional. Acetia sunt primi pai ctre o politic comun n materie de imigraie care rspunde mai bine necesitilor pieei UE a forelor de munc, dar exist loc de progrese substaniale n continuare. Comisia salut intenia Consiliului de a adopta, pn n mai 2009, sistemul carte albastr pentru atragerea lucrtorilor cu nalte calificri, avnd n vedere c aceasta reprezint o prioritate. 2.2. Deblocarea potenialului de afaceri, n special al IMM-urilor Obiectivul 3: Comunitatea va adopta Small Business Act n vederea deblocrii potenialului de cretere al IMM-urilor pe parcursul ntregii durate de via a acestora. Comisia a propus Small Business Act n iunie 2008, n care a fcut propuneri concrete pentru msuri la nivel UE i naional n sprijinul IMM-urilor pe parcursul ntregii durate de via a acestora. Small Business Act a primit ntregul sprijin din partea Consiliului European i a Parlamentului European. n mod special, att Comisia, ct i Consiliul au recunoscut necesitatea de continuare a punerii n aplicare n vederea sprijinirii IMM-urilor pentru a face fa mai bine actualei crize economice i financiare i au avansat un plan de aciune care a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliu. Punerea n aplicare a Small Business Act ar trebui s primeasc prioritate maxim la toate nivelurile n statele membre i la nivel comunitar. Mai departe, au cptat o importan crucial adoptarea la timp a propunerilor legislative cu privire la statutul societilor private europene, reducerea cotelor de TVA pentru serviciile cu utilizare intensiv a forei de munc i modificarea directivei privind ntrzierea la plat pe care Comisia o va prezenta n februarie 2009. n plus, sunt urgent necesare iniiative pentru simplificarea n continuare a mediului legislativ i pentru mbuntirea accesului IMM-urilor la finanare (a se vedea mai jos obiectivul 7). Prin urmare, Comisia va propune nlturarea cerinei pentru microntreprinderi de a elabora situaii financiare anuale (se estimeaz c economiile realizate n acest fel de ctre aceste societi totalizeaz 7 miliarde Euro pe an) i va limita la un Euro capitalul obligatoriu pentru o societate european privat. Aceast iniiativ cere tuturor autoritilor publice s accepte facturarea electronic drept echivalent al facturrii pe hrtie. n sfrit, n ceea ce privete accesul la finanare, Banca European de Investiii i-a extins pachetul investiional pentru credite adresate IMM-urilor la 30 miliarde Euro pentru perioada 2008-2011 i va anticipa punerea n aplicare pentru a asigura disponibilitatea noilor credite i garanii de creditare pentru IMM-uri pe ntreg teritoriul Comunitii. Obiectivul 4: Comunitatea se va apropia de obiectivul de a reduce cu 25% sarcinile administrative comunitare pn n 2012 i va pune n aplicare un program ambiios de simplificare. Comisia va depune toate eforturile pentru a prezenta propunerile necesare pentru reducerea birocraiei i a sarcinii administrative pentru ntreprinderi cu 25% nainte de finalul mandatului su. Aceast aciune completeaz eforturile statelor membre de a reduce cu 25% sarcinile administrative pn n 2012. La sfritul lunii noiembrie 2008, 20 de state membre stabiliser obiective naionale de reducere. Comisia i-a stabilit o agend de lucru fr precedent din punct de vedere al anvergurii i amplorii. S-au identificat i msurat costurile cerinelor de informare rezultate din 42 de acte legislative n 13 domenii prioritare din care rezult peste 5 000 de obligaii individuale la nivelul statelor membre. n 2008, Comisia a propus 11 noi aciuni rapide pentru reducerea sarcinilor administrative pentru 2008, care
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COM(2008) 359.

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reprezint pentru ntreprinderile europene peste 1 miliard de Euro. n 2009, Comisia va prezenta noi propuneri de reducere a sarcinilor pe baza informaiilor concrete primite de la prile interesate. n mod special, se va aciona n continuare pentru reducerea costurilor de conformare rezultate din fragmentarea fiscal a pieei interne, n special pentru IMM-uri. n cadrul programului de simplificare pentru actualizarea i simplificarea legislaiei comunitare existente, Comisia a adoptat 119 propuneri din octombrie 2005 i pn n prezent. Dintre acestea, 48 ateapt n continuare aprobarea legislativului. Examinarea ntregii legislaii existente se va finaliza pn la finalul mandatului Comisiei. n ansamblu, Comisia a propus peste 770 de acte juridice spre abrogare, modificare sau nlocuire. Rmne o prioritate adoptarea rapid a simplificrii, a propunerilor de aciune rapid i a propunerilor de reducere a sarcinii administrative de ctre Parlamentul European i Consiliu pentru a asigura un mediu legislativ mai eficient de care s beneficieze ntreprinderile i cetenii europeni. Obiectivul 5: Comunitatea va ntri piaa unic, va spori concurena n domeniul serviciilor, va face pai n continuare ctre integrarea pieelor de servicii financiare, va ntri aranjamentele de supraveghere existente i va mbunti gestionarea transfrontalier a crizei financiare de ctre UE. Servicii Pentru a stimula concurena i pentru a spori eficiena, Comunitatea trebuie s se asigure c piaa unic pentru sectorul serviciilor devine o realitate. Pentru facilitarea nfiinrii de prestatori de servicii transfrontalieri, punerea n aplicare complet i la timp a directivei privind serviciile de ctre statele membre pn la termenul limit, decembrie 2009, reprezint o prioritate. Aceasta va mbunti accesul pe pia al ntreprinderilor, n special al IMM-urilor, i va diversifica oferta pentru consumatori. Comunitatea ar trebui s ntreasc politica privind piaa unic, politica privind consumatorii i aplicarea politicii de concuren n special n unele industrii i servicii nodale n reea, inclusiv serviciile potale, electricitatea/gazul, calea ferat, serviciile financiare, comunicaiile electronice i industriile vnzrii cu amnuntul i vnzrii en-gros, asigurnd, n acelai timp, furnizarea de servicii de interes general. Bunuri Consiliul a adoptat recent pachetul Bunuri care include msuri cu privire la standardele de siguran armonizate pentru produse i norme actualizate cu privire la supravegherea pieei, precum i consolidarea normelor de marcare CE. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului Bunuri va oferi un nou impuls produciei i comerului cu bunuri, facilitnd tuturor societilor vnzarea bunurilor pe ntreg teritoriul UE, mbuntind, n acelai timp, protecia consumatorilor. n plus, Comisia a nceput s acioneze pentru supravegherea pieei pentru lanul alimentar, pentru comerul cu amnuntul i pentru bunurile electrice i i va extinde aciunile i la alte sectoare. S-a publicat un prim tablou de bord al consumatorilor i se va iniia o supraveghere regulat a preurilor la consumator, ncepnd cu preurile alimentelor i cele ale energiei. Continuarea acestor aciuni de supraveghere a pieei i de supraveghere n ceea ce privete drepturile consumatorilor reprezint o prioritate. Se va aciona n continuare pentru asigurarea la timp a eforturilor de standardizare i interoperabilitate, mai ales pentru bunurile i serviciile din domeniul tehnologiei informaiilor i comunicrii. Supravegherea financiar transfrontalier i gestionarea situaiilor de criz Stabilitatea financiar este esenial pentru cretere i locuri de munc, dup cum demonstreaz criza financiar actual. UE a reacionat rapid pentru refacerea ncrederii pe

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pia, pentru ntrirea rezistenei sectorului financiar i pentru estomparea impactului negativ al crizei asupra economiei reale. Pentru ntrirea rezistenei sistemului financiar, Comisia a luat o serie de msuri: comitetele de supraveghere a instituiilor i pieelor financiare de la nivel comunitar au fost ntrite i grupul la nivel nalt Larosire examineaz viitorul supravegherii la nivel UE, inclusiv alocarea de sarcini i responsabiliti ntre nivelul comunitar i cel naional. Comisia a adoptat recent mai multe msuri eseniale pentru consolidarea cadrului legislativ al UE, inclusiv modificri aduse directivei privind cerinele de capital i directivei privind sistemele de garantare a depozitelor, schimbri ale normelor de contabilitate (regulamentul IAS) i o propunere de regulament cu privire la ageniile de rating. Aceste msuri ar trebui s fie adoptate de ctre instituiile europene cu prioritate. Se lucreaz, de asemenea, la elaborarea de noi propuneri menite s reduc riscurile din partea derivatelor i a swapurilor pe risc de credit. Comunitatea particip activ n G20 i alte foruri internaionale la mbuntirea cooperrii globale n ceea ce privete supravegherea financiar i gestionarea crizei. n primvara anului 2009, Comisia va prezenta un pachet complet de msuri politice pentru o reform a sectorului financiar al UE n urma crizei financiare. Serviciile financiare Sistemul de transfer de credite al zonei unice de pli n Euro a fost lansat n 2008, prin emiterea de ctre Comisie a unor clarificri ex-ante n probleme de competiie, mai ales n ceea ce privete plile, cardurile de credit i debitarea direct. Totui, cadrul unic pentru pieele en-gros i investiii trebuie s fie completat i pus n aplicare cu prioritate. Comisia va urmri, de asemenea, anchetele sectoriale n retailul bancar i asigurrile pentru afaceri. 2.3. Investiiile n cunoatere i inovare Obiectivul 6: Comunitatea va transforma a cincea libertate libera circulaie a cunotinelor ntr-o realitate i va crea un veritabil spaiu european de cercetare. Pentru a transforma a cincea libertate ntr-o realitate i pentru a crea un spaiu european de cercetare (SEC) competitiv i deschis, Consiliul a lansat, n mai 2008, Procesul Ljubljana2 de guvernan consolidat i a aprobat o viziune pe termen lung pentru SEC. Aceast viziune ntrete obiectivul realizrii celei de-a cincea liberti pe baza cruia Comisia intenioneaz s realizeze o examinare complet a politicilor comunitare pentru nlturarea barierelor n calea ndeplinirii acestuia. Realizarea SEC este esenial pentru ca Europa s devin o economie i o societate de frunte bazat pe cunoatere i pentru ntrirea triunghiului cunoaterii, format din cercetare, inovare i educaie. Pentru atingerea acestui obiectiv este nevoie de discuii politice la nivel nalt i de orientare a agendei politice, inclusiv de punerea n aplicare a celor cinci iniiative de parteneriat SEC lansate de Comisie n 2008. n continuare, intensificarea eforturilor de punere n comun a resurselor n materie de cercetare cu i ntre statele membre, potrivit unei geometrii variabile, va fi facilitat prin iniiativa programrii comune pentru cercetare i prin adoptarea de ctre instituii a unui cadru juridic pentru stabilirea i funcionarea unor infrastructuri de cercetare paneuropene3. Fluxurile de cunotine, eficiena cercetrii i atractivitatea Europei ca locaie de cercetare se vor mbunti prin punerea n aplicare a Parteneriatului cercettorilor europeni, prin intermediul Recomandrii Comisiei privind gestionarea proprietii intelectuale n activitile

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Concluziile Consiliului mai 2008 (9076/08). Pe baza propunerii de regulament al Consiliului COM (2008) 467 final Propunere de Regulament al Consiliului privind cadrul legal comunitar aplicabil infrastructurilor europene de cercetare (ERI).

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de transfer de cunotine4 i prin aciuni suplimentare care completeaz eforturile statelor membre de ntrire i reformare a sectorului nvmntului superior i faciliteaz crearea de reele i mbuntirea cooperrii ntre universiti, organizaii de cercetare i lumea afacerilor. Prin punerea n aplicare a Cadrului strategic european pentru cooperare tiinific i tehnologic internaional, SEC va deveni mai deschis i va spori influena pe plan internaional a UE i a statelor membre n relaiile cu ri tere partenere eseniale i n economia global. O alt iniiativ strategic esenial n aceast privin o reprezint nfiinarea Institutului European de Inovare i Tehnologie, instituit formal n aprilie 2008 pentru a integra educaia, cercetarea i inovarea. Institutul va deveni un model al promovrii inovrii deschise i a schimbului de informaii ntre organizaiile publice de cercetare i industrie. Obiectivul 7: Comunitatea va mbunti condiiile generale n materie de inovare, n special cu privire la capitalul de risc i drepturile de proprietate intelectual. Crearea unor condiii favorabile pentru finanarea inovrii rmne o prioritate esenial pentru facilitarea apariiei mai frecvente a unor IMM-uri cu mare capacitate de inovare, mai ales n actuala criz financiar. Exist dovezi care arat c IMM-urile sufer n mod special din cauza crizei creditelor. mbuntirea disponibilitii spre investiii i a accesului la finanare pentru IMM-uri sunt eseniale. Programul cadru al Comisiei pentru competitivitate i inovare 2007-2013 va contribui la acoperirea deficitului de fonduri proprii n faza timpurie i n faza de expansiune prin finanare prin intermediul mecanismului pentru IMM-uri inovatoare i cu cretere puternic, precum i prin susinerea acordrii de mprumuturi, microcredite i finanri mezanin pentru IMM-uri prin Fondul de garantare pentru IMM-uri. n mod similar, instrumentele de inginerie financiar i asisten tehnic disponibile n cadrul politicii de coeziune suplimenteaz facilitarea iniierii de ntreprinderi i accesul la finanare pentru IMM-uri. n plus, Banca European de Investiii a mandatat Fondul European de Investiii s elaboreze un nou instrument de tip mezanin. Comisia a prezentat o comunicare cu privire la investiiile transfrontaliere realizate prin fonduri de capital de risc5 i continu s colaboreze strns cu statele membre, cu prioritate, pentru a progresa ctre o recunoatere reciproc a cadrelor naionale pentru fonduri de capital de risc i nlturarea obstacolelor actuale legislative i fiscale. Sistemul de brevetare n UE sufer n continuare de fragmentarea costisitoare i excesiv care ngreuneaz transferul i diseminarea cunotinelor i inovaiilor n interiorul UE. Negocierea interinstituional cu privire la brevetul comunitar i sistemul de soluionare a litigiilor referitoare la brevetare ar trebui s fie finalizat cu prioritate pentru reducerea costurilor de brevetare, asigurarea unei mai mari securiti juridice i facilitarea accesului la brevete pentru IMM-uri. 2.4. Energia i schimbrile climatice Obiectivul 8: Comunitatea va finaliza realizarea pieei interne pentru energie i va adopta pachetul privind schimbrile climatice pentru a institui cadrul necesar reducerii

Recomandarea Comisiei: privind gestionarea proprietii intelectuale n activitile de transfer de cunotine i Codul de bune practici pentru universiti i alte organizaii publice de cercetare C(2008) 1329. nlturarea obstacolelor din calea investiiilor transfrontaliere prin fonduri de capital de risc, decembrie 2007.

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cu cel puin 20% a emisiilor de gaz cu efect de ser i de a atinge o cot de 20% a surselor regenerabile de energie pn n 2020. Adoptarea, de ctre Parlamentul European i Consiliu, (ateptat la mijlocul anului 2009) a pachetului de completare a pieei interne de energie, reprezint o prioritate esenial. Printre msurile eseniale de susinere se numr planul de aciune al UE pentru securitate i solidaritate n domeniul energiei, care stabilete cinci domenii n care este necesar intensificarea aciunilor pentru asigurarea aprovizionrii sustenabile cu energie, n paralel cu susinerea propunerilor 2020 privind schimbrile climatice. Comisia va prezenta, de asemenea, un nou Instrument UE pentru securitate i infrastructur n domeniul energiei pentru promovarea proiectelor de infrastructur n interiorul i n afara UE pentru asigurarea obiectivelor UE privind energia regenerabil i pentru garantarea securitii aprovizionrii cu energie a UE. Aciunile n direcia unei piee interne pentru energie se completeaz prin eforturi de mbuntire n continuare a rentabilitii sistemului de comercializare a emisiilor n vederea realizrii obiectivelor de reducere a emisiilor de gaze cu efect de ser pn n 2020, precum i prin instituirea unui cadru comunitar pentru dezvoltarea rentabil a energiilor regenerabile, n vederea atingerii unei cote de 20% pn n 2020. Ca urmare a acordului Consiliului European asupra pachetului privind schimbrile climatice i energia regenerabil, a devenit posibil adoptarea acestuia de ctre Parlamentul European i Consiliu. Obiectivul 9: Comunitatea va promova o politic industrial axat pe modele mai durabile de producie i consum, punnd accentul pe energiile regenerabile i pe produsele, serviciile i tehnologiile cu emisii sczute de carbon i cu resurse eficiente. n iulie 2008, Comisia a prezentat un pachet ambiios de aciuni pentru consum, producie i industrie sustenabile (PCD/PID). Obiectivul acestuia este mbuntirea performanei de mediu i, n special, a eficienei energetice a produselor i stimularea lansrii acestora pe pia prin intermediul unor aciuni obligatorii i voluntare de definire i mbuntire a performanelor de mediu ale produselor ecologice, de mai bun informare a consumatorilor, de mbuntire a achiziiilor publice i a facilitilor fiscale. Pachetul prevede un sistem de verificare a tehnologiilor de mediu pentru susinerea ecoinovrii printr-o ncredere sporit n noile tehnologii. n 2008, Comisia a propus un pachet privind eficiena energetic pentru a contribui la meninerea obiectivului UE de 20% economii energetice pn n 2020. Acesta se concentreaz asupra mbuntirilor n legislaia performanelor energetice ale cldirilor i asupra etichetrii energetice, precum i asupra intensificrii punerii n aplicare a directivelor proiectrii ecologice i cogenerrii cu un impact substanial asupra consumului de energie i securitii energetice a Europei. n plus, se pregtete, mpreun cu Banca European de Investiii i alte organizaii financiare o Iniiativ de finanare a energiei regenerabile pentru mobilizarea finanrii pe scar larg, prin pieele de capital, a investiiilor n eficiena energetic, precum i a energiilor regenerabile. n plus, Comisia a propus un amendament la regulamentul Fondului European de Dezvoltare Regional pentru a permite investirea n mbuntirea eficienei energetice i n energii regenerabile pentru locuinele din toate statele membre. Iniiativa privind pieele-pilot a fost adoptat de Comisie n decembrie 2007 pentru stimularea noilor piee prin implementarea de strategii orientate n domenii cum ar fi construcia durabil, reciclarea, produsele ecologice i energia regenerabil. Planul strategic european privind tehnologiile energetice (planul SET), adoptat de ctre Consiliu i Parlamentul European n 2008, urmnd ca o comunicare cu privire la finanarea sa s fie

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adoptat n 2009 va accelera dezvoltarea i preluarea de ctre pia a tehnologiilor energetice de vrf cu emisii sczute de carbon necesare i va impulsiona competitivitatea industriei energetice a UE. Revizuirea directivei privind impozitarea energiei care urmeaz s fie lansat de ctre Comisie la nceputul anului 2009 are drept obiectiv s se asigure c impozitarea energiei este un instrument rentabil i mai favorabil i va oferi statelor membre un cadru complementar la sistemul UE de comercializare a cotelor de emisii. Propunerea asociat de reducere a ratei TVA pentru produsele i serviciile ecologice trebuie s fie adoptat urgent. 3. AGENDA EXTERN

Obiectivul 10: n timp ce se dedic activitilor de ncheiere a negocierilor comerciale multilaterale din Runda Doha, Comunitatea va negocia pe cale bilateral cu principalii si parteneri comerciali n vederea deschiderii de noi perspective pentru comerul i investiiile internaionale, a mbuntirii accesului pe pia prin acordarea unei atenii speciale acelor ri i sectoare unde persist nc obstacole importante i a promovrii cooperrii legislative internaionale. Avnd n vedere condiiile economice actuale, e cu att mai important ca politicile comerciale s acioneze n direcia prevenirii msurilor protecioniste din partea partenerilor notri, care ar putea s submineze, pe termen lung, competitivitatea Uniunii. Dei pe calea obinerii unui acord apar continuu provocri, ncheierea cu succes a rundei Doha rmne cea mai bun cale pentru asigurarea unor condiii egale de concuren i deschiderea unor noi oportuniti de pia, iar Comunitatea rmne pe deplin angajat pentru ndeplinirea acestui obiectiv. Ca urmare a ntlnirii G-20 din noiembrie, efii de state i guvern i-au rennoit angajamentul de a ncheia cu succes negocierile Doha. Atunci cnd exist n continuare obstacole semnificative n calea accesului pe piee, folosirea barierelor normative comerciale ale Comunitii i/sau aciunile n cadrul OMC sunt i vor fi considerate i n continuare drept oportune. n paralel, Comunitatea continu s se angajeze bilateral n relaii cu parteneri comerciali eseniali i s promoveze n continuare integrarea economic regional cu regiunile nconjurtoare, de exemplu prin intermediul Uniunii pentru Mediterana i prin politica de extindere. Acordurile comerciale bilaterale cuprinztoare cu parteneri comerciali eseniali i permit UE s i depeasc angajamentele n cadrul OMC i s includ prevederi ambiioase n ceea ce privete cooperarea legislativ i pur intern. Negocierile cu Coreea de Sud, India i rile Asean progreseaz, chiar dac n ritmuri diferite, i acelai lucru se poate spune despre negocierile cu Consiliul de Cooperare al Golfului i Ucraina. Acordul de parteneriat i cooperare, n curs de negociere cu China, are drept obiectiv mbuntirea accesului la piee i cooperarea legislativ. Mai mult, negocierile care continu privind acordurile de asociere cu Mercosur, Comunitatea Andin i America Central includ capitole importante cu privire la comer i alte dimensiuni. Ca parte a pachetului Lisabona 2008, Comisia a raportat Consiliului European primele rezultate ale strategiei sale rennoite pentru acces pe pia. De asemenea, Comisia a identificat ri i sectoare n care rmn obstacole legislative semnificative i a prezentat modaliti posibile de aciune pentru mbuntirea cooperrii legislative internaionale. Instituirea unui spaiu legislativ comun cu parteneri comerciali majori, de exemplu prin intermediul Consiliului economic transatlantic cu SUA i prin intermediul Mecanismului comercial la nivel nalt cu China contribuie la procesul de armonizare a legislaiei i a standardelor. Este necesar continuarea aciunilor n vederea mbuntirii eficacitii

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sistemului de aplicare a drepturilor de proprietate intelectual (DPI) de combatere a falsificrii i pentru extinderea acordurilor sectoriale existente. Rmn eseniale noi deschideri sectoriale ale pieei, de exemplu un acord n al doilea stadiu al Acordului UE-SUA privind transportul aerian, reformarea angajamentelor n materie de aviaie cu ali parteneri economici eseniali (de exemplu Canada, China i India) i completarea Spaiului aerian comun european cu vecinii UE, de exemplu rile mediteraneene. 4. CONCLUZIE

Punerea n aplicare a PCL progreseaz satisfctor. Totui, mai multe acte legislative importante se afl n ateptare i ar trebui s fie adoptate rapid de ctre instituiile europene, cu prioritate. Mai mult, dup cum se arat n planul de redresare i avnd n vedere circumstanele economice speciale va fi necesar continuarea aciunilor la nivel comunitar. Comisia va raporta cu privire la punerea n aplicare a acestor msuri n raportul de execuie PCL 2009.

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CLP Annex
Key Objectives Achievements since renewed CLP Measures to be adopted by the European Commission Measures to be adopted as priority action by other institutions (EP, Council) Measures to be implemented

Integrated Guidelines 20 (Matching of Labour ,Market needs), 21 (Flexicurity), 23 (Investment in Human Capital), & 24 (Education and training systems)
The Commission will propose a renewed Social Agenda by mid-2008, particularly covering education, migration, and demographic evolutions, and help to address the skills gap by improving the monitoring and forecasting of future skills requirements The renewed Social Agenda is adopted by the Commission in July 2008.. Ensure progressive removal by all MS of transitional restrictions on the free movement of workers from the new Member States (by 2011 at the latest for EU 8 and 2014 for EU 2) DIRECTIVE on minimum requirements for enhancing work mobility by improving the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights (the "Portability Directive"). REGULATION of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems Projected adoption (1st semester 2009) Monitor the implementation of the RECOMMENDATION on the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning Member States are asked to relate national qualifications systems to the EQF by 2010 DIRECTIVE- Monitoring the implementation of the Professional Qualifications Directive Deadline for implementation by Member States:20 October 2007 Promote the implementation of the Recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning through the OMC and report back to EP and Council in 2010 The Commission has adopted a RECOMMENDATION on EU-wide credit system transfer and accumulation systems for vocational training is adopted by the Commission RECOMMENDATION on EU-wide credit system transfer and accumulation systems for vocational training Projected adoption (2nd quarter 2009)

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Key Objectives

Achievements since renewed CLP

Measures to be adopted by the European Commission

Measures to be adopted as priority action by other institutions (EP, Council)


RECOMMENDATION on quality assurance in vocational education and training Projected adoption (2nd quarter 2009)Projected Adoption (May 2009)

Measures to be implemented

The Commission has adopted RECOMMENDATION on quality assurance in vocational education and training is adopted by the Commission "New skills for new jobs" on assessment of future skills requirements and steps to anticipate future needs (December 2008)

EU-wide inventory and monitoring system for ongoing anticipation of future skills requirements in the context of "new skills for new jobs" initiative Implementation in the course of 2008 and 2009 Ensure effective implementation of the Flexicurity common principles including the review "flexicurity: 3 years after".

Integrated Guideline 20 (Matching of Labour Market needs)


Proposal for a DIRECTIVE setting conditions of entry of seasonal workers (end 2008) The Commission will make proposals for a common policy on immigration in 2008 Proposal for amending DIRECTIVE 2004/114 on the conditions of admission of third-country nationals for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service Adoption of SBA principle by Council (December 2008) Proposal for a DIRECTIVE Entry of highly skilled workers; "Blue Card" Projected adoption (May 2009)

Integrated Guideline 15 (SMEs)


The Community will adopt a Small Business Act to unlock the growth potential of SMEs throughout their life-cycle The Small Business Act for Europe was adopted in June 2008 Amendment to the DIRECTIVE on late payments (1st half of 2009) Implementation of the SBA, including the ten guiding principles

DIRECTIVE on reduced VAT rates is adopted by the Commission

DIRECTIVE on reduced VAT rates Projected adoption (2nd half 2010.)

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Key Objectives

Achievements since renewed CLP

Measures to be adopted by the European Commission

Measures to be adopted as priority action by other institutions (EP, Council)

Measures to be implemented

REGULATION on the statute for a European private company is adopted by the Commission

REGULATION on the statute for a European private company Projected adoption (2nd half 2010.)

Integrated Guideline 14 (Better regulation)


Rolling SIMPLIFICATION PROGRAMME (20062009) including 119 actions out of 180 are adopted by the Commission Commission proposed to reduce administrative burdens following administrative burden mapping and measurement of EC legislation and related transposition measures (2007-2008) in 13 priority areas. Proposals in 2008-2010. Commission proposed for 11 new fast track actions for reducing administrative burden XXX Proposals comitology for Fast Track Actions in Rolling SIMPLIFICATION PROGRAMME (20062009) remaining 61 actions 48 Pending proposals from SIMPLIFICATION PROGRAMME (2006-2009)

The Community will move towards the target to reduce EU administrative burdens by 25 % by 2012 and implement an ambitious simplification programme

XXX pending proposals for Fast Track Actions

Integrated Guidelines 9 (Information Society), 12 (Internal Market) &13 (Open Markets)


The Community will strengthen the single market, increase competition in services, and take further steps to integrate the financial services market DIRECTIVE Revision of the regulatory framework for electronic communications and services Projected adoption (2009) Market monitoring in key markets DIRECTIVE amending Directive 97/67/EC concerning the full accomplishment of the internal market of Community postal services (Implementation 2011/ 2013) DIRECTIVES - Third Package on Rail (Implementation by 2009)

DIRECTIVE on services in the internal market -

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Key Objectives

Achievements since renewed CLP

Measures to be adopted by the European Commission

Measures to be adopted as priority action by other institutions (EP, Council)

Measures to be implemented
Implementation by the MSs 28 December 2009

Actions to improve implementation of single market following Communication on the application of Community Law (SMR) Proposals to allow companies to choose an EU-wide tax base (3rd Q 2008) Follow up of Retail banking (including payment cards and payment systems) and Business Insurance Sector Inquiries Measures to promote the creation of an EU mortgage credit market following a communication (White paper 19/12/07) Commission adopted a proposal for DIRECTIVE amending Directive 85/611 on EU harmonised investment funds- UCITS

Projected adoption (2009)

DIRECTIVE amending Directive 85/611 on EU harmonised investment funds- UCITS Projected adoption (second quarter 2009).

DIRECTIVE - Monitoring Implementation of MiFiD- Entered in force 1 November 2007 SEPA payment scheme for credit transfers is launched Measures to ensure the realisation of Single Payments Area following a communication ( 2009) Measures for New Internal Market Package for Goods is adopted by the Council

Commission adopted a \proposal for REGULATION on Credit Rating Agencies

Proposal for REGULATION on Credit Rating Agencies

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Key Objectives

Achievements since renewed CLP

Measures to be adopted by the European Commission


Strengthening EU arrangements for financial stability, through review of cooperation obligations, (End 2008)

Measures to be adopted as priority action by other institutions (EP, Council)

Measures to be implemented

The Commission has adopted the Accounting standards: of IFRS applicable in the EU as of 17.10.2008

Accounting standards: of IFRS applicable in the EU as of 17.10.2008

The Commission has adopted the Amendment to IAS 39 and IFRS 7 "Reclassification of Financial Assets

The Amendment to IAS 39 and "Reclassification of Financial Assets

IFRS

The Commission has adopted amendments to Directive on Deposit Guarantee Schemes (1994/19/EC)

Amendments to Directive on Deposit Guarantee Schemes (1994/19/EC)

DIRECTIVE Solvency II -on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance Projected adoption (End 2008) The Commission has adopted Amendments to Directive 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC on Capital Requirements DIRECTIVE - Amendments to Directive 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC on Capital Requirements Projected adoption (April 2009)

Integrated Guideline 7 (R&D)


The Community will make the "fifth freedom" (the free movement of knowledge) a reality and create a genuine European Research area. The Commission has adopted: 'Better careers and more mobility: a European partnership for researchers' COM 2008 (317) Promotion of open innovation and knowledge sharing between public research organisations and industry by making the European Institute of Innovation and Technology fully operational. Implementing the partnership between the Member States and the EC based on "Better Careers and more mobility: a European partnership for researchers" COM 2008 (317)

The Commission has adopted the recommendation on the management of intellectual property in

Implementing the partnership between the Member States and the EC based on the

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Key Objectives

Achievements since renewed CLP


knowledge transfer activities and the Code of Practice for universities and other public research organisations. C(2008) 1329

Measures to be adopted by the European Commission

Measures to be adopted as priority action by other institutions (EP, Council)

Measures to be implemented
Commission Recommendation on the management of Intellectual Property Rights in knowledge transfer activities and a Code of Practice for Universities and other Public Research Organisations C(2008) 1329 Implementing the partnership between the Member States and the EC for a Strategic European Framework for international S&T Cooperation based on. COM (2008) 588

The Commission has adopted: 'A strategic European Framework for International Science and Technology Cooperation COM (2008) 588 The Commission has adopted "Towards Joint Programming in Research: working together to tackle common challenges more effectively" COM (2008) 468 The Commission has adopted a proposal for a Regulation on the Community legal framework for a European Research Infrastructure (ERI) COM (2008) 467

RECOMMENDATIONS - aimed at launching joint programming initiatives Projected adoption (end 2009 and 2010) Framework REGULATION legal framework for pan-European research infrastructures Projected adoption December 2008

Integrated Guideline 8 (Innovation)


The Community will improve the framework conditions for innovation, in particular for venture capital and intellectual property rights. Analysis of direct tax obstacles for venture capital investments and the possibility for an EU private placement regime (End 2008) COUNCIL REGULATION on the Community Patent and additional measures to set up an EU wide jurisdictional system for patent litigation Projected adoption (2010) JEREMIE: The Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises initiative Coordinated national action and follow-up at Community level to increase mutual recognition of national frameworks for venture capital investments.

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Key Objectives

Achievements since renewed CLP

Measures to be adopted by the European Commission

Measures to be adopted as priority action by other institutions (EP, Council)

Measures to be implemented
EIF - The High Growth and Innovative SME Facility (GIF): risk capital for innovative SMEs in their early stages (GIF1- 255m) and in their expansion phase (GIF2- 299 m) EIF- The SME Guarantee Facility, providing loan guarantees to encourage banks to make more debt finance available to SMEs, (506 m) EIF-The Seed Capital Action and the Partnership Action: helping to reinforce the capacity of financial intermediaries to invest in and lend to SMEs. (69 m)

Integrated Guidelines 11 (Environment), 12 (Internal Market) 13 (Open Markets) & 16 (Infrastructure)


The Community will complete the internal market for energy and adopt the climate change package in order to put in place the framework to achieve at least a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and reach a 20% Renewables energy share by 2020. The Commission adopted the Climate Change and the Renewable Energy Packages. REVISION regulation of TEN-E guidelines and TEN

(2010) The Commission has proposed a new EU Energy Security and Solidarity Action Plan REVISION of regulation 736/96 on notifying projects to the Community in the petroleum, natural gas and electricity sector (2009) REVISION of security of gas supply directive (2010) DIRECTIVE amending Directive 2003/54/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity Projected adoption(Mid 2009) DIRECTIVE amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas Projected adoption (Mid 2009)

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Key Objectives

Achievements since renewed CLP

Measures to be adopted by the European Commission

Measures to be adopted as priority action by other institutions (EP, Council)


REGULATION establishing an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators Projected adoption (Mid 2009) REGULATION amending Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity Projected adoption (Mid 2009) REGULATION amending Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks Projected adoption (Mid 2009)

Measures to be implemented

REVISION of the Energy Efficiency Action Plan (2010) Follow up measures to the energy sector inquiry

Integrated Guidelines 10 (Industrial Base) & 11 (Environment)


The Community will promote an industrial policy geared towards more sustainable production and consumption, focusing on renewable energies and low-carbon and resource-efficient products, services and technologies. Legislative proposals following the "Sustainable industrial policy/Sustainable consumption policy", notably extension of EUP Directive Projected adoption (March 2010) DIRECTIVE recasting the directive on the energy performance of buildings The Commission adopted the Energy Efficiency Package on the energy performance of buildings and on energy labelling. of tyres and energy labelling and product information by energy-related products DIRECTIVE - on labelling of tyres with respect to fuel efficiency and other essential parameters DIRECTIVE - on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products

The Commission adopted SCP/SIP Action Plan in July 2008 to promote the establishment of an internal market for environmental technologies

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Key Objectives

Achievements since renewed CLP


The Commission adopted in December 2007 the lead markets initiative to promote the development of European lead markets for energy/resource efficient technology The Commission adopted the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), aimed at an accelerated development and wide-scale application of clean, sustainable and efficient energy technologies The Commission has adopted a DIRECTIVE Amending the Emission Trading Directive, 2003/87/EC

Measures to be adopted by the European Commission

Measures to be adopted as priority action by other institutions (EP, Council)

Measures to be implemented

DIRECTIVE - Amending the Emission Trading Directive, 2003/87/EC Projected adoption (May 2009) Legislative proposal on Carbon Capture and Geological Storage (CCS) Projected adoption (May 2009) Proposal for a DIRECTIVE - Review of the Energy Taxation Directive (4th Q 2008)

The Commission has adopted Legislative proposal on Carbon Capture and Geological Storage (CCS)

The Commission has adopted DIRECTIVE on the promotion of renewable energy Nine Commission Regulations setting eco-design requirements (through Comitology): simple set-top boxes; external power supplies; tertiary sector lighting equipment; domestic sector lighting equipment; water heaters; washing machines; dishwashers; domestic refrigerators and freezers; and televisions Five Commission Directives (through Comitology) implementing the energy labelling directive for water heaters; washing machines; dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers; and televisions

DIRECTIVE on the promotion of renewable energy (Projected adoption First half of 2009)

Revision of DIRECTIVES on Energy labelling and household appliances

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Key Objectives

Achievements since renewed CLP

Measures to be adopted by the European Commission


(2008) Measures to strengthen the Public Procurement of high-performance environmentally-friendly products, technologies and services-following communication (Green Public Procurement (1st Q 2008 )

Measures to be adopted as priority action by other institutions (EP, Council)

Measures to be implemented

- 7th Framework Programme (2007-13): 2.3 billion for energy, 1.8 billion for environment (including climate change) - Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) (2007-13), Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP) 430 million for eco-innovation and Intelligent Energy for Europe (IEE) 730 million

Integrated Guideline 13 (Open Markets)


International Agreement - Conclusion of the most important bilateral FTAs (ASEAN, India, South Korea) International Agreement - New Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with China Bilateral Cooperation EU-USA- Transatlantic Economic Council Bilateral regulatory cooperation with US, Japan, China and Russia EU-US Action Strategy on IPR enforcement Multi-party Agreement - Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

Whilst working to conclude the Doha multilateral trade negotiations, the Community will negotiate bilaterally with key trading partners to open up new opportunities for international trade and investment, improve market access focussing on countries and sectors where significant barriers remain, and create a common space of regulatory provisions and standards.

Monitoring and strengthening of spending on Growth and Jobs (earmarking)

European Cohesion Policy Funds (mid-term review


2010)

European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development


(mid-term review 2010)

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Key Objectives

Achievements since renewed CLP

Measures to be adopted by the European Commission

Measures to be adopted as priority action by other institutions (EP, Council)

Measures to be implemented
Lifelong learning Programme European Globalisation Adjustment Fund

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COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES

Brussels,

Implementation of the Lisbon Strategy Structural Reforms in the context of the European Economic Recovery Plan: Annual country assessments a detailed overview of progress made with the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy reforms in Member States in 2008

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION...................................................................................................................... 4 BELGIUM.................................................................................................................................. 5 BULGARIA ............................................................................................................................... 9 THE CZECH REPUBLIC........................................................................................................ 14 DENMARK.............................................................................................................................. 18 GERMANY.............................................................................................................................. 22 ESTONIA................................................................................................................................. 26 IRELAND ................................................................................................................................ 30 GREECE .................................................................................................................................. 34 SPAIN ...................................................................................................................................... 38 FRANCE .................................................................................................................................. 42 ITALY...................................................................................................................................... 46 CYPRUS .................................................................................................................................. 50 LATVIA ................................................................................................................................... 54 LITHUANIA............................................................................................................................ 58 LUXEMBOURG...................................................................................................................... 62 HUNGARY.............................................................................................................................. 66 MALTA.................................................................................................................................... 70 THE NETHERLANDS ............................................................................................................ 74 AUSTRIA................................................................................................................................. 78 POLAND.................................................................................................................................. 82 PORTUGAL............................................................................................................................. 86 ROMANIA............................................................................................................................... 90

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SLOVENIA.............................................................................................................................. 95 SLOVAKIA ............................................................................................................................. 99 FINLAND .............................................................................................................................. 103 SWEDEN ............................................................................................................................... 107 UNITED KINGDOM............................................................................................................. 111 EURO AREA MEMBER STATES ....................................................................................... 115

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INTRODUCTION In 2005, the Lisbon Strategy was streamlined and renewed and the focus placed firmly on growth and employment. New governance structures were established, based on a clear partnership between the Community and Member States. As part of the partnership, all Member States have drawn up National Reform Programmes (NRPs) setting out their response to the particular challenges facing them. They also submit implementation reports to the Commission, detailing progress made on their key challenges. In the context of this partnership, the Commission each year assesses progress made by Member States with the implementation of structural reforms as set out in their NRPs and, more recently, in their action plans responding to the Council's country specific recommendations. The economic conditions in the European Union have recently worsened significantly as a result of the global financial crisis, whose effects are being felt in the wider economy. At the request of the European Council, the Commission at the end of November submitted a European Economic Recovery Plan1, which the European Council in December 2008 agreed to. To take account of the exceptional situation, as part of its yearly country assessments in the framework of the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs, the Commission has on 28th January 2009 adopted a recommendation for a Council recommendation on the "Implementation of the Lisbon Strategy Structural Reforms in the context of the European Economic Recovery Plan - Annual country assessments"2. This recommendation translates the principles of the European Economic Recovery Plan into specific policy advice for each Member State in the form of updated country-specific recommendations under the Treaty (Art. 99 and 128) issued as in previous years to assess progress accomplished by Member States in implementing the recommendations formulated in the framework of the Lisbon strategy for growth and jobs. It calls on Member States to swiftly implement these recommendations to address the crisis and strengthen the future growth potential of the European economy. According to the Treaty provisions, the recommendations should be endorsed by the European Council and then adopted by the Council. In support of the above-mentioned recommendation, this Commission paper provides a more detailed overview of progress made with the implementation of the Lisbon Strategy reforms in Member States in 2008. Given the rapidly changing economic environment, it contains information on reforms taken and progress made until the end of 2008.

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COM (2008) 800 COM (2009) 34

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BELGIUM
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The Belgian National Reform Programme (NRP) provides detail of the measures recently taken to respond to the areas the Council recommended Belgium should focus upon. The NRP also gives some indications on future initiatives, but the lack of expected budgetary impacts and timeframes for these initiatives make it very difficult to assess if these measures will be sufficient to tackle Belgiums structural reform challenges. Structural funds programming has resulted in high Lisbon earmarking, but it is too early to demonstrate progress in implementation. Nevertheless, the funds evidently support areas highlighted by these priorities. The NRP results from intense interaction between the federal and regional authorities. The Federal Parliament is invited to make its contribution and a draft version is presented for consultation to the social partners via the Central Economic Council and the National Labour Council. New procedures covering the transposition of directives and the impact on administrative burden of new measures permit the systematic follow-up of progress. In the light of the following assessment Belgium should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: long-term sustainability of public finances, R&D performance, and Belgiums wage development in relation to its neighbours.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. Belgiums macro-economic challenges remain the sustainability of public finances and competitiveness. Ensuring in the medium term the sustainability of public finances effectively means containing expenditure in order to build up increasing structural primary budgetary surpluses and to reduce the high government debt level. To increase employment and secure Belgium's competitiveness, the tax wedge on labour needs to be reduced further, while wage moderation through an efficient wage formation system is also needed. The Council recommended that Belgium further reduce its tax burden on labour, especially the tax wedge on low skilled workers, while strengthening fiscal consolidation. The 2008 budget extended existing labour tax reductions and included a number of additional ones such as an increase in the amount of tax-exempt income for low and average-income workers, a higher reduction of individual social contributions for low-income workers and, for workers resident in the Flemish Region, a fixed-rate reduction of income tax. Although these measures led to a decline of the tax wedge, more is needed to increase the employment rate, in particular of the low-paid.

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The Council recommended that euro area countries align wage and productivity developments. Belgiums 1996 competitiveness law provides a mechanism for wage moderation but, since the introduction of the law, Belgian salaries have exceeded those in neighbouring countries. In 2008, the slippage was particularly important as a result of the indexation of wages to Belgiums comparatively high inflation rate. Social partners should ensure that past slippages are corrected in the future, as specified in this law (and specified in the NRP). The Council also referred to the need to focus on the long-term sustainability of public finances. In spite of initial steps taken in recent years (for example, the Generation Pact), age-related spending in Belgium is projected to increase by 6.3 percentage points of GDP between 2004 and 2050, significantly above the EUaverage. Plans for fiscal consolidation in consecutive updates of Belgiums Stability Programme have only been partly achieved, even in years of above trend economic growth. Additional measures are thus needed, including growth and productivity enhancing reforms encompassing the welfare system and product and labour markets.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 8. The long-term sustainability of public finance requires productivity growth of 1.8% after 2012, even though productivity only increased 1.0% per year on average between 2002 and 2007. Policies that could improve Belgiums productivity include improving the R&D and innovation framework, the educational system and lifelong learning, and increasing the competitiveness of companies through administrative simplification, better regulation and effective competition policies. The Council referred to the need to increase substantially R&D spending and its impact through a coordinated policy mix. R&D intensity has stagnated and is currently just over 1.8% of GDP (2006), the same level as in 1997. Considerable efforts to raise public investment in R&D have not resulted in increased R&D intensity and momentum seems to be slowing. The Federal government does not foresee major new initiatives except for a further limited decline in the tax burden for researchers. Regional governments are focusing on strengthening existing measures. The research system could be made more efficient by coordinating better the policy mix between the various levels of government. The Council also referred to the urgent need to improve competition in Belgiums gas and electricity markets. The legal framework and the incumbents market power hamper competition in the wholesale, short-term balancing and retail markets for gas and electricity. As a result, Belgiums gas and electricity prices have risen much faster than average across the euro area in 2008. This explains up to 80% of Belgiums current overall inflation differential of over 1.5 percentage points with the euro area. Gas and electricity price inflation has adverse impacts on wage negotiations, erodes the purchasing power of households and undermines the economys competitiveness. Although the competence of the regulator has been reinforced, it cannot decide independently or regulate certain distribution and network tariffs. The regulators limited power, contractual congestion and the lack of entry point and gas storage capacity limit gas market competition. Meanwhile, public service obligations to distributors for the provision of energy in Brussels remain an

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entry barrier. Since the problems in this sector affect the entire economy and the policy response is inadequate, this issue demands greater policy attention. 11. The announced SME action plan should strengthen SMEs important role in Belgium. Simplification and measurement of administrative burden has made substantial progress over the last few years. Further progress could be made by setting a target to reduce the administrative burden, broadening impact assessment tools, and implementing the Services Directive. Further efforts are encouraged to reinforce sectoral regulators and open up public procurement markets. Belgium has taken initiatives that make progress on environmental sustainability. Implementing these initiatives could contribute to a further decline in greenhouse gas emissions and increase the share of renewable energies from low levels.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 13. Belgiums labour market is characterised by regional employment disparities, a high number of job vacancies and low labour mobility. In addition, Belgium's ageing population will result in a declining relative share of workers of prime-age, putting downward pressure on labour productivity growth and potential output. While not explicitly defining a flexicurity pathway, Belgium's Implementation Report describes recent initiatives taken on all four components. These initiatives build on a large set of measures approved at different moments and at national and regional level. There is thus an urgent need for coordination and simplification to come to a coherent set of structural measures that are balanced between the four components of flexicurity. Within this approach attention should focus on encouraging lifelong learning, facilitating work-to-work transitions and integrating groups that remain under-represented on the labour market. The Council recommended that Belgium enhance its labour market participation, lower regional disparities and increase participation in lifelong learning through an integrated flexicurity approach. Although the employment rate increased from 61% in 2006 to 62% in 2007, employment growth remained below the EU average. Total employment remains low due to a variety of reasons including the low level of labour market participation, poor efficiency in matching people to jobs, insufficient labour market relevance of education and training, and a lack of both geographical and functional mobility. Long unemployment benefit duration, together with a limited difference between short-term and long-term benefit levels, also reduces labour market transitions. Something that it particularly important in the current climate. Initial steps have been taken to encourage labour market entry and a more efficient matching of demand and supply. Measures were taken to promote geographical mobility in order to reduce regional disparities and to encourage lifelong learning, although substantial results are still awaited. Tackling the challenge of Belgiums ageing population will necessitate coherent, decisive action to reach the EU's and the government's employment targets. The Council also referred to the need to increase the employment rate for older workers and disadvantaged groups. The labour market participation of disadvantaged groups, in particular older persons and people with a migrant background, continues to be very low, representing a significant untapped potential workforce. Although

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some measures were taken in this area important challenges remain in view of the future unfavourable trend in the working age population and the possible impact on economic growth and public finances. It is therefore necessary to accelerate and strengthen measures to broaden the Belgian labour market. Because the employment and unemployment rate gaps between EU and those with a migrant background remain very high and measures taken are insufficient, this issue demands much more policy focus. 17. The activation policy pursued since 2004 to encourage the unemployed to step up job search efforts was accompanied by stricter controls. An evaluation concludes that this policy has had a positive impact on labour market participation. The scheme could therefore be strengthened, especially in regions with the worst labour market problems, and also extended to other specific target groups. It is also important to take structural reform measures that safeguard the traditional robustness of the Belgian social security system.

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BULGARIA
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. Bulgaria's economic and social development remains hampered by weak public administration, both at the central and local level, and by an inefficient judiciary system. Ineffective oversight by regulatory and supervisory authorities results in a failure to tackle non-competitive market behaviour. Corruption still affects the business environment and access to and quality of the public services. In this context Bulgaria presented a report on the implementation of the Action Plan under the Strategy for Transparent Governance and for Prevention and Counteraction of Corruption. Progress in this area is monitored through the cooperation and verification mechanism under which the Commission drafts regular progress reports. The Council recommended Bulgaria to urgently strengthen administrative capacity. Progress however has been limited. Whilst Bulgaria has attempted to reduce the size of the public sector by an across-the-board cut of some 12% of civil service posts, this seems to have been done in a rather arbitrary way without at the same time improving the quality and efficiency of the public sector. Problem analysis, conceptual development and enforcement of policies remain weak. Pending the compliance assessment of financial management structure, the Commission has had to suspend the payment of Structural Funds. Further significant improvements on these aspects remain urgently needed. A planned independent review of the public administration, to be undertaken by the World Bank, should lead to a blueprint for a more effective public administration and the steps needed to achieve this. Such reform should be comprehensive, clearly identify priorities, match public sector needs to available resources, and look at ways of raising the efficiency and independence of the civil service by changes to the legal framework and management practices. Political recognition of the need to speed up reforms as part of the Lisbon Strategy is fairly recent. In mid-October, the Prime Minister announced an Action Plan to address the country-specific recommendations, focusing mainly on reducing inflation, enhancing administrative capacity, improving the functioning of markets, and cutting red tape. A number of these measures have in the meantime been implemented which should have a positive impact on the strength of the Bulgarian economy. Ownership of the Lisbon strategy has recently significantly improved with regular discussions in the Council of Ministers and oversight at the level of deputy-prime ministers, particularly with regard to the design and implementation of the Action Plan. Awareness of the Lisbon strategy has improved through the organisation of conferences involving government, social partners and other stakeholders with the assistance of the Commission. However, the Bulgarian authorities need to invest more in raising awareness and pursuing a constructive dialogue with stakeholders. Also, parliament must be involved more closely.

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In the light of the following assessment Bulgaria should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain: long-term sustainability of public finances, effective powers of the competition and other regulatory authorities, R&D performance, undeclared work; adult participation in training, and energy efficiency.

PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. Despite a continued tight fiscal stance, Bulgaria's demand-driven boom has come at the expense of high external imbalances and overheating, putting its future growth path at risk. Tackling these macro-economic imbalances has become even more urgent given the current financial and economic crisis, and in order to facilitate the management of the currency board. The Council recommended Bulgaria to contain the current account deficit and inflationary pressures, in particular by implementing a tight fiscal policy, improving the quality of public expenditure and promoting wage moderation in order to keep wage developments in line with productivity gains. Bulgaria has continued to conduct a sound fiscal policy and as part of its Action plan has committed to stick to its tight fiscal stance in the medium term, which are welcome developments. The budgetary surplus is projected to have exceeded the end-year target of 3% of GDP in 2008. However, the government has contributed to overall high wage increases and inflationary pressures by substantially raising the public wage bill and pensions. The Action Plan contains measures that may prove useful, such as legislation to enhance competition and energy efficiency, but is not ambitious enough to preserve and boost the country's overall competitiveness curbing domestic demand pressure. Additional measures promoting wage moderation and preventing ad hoc spending at the end of the budgetary year are also needed. Even though credit growth has begun to slow, public expenditure growth will need to be contained in order to reduce the high current account deficit, which is no longer fully covered by foreign direct investment. With an ageing and shrinking population, and relatively low levels of labour participation, Bulgaria faces an important demographic challenge to its long-term financial sustainability. It is important to continue with health and pension reforms, in particular to ensure the adequacy and sustainability of pensions where progress has been limited. After significant delays the Parliament has finally adopted a law on establishing a reserve fund. However, following a revision of the pension calculation formula, pensions have recently been further significantly increased while social security contributions were reduced. In 2009 the state has been included as a third contributor towards pension insurance, covering more than 1/3 of these contributions. Faced with the risk of an economic slowdown, this financing will place significant pressure on the budget, and thus further affect the long-term sustainability of public finances. Progress on healthcare reform has been limited, with a national health strategy being adopted only recently.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES

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Bulgaria's main micro-economic challenge is to reform a business environment that is hampered by red tape resulting from extensive over-regulation at national and local level, and too numerous and lengthy delays in obtaining permits and authorisations. Some have estimated that businesses spent around 20% of their time on compliance. A large part of administrative burdens result from measures taken at local level, often in contravention of national law. The business environment also suffers from the lengthy time needed to settle contractual and legal disputes and continued corruption. Bulgaria's competitiveness also suffers from market entry barriers, particularly in network industries, and poor transport, energy and telecommunications infrastructure. As Bulgaria is the most energy-intensive economy in the Union, it is particularly vulnerable to energy price shocks. Bulgaria has, as part of its Action Plan, announced some encouraging short-term actions to address these challenges. Effective implementation and monitoring of these policies is now essential. In 2008 the Council recommended Bulgaria to adopt and implement measures to substantially cut red tape and improve the business environment. By way of response Bulgaria has introduced the long-awaited centralised electronic commercial register to reduce the number of procedures demanded in order to start up a company, and to increase transparency by obliging re-registration of all existing companies. Despite important teething problems, the registry seems now to be working smoothly. However, there remains a considerable backlog to be processed before the registry will be fully operational. In addition, earlier this year, the Prime Minister presented a better regulation programme, which included a commitment to eliminate or simplify more than a dozen of rules by December 2008, some of which appear to be rather sector-specific. However, actual simplification has been regularly delayed. In its Action Plan, Bulgaria committed, by the end of the year, to draw up a list of the most burdensome measures to business to be simplified or removed. The Action Plan also commits that Bulgaria will, by March 2009, eliminate local illegal regimes, adopt an administrative burden reduction target, launch an administrative register, extend the time-period for consultation and create a framework for impact assessments for new legislation. The actual impact of these measures will depend on their effective implementation and whilst the central government's legal action to tackle local regimes is an important first step, more fundamental measures are called for to address the root of the problem. A more strategic approach will be needed from standard public consultation on any new measures to systematic efforts to simplifying existing measures. The recent surge of inflation exposed low levels of competition in network industries, wholesale markets, and in a range of other service and products markets. The Council called on Bulgaria to create all the necessary pre-conditions for strong competition in network industries. Progress, however, has been slow. There is still no effective competition in telecom services where the incumbent operator continues to enjoy a quasi monopoly. There is only limited competition in the energy sector where until recently prices were kept artificially low and not based on real costs. Measures announced in the Action Plan to review prices of utility services and establish an energy stock exchange should be implemented urgently.

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The competition and other regulatory authorities so far lacked the powers and administrative efficiency to ensure effective competition in the market. Therefore, the recent adoption of legislation to bring the competition authorities' powers in line with EU rules, as foreseen by the Action Plan, is a welcome development. The Action Plan also announces measures to expand the competition authorities' powers to monitor risk companies and market segments where competition rules and consumers' rights are often violated. Effective implementation, translating into a significant increase in the number of investigations in key sectors, will require a much more pro-active attitude of the competition and other regulatory authorities which will in turn depend on greater independence, more effective management, and in some cases, an increase in qualified resources. The Council also referred to the need for elaborating an integrated policy for R&D and innovation, notably aimed at reforming the public system, and shifting public support to R & D towards more competitive funding focused on key priorities. Whilst Bulgaria has presented a draft R&D strategy and introduced some measures to make public R&D more relevant for industry and attract private funds, it does not tackle the real challenges, notably reforming public institutions, particularly the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and focusing scarce resources on only a limited number of priorities where Bulgaria has specific strengths. The planned increase in public R&D spending should be made conditional on improving the efficiency of the R&D system. Little progress has been achieved in rolling out ICT and introducing egovernment, which is an important source of innovation and productivity. Stronger competition and further measures are needed if Bulgaria is to improve upon the lowest level of broadband take up in the EU. Improving Bulgaria's transport infrastructures is a key and urgent prerequisite for the country's economic development. It is for this reason that close to a quarter of cohesion funds has been assigned to this objective. However, weak uncoordinated and inefficient administration, as well as corruption, has led to substantial delays in rolling-out projects. These challenges need to be tackled with the utmost urgency and as a first priority the road infrastructure agency should be re-organised. Urgent improvements in energy efficiency would help raise Bulgaria's competitiveness, cut significant energy losses during transformation, and reduce its high external energy dependency. Given the large scope for energy savings, policy initiatives undertaken so far have not been sufficiently ambitious. Particularly important is the need to renovate buildings and industrial sites and apply the highest standards for insulation for new construction. The recent adoption of a law on energy efficiency, which is part of the Action Plan, is a modest first step that should be rapidly implemented.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 20. As a result of high growth and emigration, the labour market has tightened considerably in 2008, resulting in average wage increases of the order of 20 to 25%, well in excess of productivity growth. This in turn has fuelled inflation and eroded Bulgaria's competitiveness. It has thus become even more urgent for Bulgaria to address the Council's recommendation to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of active labour market policies and further reform the education system to provide skills that better match labour market needs and reduce early school leaving.

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Adequate activation, job search assistance and counselling, and retraining of unemployed workers will remain key policy tools in the context of possible worker redundancies in the short to medium-term. Bulgaria should make full use of ESF assistance to promote employability. Bulgaria has begun to reflect on implementing the flexicurity principles and has committed to defining its flexicurity 'pathway' by the end of 2008. 21. International assessments show that Bulgaria's educational performance has been declining over the past years. For example, about half of 15-year olds have poor reading scores. More than 20% of pupils leave school without qualifications. To counter these developments, Bulgaria has implemented a number of substantive measures: quality assurance mechanisms and general performance evaluation have been introduced, school financing has been decentralised and linked to performance and a system of differentiated pay and teacher training has been set up. Additional efforts will be necessary regarding general and vocational school curricula that remains insufficiently adapted to labour market needs, and to the needs of minorities, especially Roma. The Council also called for the completion of Bulgaria's lifelong learning strategy and increased participation. The strategy was recently adopted and implementation now remains the key challenge as participation and investment levels in life-long learning remain very low. The response to the Council's recommendation on labour market activation has been more limited. Activation policies need further streamlining and, taking account of the results of a needs analysis to be conducted by the end of 2008 must be targeted more closely on vulnerable groups, particularly the young (who suffer from the highest unemployment levels in the EU). This can be done by facilitating their transition into employment, for example through job placements and training. In the Action Plan the government committed to launching a package of youth policy measures, starting in 2009. A number of successful pilot projects should be mainstreamed. Measures to modernise job search services have been introduced (including services adapted to the Roma) but levels of efficiency and resources of the Public Employment Services remains low. A mechanism to improve skills matching by monitoring employers' short-to-mid-term skills needs is still under discussion. As part of its Action Plan, Bulgaria is considering legislation to extend the activities of temporary work agencies. If implemented these could improve the quality of employment service provision, have a positive impact on labour market flexibility, and stimulate part-time work (which is the lowest in the EU). The Council also called on Bulgaria to tackle undeclared work by strengthening institutional capacity to perform inspections and ensure legal enforcement. While significant measures have been enacted in 2008 focusing on revenue collection, their impact remains to be assessed. Stronger cooperation between labour inspectorates and revenue collection authorities is necessary in order to intensify controls further and put in place sufficiently dissuasive penalties.

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THE CZECH REPUBLIC


OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The Czech government adopted a new National Reform Programme (NRP) for 20082010 that broadly confirms the previous reform priorities for addressing major economic challenges. The NRP contains a list of actions that address these challenges to some extent but a more detailed elaboration of timetable and budget would have been welcome. The resources provided by the Structural Funds have significantly contributed to the implementation of reforms. Their implementation is closely linked to the governance of the NRP. Structural Funds programmes for 20072013 are earmarked to a large extent towards Lisbon priorities. The preparation of the NRP was coordinated by the Office of the vice-prime minister for European Affairs. Economic and social partners, representatives of regions and non-government organizations were involved in the preparation and discussion of the Programme. However, trade unions did not feel able to support this NRP. In the light of the following assessment the Czech Republic should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important:: protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, ICT, access to finance for innovative companies, implementation and application of EU legislation; position of disadvantaged groups on the labour market, gender pay gap, and regional labour market mobility.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. Given the Czech Republics rapidly ageing population, the NRP identifies fiscal stabilisation and the long-term sustainability of public finances as the main macroeconomic challenges. Ageing will have a significant impact on public finances via a projected large increase in pension and health care expenditure and will impact on economic growth potential by shrinking the share of the working-age population. The budget deficit was substantially reduced in 2007 on the back of strong growth, falling unemployment and government expenditure restraint. Despite the slowdown in 2008, the deficit should not increase significantly given the positive balance of expenditure and revenue measures in the stabilisation package. The introduction of health charges for consultations, basic medicines and hospitalisation will further contribute to budgetary savings. The Council recommended that the Czech Republic reform pension and health care systems with a view to improving the long-term sustainability of public finances. The first stage of the pension reform involved increasing the retirement age to 65 by 2030 and extending the minimum contribution period required for a full pension from 25

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to 35 years. This was approved by the Parliament in July 2008. As part of the health care reform, health care charges were introduced as of 2008 but further reforms, aimed at introducing competition in the health care system, are still under consideration. Whilst further action may well be required, these reforms will improve the prospects of ensuring the long-term sustainability of public finances. MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. The Czech Republic confirms that its main micro-economic challenge is to improve its R&D and innovation performance to move towards a knowledge and qualitybased economy. This also demands an improved business environment, including better access to finance and enforcement of intellectual property rights and a continued increase in the use of ICT and e-government. The progress towards the 2006 and 2008 Spring European Council commitments on knowledge, entrepreneurship and energy needs to be accelerated. The Council recommended that the Czech Republic take steps to improve R&D collaboration and the level and effectiveness of R&D investment. There has been progress towards reaching the overall R&D target of 2.06% of the GDP by 2010 thanks in particular to increased Structural Funds allocations, and to increases in private expenditure stimulated by tax incentives. However, the tax incentives are limited to R&D expenditure that is entirely financed in-house, which may discourage research collaboration, and SMEs with a low level of resources from investing in R&D. National public R&D expenditure as a percentage of GDP has stagnated. To encourage progress more ambitious actions are needed to enhance collaboration among business, universities and R&D institutions, to increase the national public R&D spending, to up-grade R&D infrastructure, and to provide adequately skilled personnel for R&D activities. Progress towards the effective enforcement of intellectual property rights has been limited, although Structural Funds projects do aim at raising awareness and alleviating patent costs. The use of European and international patents remains limited and needs further promotion. ICT up-take is progressing, with broadband penetration having reached 14.6%. However, the relatively low ICT use by citizens remains to be addressed. Good performance has been achieved in providing egovernment services to businesses and the introduction of the e-government act will increase efficiency of government services, but further progress is needed to streamline and interconnect public registers and facilitate the use of electronic certificates. Important steps towards enhancing the business environment were taken in 2008 through the enforcement of the long-pending trade licensing and bankruptcy acts. However, the timely and effective implementation and application of EU legislation needs urgent attention, since the Czech Republic has the highest transposition deficit in the EU. Structural Fund allocations for R&D and innovation have increased. However, a general lack of finance for innovative companies persists. The current economic climate highlights the urgency of measures to improve conditions for entrepreneurial activity, including for small and medium-sized enterprises. Starting and running a business needs to be further developed by simplifying currently lengthy procedures to help facilitate recruitment. Entrepreneurship education has been introduced as a horizontal element in most school curricula, representing a good

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policy response, although the full implementation in vocational and grammar schools needs to be monitored. Notwithstanding past progress in bringing the better regulation agenda forward, focus should now be on more rigorous and effective implementation of the various initiatives. EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 11. Employment developments in the Czech Republic have been favourable over many years and in 2008 the employment rate reached its highest level (66.6%) since 1996. This is now putting a tightening labour market under pressure. The main labour market challenge for the Czech Republic is therefore to reduce labour shortages and skills gaps. This requires greater flexibility, mobility and employability, and an education system that can adapt to future labour market needs. In this context, a high youth unemployment rate, very low levels of labour market participation of women with young children, and a high share of the unemployed that are long-term unemployed all indicate considerable potential for further increases in skills and labour supply. The NRP defines no explicit flexicurity approach, although it presents plans for measures in all four areas. The most visible progress is seen in modernising social security systems, with increased work-incentives and a declining benefit dependency. However, active labour market policies are still small-scale and not sufficiently targeted towards disadvantaged groups. The participation of adults in lifelong learning, especially older people and the low skilled, is low and well below the EU target. The implementation plan for a lifelong learning strategy is still under preparation and incentives to invest in training remain low. There has been some progress in response to the recommendation the Council issued to improve the functioning and efficiency of the labour market and the education and training system, but a lot remains to be done. A small step towards more flexible and reliable contractual arrangements was taken in 2008 with technical amendments of the Labour Code. These will enhance internal flexibility, in particular through facilitating more flexible working arrangements, but fail to address employment protection for those on permanent contracts. A major change of the Labour Code that would offer more contractual freedom is currently being prepared. Although progress, especially at legislative level, has been achieved, most of the announced reforms on the education and training system are still to be implemented. This is especially the case concerning those that target older and low-skilled people and those aiming to reform the system to better respond to labour market needs. The ESF will continue to provide significant resources in this respect. The National System of Qualifications has been developed but not yet implemented. A comprehensive reform of tertiary education is only at a preparatory stage and a new act on tertiary education yet to be developed. The implementation of the Framework Curricular Reform, however, is already quite advanced. The Council also underlined the importance for the Czech Republic to focus on better integrating disadvantaged groups into the labour market, reducing regional disparities, reconciling work and family life, tackling the gender pay gap and implementing the active ageing strategy. Despite some positive developments, further efforts are needed to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups,

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especially the Roma, the low skilled and people with disabilities. The efficient use of ESF funds will play an important role in this regard. A low and decreasing level of geographical and occupational mobility is a particular problem for disadvantaged regions and requires addressing in ways that will benefit these regions and reduce regional disparities. Recent changes to the parental leave regulation should encourage women to return more rapidly to the labour market. In order to be effective and to ensure a better reconciliation of work and family life, these measures need to be complemented by a distinct increase in childcare facilities. The high gender pay gap has not been given any attention so far and is not explicitly mentioned in the NRP. Important steps have been taken to increase incentives for older people to continue working, which are expected to have positive effects on their employment rate. In order to alleviate shortages on the labour market, several measures liberalising work migration have been agreed.

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DENMARK
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The new National Reform Programme (NRP) is characterised by stability in objectives, coherence in efforts and consistency with the priorities of the Lisbon Strategy. In general, reform proposals are supported by the analysis underpinning the Denmark 2015-plan and the globalisation strategy, ensuring a high degree of policy integration. In the field of education, a wide range of measures are being implemented, with further reform activity awaiting the impact thereof. While specifying the underlying reform requirements in terms of employment growth and hours worked, the NRP does not flesh out new labour supply measures. Satisfactory progress is reported in respect of interconnectivity of gas and electricity markets. The NRP and the Implementation Reports are the main tools for taking stock of Danish structural policy. The new programme is the product of a process involving a wide range of stakeholders. Meanwhile The NRP is however sent to Parliament for information only. In the light of the following assessment for Denmark the following challenges remain important: labour market participation and hours worked, incentives to work, maintain older workers in employment and improve the integration of people with a migrant background into the labour market; primary and secondary education, competition, and the Kyoto target for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. Denmark is addressing the challenges of ensuring macro-economic stability and fiscal sustainability through a strategy combining structural adjustments and savings. In the medium-term, the growth potential is set to decrease as further contributions from labour and capital are limited by high participation rates and levels of investment that are foreseen to recede. According to Denmark's 2015-plan, fiscal sustainability will require a permanent increase in labour supply. The close link between employment and sound public finances is clearly identified and quantified within a comprehensive macro-fiscal framework. The current trend of slipping wage competitiveness, the on-going housing market correction and the financial turmoil could pose risks to the strategy. Moreover, recruitment is becoming increasingly difficult in the public sector, which, in combination with growing demand for public services, is causing cost pressures. There are thus good reasons for scrutinising public service provision and the financial aspects of the welfare model. Tax adjustments were agreed in 2007 and are being implemented in 2008 and 2009. In view of the weak economic growth prospects and the increase in net transfer incomes, the tax amendments are expect to have limited immediate impact on labour supply. Employment measures target initiatives to enhance the labour supply of

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specific groups. As recognised in the NRP, additional tax and labour market reform measures are necessary. 6. The initiatives in the "Quality Reform" are being implemented with the aim of maintaining or increasing welfare service standards and reaping administrative efficiency gains. Mechanisms to contain local government spending have also been introduced. Following on from the public sector wage negotiations in the spring, a pay commission has been established to analyse wage differentials, remuneration instruments, and possible responses to public sector recruitment problems.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. Denmark highlights micro-economic challenges of developing a knowledge society and improving the framework conditions for enterprises to unlock their potential, including by encouraging entrepreneurship, whilst protecting the climate and the environment. The Council referred to the importance of continuing to implement measures on energy interconnectivity. Denmark is improving its interconnections both domestically and with other countries, notably by expanding infrastructure and through the German-Danish electricity market-coupling project. Additional extensions of the networks are under consideration. These improvements contribute to competition in energy markets, with access for new suppliers being encouraged through a central contact with the distribution system operators. This could also enhance energy efficiency, in particular because wind energy suppliers have better access to the network. More transparency about energy price differences could also further strengthen competition. Overall, the policy response in this field is reassuring, permitting reform focus to be widened to more general competition issues. In some sectors, especially in services, there are concerns about limited innovation and relatively high price levels. According to the Danish Competition Authority, this is partly due to insufficient competition and increased competition could accelerate the uptake of new technologies and increase productivity. Denmark shows a gradual decrease in the number of sectors with competition problems, from 64 in 2001 to 35 to date, with a target set to reduce this to no more than 32 by 2010. Competition problems are partly related to regulatory barriers to entry and other planning or price regulation constraints. Examples include the retail sector, financial services, including the administration of pensions and insurance products, and retail sale of electricity and gas. There is scope for strengthening the enforcement regime. Fines for antitrust infringements, including the most serious infringements, continue to be very low in the European context, and this may have a stifling effect on the use of the leniency programme for the voluntary disclosure of cartels. Denmark has introduced a number of measures in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, in 2006 emissions were actually 1.7% higher than in Denmark's Kyoto base year. This is therefore some way off from approaching the committed reduction of 21%. Projections for 2010 indicate that Denmark might reach its target if the additional measures announced in its National Allocation Plan are implemented as soon as possible. However, should progress towards the national target continue to prove inadequate, additional measures would need to be identified and implemented.

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Denmark already has a well-established knowledge society and performs well with regard to the priority actions identified by the Spring European Council. Overall innovation performance is well above the EU average. While the objective to increase public R&D spending to 1% of GDP by 2010 seems realistic, private R&D expenditures relative to GDP have been slightly decreasing since 2003, making it more difficult for Denmark to reach the 2% of GDP expenditure target set for 2010. Denmark's Innovation Strategy outlines initiatives to improve co-operation between academic institutions and businesses that should contribute toward reaching the R&D target and enhance the overall efficiency in R&D activities. Further expansion of R&D is at risk of being limited by increased scarcity of science and technology graduates. Denmark has an excellent broadband network, and ICT uptake by government, enterprises and households is among the highest in the EU. Denmark has an attractive business environment, and efforts for further improvement are being taken. Work is ongoing to fully integrate recruitment of the first employee in the onestop-shop philosophy. About 10% of the planned 25% reduction in administrative burden has already been achieved.

EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 12. The Danish labour market is performing very well thanks to strong demand, successful activation measures, and recent tax and benefit reforms. Unemployment is at the lowest level since the early 1970s. While labour shortages have recently declined, high capacity utilisation and demographic pressure continue to restrain the growth and jobs potential. In this light Denmark highlights the employment challenges of increasing labour supply and improving primary and secondary education. Denmark has a highly integrated flexicurity model and performs well on all four components. Reform efforts are therefore focused on continuous fine-tuning. Eligibility criteria for unemployment and social benefits have been tightened through tougher work-availability tests, frequent interviews and targeted employment measures for people of migrant background and other vulnerable groups have been developed further. Financial incentives to work are also being strengthened through adjustments of the tax and benefit systems. The recent "Job plan" includes additional initiatives to enhance activation and work incentives, inter alia for disability and old age pensioners, and measures to recruit workers from abroad. The Council referred to the need for Denmark to focus on measures to increase labour force participation. The government maintains its focus on achieving an increase in the labour force and raising employment by 20.000 persons by 2015, while keeping the average working time unchanged. Measures have been taken in this regard but there still remain resources that can be tapped into, especially by retaining older workers in employment. Important in this respect is the negative impact of voluntary early retirement benefits. The adopted measures to increase the retirement age will only gradually come into effect from 2019. There is also scope for further improving the integration of people with a migrant background, given that, despite recent improvements, the employment rate gap between this group and the rest of the population remains significant. The estimated effects of agreed tax cuts and of the Action Plan to reduce sickness absenteeism are uncertain and it will be important to continue reviewing tax and benefit systems to strengthen work incentives. Given that an increase in labour supply remains a key requirement for

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ensuring fiscal sustainability, efforts in this area, although promising, must be sustained. Policy advice for further reform measures will be provided by the Labour Market Commission, which will submit its full report mid-2009. The Tax Commission is also examining reform options and will submit its report early 2009. 15. The Council also stressed the need to improve primary and secondary education and increase the number of students finalising upper-secondary or tertiary education. This is seen as one of the key national priorities in view of future skills needs and possible labour shortages. Denmark is implementing a range of measures to reform education. Nevertheless, cost-efficiency remains an issue as spending (8% of GDP) does not appear to yield the level of results that would be expected from this magnitude of spending. The upper secondary completion rate stands at 70.8%, both below the EU average and national targets (85% by 2010, 95% by 2015). Efforts are still needed to bridge the gap to the national target for tertiary youth completion rate of 50%. The median age of students in graduating from tertiary education remains 27 years, but the starting age has recently declined. The implementation of the existing measures needs to be closely monitored, evaluated, and if necessary reinforced. Additional measures may also be needed in order to reach the ambitious education targets, and thus enhance the quality of labour and boost labour supply in the longer term. This challenge should be seen in light of the general labour shortages also expected to worsen in the education sector in the coming years. Denmark is implementing initiatives to promote women in management and address the gender segregation of the labour market. The government-appointed Pay Commission will also analyse gender pay gaps.

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GERMANY
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The new National Reform Programme (NRP) addresses all key challenges. There is a high degree of policy integration in crosscutting areas such as the knowledge society, industrial policy and Better Regulation, but this is less visible for flexicurity. Links between the new NRP for 2008-2010 and programmes under the Structural Funds (2007-2013) are strong with 81% of the funds under the competitiveness objective and 71% of the funds under the convergence objective allocated to Lisbon objectives. The political ownership of the new NRP is adequate. The NRP has been subject to consultations with other federal ministries, the Parliament, regional governments and social partners. The involvement of stakeholders has improved. Nonetheless, a wider group of stakeholders could be consulted (for example ecological and welfare institutions) and the national Parliament as well as the Lnder could be involved more actively. In the light of the following assessment Germany should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important:: long-term fiscal sustainability of public finances, competition in the gas and electricity networks, one-stop-shops, and the outcome of the education system, especially those with a migrant background.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. The long-term sustainability of public finance remains a key challenge in the NRP. Key priorities of this challenge are budgetary consolidation, improving the long-term sustainability of social security systems and the reform of federal fiscal relations. Progress towards addressing the euro area recommendations on the medium-term budgetary objective and the quality of public finances has been good. The fiscal situation has improved markedly from a deficit of 3.4% of GDP in 2005 towards a balanced budgetary position in 2008. This is the result of buoyant tax revenues due to structural reforms and favourable cyclical conditions. The 2007 and 2008 cuts in unemployment insurance contributions led to lower non-wage labour costs, improving the quality of public finances. The effect has been partly offset by higher contribution rates to health, long-term care and pension systems. The 2008 corporate tax reform has reduced statutory rates, partly funded by a broadening of the tax base. The Council highlighted the need to improve the long-term sustainability of public finances and to strengthen budgetary institutions. In 2008 the pension adjustment formula was modified by suspending the factor accounting for governmentsubsidised supplementary pensions, which resulted in higher pension adjustment than

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originally envisaged. This ad hoc intervention introduces uncertainty as to the lasting success of the reforms. The recent reform of long-term care, while introducing a number of improvements in terms of coverage and services, has not addressed concerns regarding the long-term financial sustainability of the system, for example through the introduction of supplementary funded elements as announced by the NRP. 7. The evidence on the effects of the 2007 health care reform is still lacking. Competition among the public health insurers may intensify if the insurers deviate from the collectively agreed fee structure for outpatient services and negotiate individual contracts. However, only few public health insurers have used this possibility so far. The main reform measure, the central health fund, will become operational in 2009. The extent to which it can improve competition and increase the efficiency of the health care system remains uncertain. This merits close monitoring and systematic evaluation. The second round of the reform of federal fiscal relations began in 2007 with the aim to create more effective budgetary rules for all layers of government and to develop an early warning system to prevent budgetary emergencies. Only moderate progress was made in 2008. The NRP foresees a closeto-balance rule modelled on the Stability and Growth Pact to be implemented by the end of the legislative period in 2009.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 8. The challenges of the knowledge society, ecological innovation, market functioning and improving the business environment were confirmed in the NRP. In addition, the framework for competition in network industries, and in other services, could be further oriented towards enabling more opening up of markets. The Council recommended Germany to improve the framework for competition in a number of services areas. While there has been good progress on the regulation of wholesale bit stream access, progress on modernising the public procurement system and on further relaxing restrictive rules on regulated trades and professions has been limited. On wholesale bit stream access, the regulator has introduced in 2008 a standard contract between the incumbent and its competitors to ensure that access to infrastructure is provided at market conditions. On this basis, several wholesale bit stream providers have already entered the market. Progress in the area of public procurement has been limited. A draft public procurement law has been subject to public consultation in fall 2008 and it is still unclear how procedures will become less complex and more transparent. Contrary to announcements in the 2007 Implementation Report reforms to increase competition among tax advisers, architects and engineers have not been implemented and are not addressed by the new NRP. Progress has been only achieved for accountancy and out-of-court legal services. The German Pharmacies Act seems incompatible with the freedom of establishment. More progress is noticeable on competition in financial markets through a new law limiting the possibilities that financial investors take over firms by buying their shares in a hidden way. However, recent developments on the financial markets, including stock exchanges, suggest that the surveillance should be further strengthened. The Council also highlighted the need to improve the competition framework in the rail, gas and electricity networks, to establish one-stop-shops and to shorten start-up

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times. Germany will make progress on start-up times following the recent legal reform of private limited companies. The reform will, in specific cases, simplify administrative procedures, lower costs and reduce the required minimum capital to establish a company. Good progress has been made in establishing one-stop-shops in several regions, but the nationwide implementation is delayed. The latter should be combined with the points of single contact under the Service Directive. Several decisions have been adopted to promote competition in energy markets, including the switch from cost to incentive-based regulation of network tariffs in 2009. However, more effort is needed to address vertical integration and regional monopolies of energy producers. There has been no progress on the legal and institutional framework for competition in the rail sector. The EU directives on rail liberalisation require the separation of infrastructure management from the provision of transport services. They also call for sufficient incentives for the infrastructure manager to reduce the level of access charges. Both requirements have been insufficiently transposed. The powers of the rail regulatory authority to obtain information from market actors have been weakened by a decision of a higher administrative court. The opportunity to secure the independence of rail infrastructure management from rail operations was missed in the privatisation programme. 11. The challenges of the knowledge society and the ecological innovation, including energy efficiency, are addressed comprehensively. The overarching high-tech initiative is progressing well with new measures to strengthen clusters and the excellence of research in universities. The efforts to reach a 3% of GDP R&D expenditure target are significant. However, the low number of graduates in engineering and natural sciences, and the need to have a high mobility of researchers deserve to be addressed more systematically. Ecological innovation, including energy efficiency, is being addressed through comprehensive climate protection packages. The business environment is being improved by measures facilitating access to finance for SMEs and the reduction of administrative burden. The scope and the transparency of impact assessments could be further improved by going beyond the reduction of administrative costs. Progress and plans to improve market functioning are largely focused on the financial sector, network services and the screening of norms in the context of the service directive. The level of the minimum wage introduced in the postal sector may act to the benefit of the incumbent as a barrier to competition.

EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 12. Notwithstanding the improvement of labour market conditions since 2006, Germany's labour market remains characterized by relatively high unemployment, particularly high long-term unemployment and unemployment amongst the low qualified. The education system seems to reinforce inequalities between young people from diverse social backgrounds. The main challenges are therefore to improve the labour market participation of low skilled persons including migrants, and to ensure lifelong access to, and quality of, education and skills development. Germany's new NRP does not define a flexicurity pathway, but describes recent initiatives taken on all four components. There is particular scope for improvement in the field of life long learning including access to qualifications for low skilled. In the context of modern social security systems it remains important to review the tax

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benefit system in order to further increase incentives to take up work or move to a full time job. 14. The Council recommended Germany to tackle structural unemployment. Qualification and training measures for the unemployed have been stepped up after a severe cutback in 2005. However, participation rates are still lower than in other active labour market measures particularly as compared to those targeted at subsidised employment. After having dropped plans announced in the previous NRP for a comprehensive reform of the low wage sector, wage subsidies for certain target groups have been redesigned to make them more effective. However, a more systematic reform is needed to increase financial incentives to take up work and to move to full time jobs. Some progress has been achieved as regards the employment services for unemployed recipients of basic income support and the planned reforms of active labour market policies and employment services may further increase efficiency. In view of the expected rise in unemployment, efficient implementation will be crucial to ensure the success of these reforms. The Council pointed to the need to enhance continuous vocational training. Reform measures implemented over the last 12 months focus on supporting employees to finance continuous vocational training. However, no steps have been taken to strengthen incentives for employers to increase the participation of their employees. Moreover, given the fragmentation of the policy field, more systematic reforms to increase transparency as regards supply and quality of courses would be necessary. Efforts to improve continuous vocational training for the low skilled must be stepped up to facilitate upward mobility of workers and reduce their risk of unemployment. A stronger policy response is needed in the field of initial education, which currently seems to reinforce inequalities between young people with different social backgrounds. School performance gaps between nationals and non-nationals are also among the highest in Europe. It is now important to tackle this issue with comprehensive reforms and commit all stakeholders to financing and implementation. The coordination between Bund and Lnder is crucial in this respect.

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ESTONIA
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The new National Reform Programme (NRP) presents an ambitious and integrated set of measures including measures to respond to Estonia's challenges. It is based on a clear analysis and provides the budgetary impact of the measures and a clear timetable for their implementation. The new NRP departs from the previous one by having a separate objective on the energy sector, reflecting the importance of this issue at the current juncture. After deficits foreseen in 2009 and 2010, Estonia targets a return to a balanced budget in 2011, at the latest, while enhancing public sector efficiency. There are positive measures to continue investing in R&D and innovation but reaching the R&D intensity target of 2.0% of GDP for 2011 remains a considerable challenge as these investments might come under pressure in the current economic downturn. The budgetary provisions for measures in the energy sector remain rather limited. While the proposed measures on increasing lifelong learning and reducing labour market rigidities represent a good response towards tackling Estonias priorities, a full implementation of the planned reforms is still needed. Consultation practices and efforts to develop ownership of the new NRP are good. They included the consultation of stakeholders and a web-based consultation process. Various parliamentary committees have commented on the NRP before government adopted it. In the light of the following assessment Estonia should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendation presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important : macro-economic stability and inflation, through adequate structural reforms and determined fiscal policy; external competitiveness; translation of R&D results into innovative services or products; launching the new immunity and leniency programme and strengthening competition enforcement; active labour market policies and the supply of skilled labour

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA


MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES

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Ensuring macro-economic stability, fiscal sustainability, and a tax system that strongly promotes economic growth are the government's main macro-economic objectives. However, in recent years, expansionary monetary conditions resulted in a consumption and real estate-related boom, in external deficits, and high inflation, which has been reinforced by excessively high wage growth, and triggered the end of the boom. The Council advocated a determined fiscal policy and adequate structural reforms to restore macro-economic stability and reduce inflation. In 2007, as in previous years, Estonia's state budget was in surplus but budget expenditure increased rapidly. This

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has led to a worsening fiscal balance during the present downturn, while macroeconomic imbalances although receding, still persist. In June 2008, the government adopted a supplementary budget substituting a balance target for an initial surplus target of 1.3% of GDP. However, the steep economic contraction is estimated to have resulted in a deficit of at least 2% in 2008. Estonia's government has projected a deficit of 1.7% of GDP for 2009, while it intends to reduce the budget deficit to 1% of GDP in 2010 and to restore budgetary balance from 2011. This confirms a prudent fiscal policy as the key element of Estonias macro-economic policy. Nevertheless, without further expenditure cuts, steeper economic contraction than expected would result in a significantly weaker budgetary position. 6. In 2008, wages continued to growth at levels in excess of productivity growth, eroding Estonia's competitiveness. This was particularly problematic because recovery will depend on a large contribution from exports (and hence competitiveness). Public sector wages should send the right signal of wage moderation to the private sector. However, in 2008 public wage increases, including in public administration and defence, were higher than productivity gains in the whole economy and also than average wage increases.. The NRP mentions the intention to increase administrative effectiveness and reduce current expenditure, including the public sector wage bill In this respect, the projected cuts in operational expenditure in 2009, the recent freezing of the high ranking state officials' salaries, as well as efforts to modernise the Public Service Law, together with the recently modernised Labour Law, are all welcome developments. With a progressive decline in the working age population and the adoption of more generous social policies, Estonia's fiscal sustainability, although still comparatively strong in EU terms, is weakening. However, a number of measures in the new NRP are welcome and could go a long way to prevent a progressive budgetary slippage.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES

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Estonia identifies R&D and innovation, an attractive business environment to support international competitiveness, and the energy sector as the key challenges for continuing economic development. The Commission also regards the strengthening of competition policy as a key issue. Against the background of the sharp economic deceleration including the worsening of public finances, continuing investment in R&D and innovation, enhancing energy efficiency and improving the business regulatory framework are indispensable to increase productivity growth and strengthen external competitiveness in the medium term. The Council highlighted the need to ensure that R&D results are translated into innovative services or products and the need to closer cooperation between universities and enterprises. It is envisaged to further strengthen applied research with the development of new competence centres and the setting up of a system of innovation vouchers. While there is progress in terms of knowledge transfer through the establishment in Estonian universities of technology centres aimed at improving the relationship with the businesses, knowledge creation and subsequent patenting remain a problem. While there has been very strong growth over the last years, the total R&D intensity is with 1.14% of GDP in 2006 still relatively low. Given the economic climate is likely to put pressure on R&D investment; it therefore remains a serious challenge to reach the total R&D intensity target of 2.0% of GDP for 2011.

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9.

The Council also referred to the need to strengthen competition policy, but in this respect the policy response has been rather weak. The government proposal for a new immunity and leniency programme to disclose illegal cartels is still not ready. In view of strengthening competition enforcement, the merger of the competition board with a number of regulatory agencies took place in January 2008 but it remains unclear whether it will produce the expected synergies. Estonia has undertaken a number of initiatives to improve the business environment including the re-designing of the state-financed start-up scheme and the introduction of one-stop-shops for the start-up of companies. Almost one third of new registrations are already made online. In order to support exports and the internationalisation of companies more generally, relevant consulting services are provided and it is envisaged to substantially enlarge the target group that receives international marketing support. In terms of the regulatory environment, Estonia is encouraged to take further its initiatives for the reduction of administrative burdens including by the identification of a national target. More efforts are also needed to encourage the use of a comprehensive impact assessments system that covers more than impacts on the state budget. The introduction of entrepreneurship education into the curriculum of the secondary level education has again been postponed. Estonia has recently put energy issues high on its reform agenda. Increasing energy efficiency is not only likely to have a positive impact on inflation but also on the environment and on the security of energy supply. The country is doing relatively well in terms of renewable energy provision. However, energy efficiency and the sustainability of energy provision, including the production of electricity through oil shale remains an important challenge. The National Energy Efficiency Plan proposed by Estonia is considered insufficient to address this challenge. Moreover, the budgetary resources reserved for energy efficiency measures over 2008-2010 remain limited.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES

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After rapid employment growth over the recent years, the impact of the economic downturn is starting to emerge in the labour market and unemployment is expected to rise in the coming years. In the second half of 2008 employment decreased for some disadvantaged groups, inactivity has slightly increased, and the number of vacancies has been decreasing. The new NRP defines the development of educational system based on labour market needs and modernising labour relations as main challenges for Estonia. In addition, in view of the ageing population, the better adaptation of the labour force to the changing economic structure, and increasing labour productivity are important challenges for Estonia. The relatively high numbers of pupils dropping out of school early, and one of the highest gender pay gaps in the EU are important challenges. The recent policy developments take flexicurity into account. The NRP does not explicitly define the national pathway, but important initiatives are taken on all four components. There is a need to define a reasonable balance between labour market flexibility and employment security policies. Effort should further focus on the continuation of the labour law reform and the implementation of lifelong learning policies in order to diminish the skills gaps.

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14.

The Council highlighted the need to reduce labour market rigidities by urgent progress towards labour law modernisation and the promotion of flexible forms of work. The labour law reform has been proposed by the government but is still subject to the parliamentary approval. Further efforts are needed to promote contractual and working time diversity in order to generate more job opportunities for disadvantaged groups and increase labour supply. The Council also referred to the need to focus more on reinforcing active labour market policies (ALMPs) and increasing the supply of skilled labour by implementing a comprehensive lifelong learning strategy. Efforts to increase the labour supply have focussed on improving the access to adult learning, simplifying procedures for employing third-country nationals and abolishing age discrimination from current employment legislation. The participation rate in lifelong learning continues to be relatively low, especially for the low skilled. Progress has been made in setting up the financing model for lifelong learning policies. The new NRP aims at giving more attention to preventive measures and at extending the target group for ALMPs. Poor data collection and a lack of a monitoring and evaluation system do not allow for the qualitative assessment of the efficiency of these policies, and thus the impact of recent ALMP reform is not clear. Expenditure on ALMP continues to be one of the lowest in the EU, and only small shares of the unemployed are covered by labour market measures. The attention should therefore focus on enhancing the efficiency of active labour market policy and further encouraging the participation in lifelong learning. Both gender segregation (by occupation, and sector) and the gender pay gap is among the highest in the EU. While women have on average a considerably better educational level compared to men, they are underrepresented in professions with higher salaries. The NRP does not provide measures to address the gender pay gap. Since the persistence of this gap leads to efficiency losses in the labour market, there is an urgent need for an in-depth analysis of the origins of the pay gap. Welldesigned and targeted multi-faced policies are necessary to effectively use the skills potential of women and thereby increase productivity.

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IRELAND
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. In response to the newly identified key challenge of maintaining macro-economic stability and returning to sustained growth, macro-economic and micro-economic policies to boost productivity growth and competitiveness figure prominently in the new National Reform Programme (NRP). In particular, it focuses on maintaining high levels of investment in infrastructure and human capital while at the same time ensuring budget consolidation. It also specifically addresses the recommendations issued to the euro area countries. The ambition and quality of the policies is in line with the scale of the challenges Ireland is facing, but there are only few new initiatives. Ireland has earmarked 82% of Structural Funds towards Lisbon priorities, although this figure conceals considerable disparities between individual programmes. Consultation and efforts to develop ownership of the NRP at the level of central and local government and with the social partners continue, in particular in the context of the Social Partnership Process. Monitoring of structural reforms also takes place in this framework rather than as a separate exercise. In the light of the following assessment Ireland should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: pension arrangements, investment in energy and transport infrastructure, foster competition in the retailing sector, childcare infrastructure, labour market integration of disadvantaged groups, and training support to older and low-skilled workers.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. Ireland confirms that its main macro-economic challenge remains one of ensuring macro-economic stability. This challenge has clearly become more pertinent in the face of the unexpected speed of the slowdown in the domestic economy, coupled with the financial crisis and the downturn in Irelands main trading partners. At the same time, the Irish economy has become more vulnerable as price and wage inflation together with declining productivity growth have gradually eroded the competitive position, so that the external deficit has been on the increase since 2004. Growth needs to be rebalanced through a reallocation of resources from construction to more productive sectors, while fiscal stability needs to be restored. Another challenge is to reform the pension system so as to improve the long-term sustainability of public finances. The Council asked Ireland to speed up progress in formulating concrete measures to reform pension arrangements. Limited progress was made in this area. A green paper

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on pension reform was published in October 2007 setting out a number of options. Consultation on this ended in May 2008. The government is now developing a framework for longer-term pension policy, expected to be published in the coming months. 6. After peaking in 2006, housing output declined by some 10% in 2007, is estimated to have fallen by some 30% in 2008, and may further adjust downward in 2009. This acts as a severe drag on the domestic economy. Moreover, the deterioration has now spread to other sectors through negative effects on confidence and employment. The budget for 2009 announced some measures to support the housing market, targeted on first-time buyers, as well as commercial construction. The implications for the economic and budgetary situation of the turnaround in the housing market are significant. The economy is expected to experience two successive years of negative economic growth, although that reflects also the global economic downturn. The sharp budgetary deterioration in 2008 reflects both a significant tax undershoot and continued high growth of expenditure. The former owes to a broad based economic downturn and a significant drop in housing related revenues. The 2009 budget has tried to balance the need to gradually restore fiscal stability, mainly through various revenue enhancing measures, and to support the economy, with income support measures targeted at more vulnerable groups, while reprioritising capital expenditure plans. Following a planned further deterioration in 2009, the addendum to the Stability Programme submitted in January 2009 targets a narrowing of the deficit going forward, based on as yet to be specified consolidation measures. This has to be seen against the need to pursue budgetary consolidation in the medium term while improving the quality of public finances as highlighted by the euro area recommendations. Concerning the alignment of wage and productivity growth recommended to euro area countries, the most recent wage agreement in the context of social partnership include a pay pause. This is a step in the right direction to regain competitiveness but more could be done to increase flexibility at the firm or sector level.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 9. Irelands growth performance has exacerbated structural constraints, which are likely to dampen medium-term growth prospects, if not addressed. Rapid growth over several years has, in particular, brought to the fore the need for improvements to both energy and transport infrastructure. In addition, sectoral imbalances highlight the importance of enhancing the capacity of the economy to make a smooth transition to sustainable growth. To this end, it will be important to foster competition in order to keep inflation at bay, enhance productivity and secure continued price competitiveness. Moreover, innovation should be fostered, not least for services, and policies should be set in place that ensure compliance with Irelands greenhouse gas reduction targets. Significant measures are planned to improve interconnection capacity to support the functioning of the all-Ireland electricity market and a large-scale investment programme should help to curb congestion if carried out as planned. However, a coherent strategy together with an action plan for a sustainable transport system, which would help to reverse current trends and induce sustainable travel patterns, has

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not yet been devised. The government has recently launched a consultation to prepare such a strategy, which is worthwhile, but it should also make sure that an appropriate and comprehensive action plan is derived from the strategy that can be swiftly implemented. 11. High and increasing consumer prices have mostly been due to a lack of competition in retailing. Abolishing the Groceries Order has stimulated competitive pricing but limited market entry leaves large parts of the retailing market without sufficient competition. The government is therefore encouraged to follow the recommendations of the Competition Authority, reducing in particular regulatory impediments to entry. In this context, attention should be paid to the benefits from integrating interdependencies between spatial planning and infrastructure provision. According to preliminary estimates, greenhouse gas emissions are unlikely to decrease as projected but for the effects of the economic downturn on greenhouse gas emissions. The government should therefore maintain its commitment to permanently curb emissions and consider further action if necessary. Particular attention should be paid to the transport sector, where emissions have almost tripled over the period 1990-2008 and are forecasted to increase further. With respect to innovation, the new Services Strategy, which sets out new policy proposals on how to ensure the continued development and growth of the services sector, acknowledges the importance of innovation for services export growth and proposes further actions. These include providing integrated inter-disciplinary education for service activities and facilitating the establishment of industry-led competence centres for services to stimulate research in services. The Irish government also seeks to encourage using public procurement as a means to promote innovation but no concrete measures have as yet been devised. If used more actively, this would support the aim of shifting the industrial base towards more innovative products. With a view to further improve the business environment the government has set a 25% target for reducing administrative burden to be achieved by 2012. As a first step, the burden arising from all domestic legislation is to be measured. A more enhanced use of the integrated impact assessment system would also support the achievement of the reduction target. In addition, there is scope for improving the ICT-use by public authorities. In this area, no improvements have been recorded since last year. The envisaged action plan to promote government, business, citizen and non-profit sector ICT use, will thus be crucial to stimulate progress. The plan was already announced for 2007 and is expected to be published soon. In terms of R&D, Ireland has progressed towards the 2013 research investment target, and intermediate investment levels, notably for 2010, have now been established which document further progress.

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EMPLOYMENT 15. In view of the economic downturn, the rise in unemployment is now a major challenge that only further emphasises the need for effective education and training opportunities, as well as active labour market policies, for all and especially for those in the 1624 age category. Moreover, those furthest from the labour market continue to need special attention to ensure they are not further isolated.

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16.

Ireland has identified up-skilling the labour force as its preferred flexicurity pathway and past performance shows this is an area in which improvement is required, especially in relation to lifelong learning. Further efforts should also be made to modernise the social protection system. On the other hand, Ireland has performed well in recent years in relation to flexible and reliable contractual arrangements and effective active labour market policies. Looking forward, emphasis must be placed on ensuring the unemployed and those outside the labour market are given the skills and other supports needed to adapt to the changing labour market situation. The Council signalled the need for Ireland to accelerate progress with increasing labour market participation, in particular as regards childcare, integration of migrants and support to older and low skilled. Recent improvements in relation to childcare under the National Childcare Investment Programme should be sustained if access and affordability are to be improved and the Barcelona targets met. The position of older and low skilled workers has been addressed with the publication of the National Skills Strategy. However, the recent deterioration in the economic and labour market situation makes this group especially vulnerable and the priority should now be to outline in detail how this strategy will be implemented. The integration of people with a migrant background remains a challenge, especially in relation to those who now find themselves without employment due to the economic downturn. Progress has been made in this area with in particular, the launch of an integration strategy but the challenge now is to implement the actions identified. Other disadvantaged groups, in particular people with disabilities and lone parents, require further attention and additional support. Due to low employment rates both groups have significantly higher 'at risk of poverty' rates than the rest of the population. Full implementation of recent planned areas of reform, such as the Social and Economic Participation Programme and the comprehensive employment strategy for people with disabilities, is now necessary. Furthermore, the economic downturn has had a disproportionate impact on younger workers and the unemployment rate for the 16-24 age group has been rising faster recently than for any other age cohort. The reintegration of young unemployed into the labour market has therefore become an important challenge. The rise in the overall unemployment rate is also a challenge facing Ireland. Several measures to counter this have been announced and these must now be built upon if the risk of rising long-term unemployment is to be avoided. The European Social Fund, with its priority actions aimed at up-skilling the workforce and activation and participation of groups outside the workforce, should be fully utilised in meeting these challenges.

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GREECE
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The Greek National Reform Programme (NRP) present the policy response to the key challenges. Notable progress has been achieved in the transposition of internal market legislation. Greece has achieved a high earmarking of Structural Funds in support of the Lisbon Strategy. The Structural Funds strongly support the above priorities. However the pace of implementation of growth oriented investment projects co-financed by the Structural Funds is slow. The Greek NRP outlines a series of policies responding to the Council recommendations and points to watch and underlines the main policy priorities for the period 2008-2010. These include the continuation of efforts to strengthen the financial and long-term sustainability of the economy, an increase of productivity through the implementation of structural reforms, the improvement of the business environment and an increase in employment participation. Consultation on the NRP at the level of the central government and the main social partners appears to be good. A specific committee for monitoring and coordinating the NRP has been created, with the participation of all relevant services, social partners and NGOs. Attention is put on the monitoring and evaluation of implementation of reforms in the context of the Structural Funds. In the light of the following assessment Greece should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: one-stop-shops and start-up times, competition in professional services, solid and water waste management, female participation in employment, and a coherent active ageing strategy.

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MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 5. Greece faces a number of structural challenges potentially affecting its competitiveness. Of particular importance is to address positive unit labour cost and inflation differentials with the euro area that are affecting competitiveness and widening the current account deficit. The general government deficit remains too high and the gross level of debt remains amongst the highest in the EU. Persistent fiscal imbalances, inflationary pressures, and worsening competitiveness largely lie behind the mounting external imbalances, which are expected to widen further in the medium term. The Council recommended that Greece pursued fiscal consolidation and debt reduction, and proceeded rapidly with the implementation of the pension reform, with a view to improving long-term fiscal sustainability. The general government deficit in 2007 was 3.5% of GDP, considerably above the budgetary target of 2.4% of GDP. This marks an end to the fiscal consolidation that began in 2004. The

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absence of an effective control of primary expenditure, along with the low quality of the fiscal adjustment observed in recent years (which has been basically based on revenue-enhancing measures) entails risks for the sustainability of the fiscal adjustment. For 2008, the budget law projected a deficit target of 1.6% of GDP but significant expenditure overruns and revenue shortfalls have meant an upward revision of the official target deficit to 2.5% of GDP. Government gross debt, which reached 95% of GDP in 2007, is expected to decrease only by % of GDP in 2008. Greece has adopted important legislation to reform pensions in 2008 but the scope and the progress in implementation have been limited and may therefore need to look into additional measures to improve the long-term sustainability of public finances. 7. Greece was also asked to focus on the containment of inflationary pressures and the current account deficit. Persistent high inflation in Greece is mainly associated with the structural weaknesses of both product and labour markets. The limited impact of measures recently taken suggests that better targeted measures are needed to improve the functioning of product and labour markets, which should contain inflationary pressures and address external imbalances. A major reform of the budgetary process introducing a system of program-based budgeting is gradually being implemented. Even though it is expected to contribute positively to the transparency and efficiency of the budgetary process, it does not tackle structural shortcomings both in terms of the preparation of the budget and its execution including in particular expenditure control.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 9. Greece's micro-economic priorities are to generate higher productivity growth through addressing structural weaknesses of public administration, to reform product markets, generate higher levels of investment in human capital and knowledge, improve the business environment, enhance competition by further opening product markets, and reinforce export performance and competitiveness. The Council recommended Greece to modernise its public administration by building up effective regulatory, control and enforcement capacities, and by ensuring an effective use of Structural Funds. A specific Structural Funds Operational Programme will support better regulation in line ministries, including the introduction of an integrated impact assessment system and actions to reduce administrative burdens by 25% by 2013. The strategy put in place prioritises the improvement of the regulatory environment of business. However, the simplification of existing legislation should receive more attention. The Council also highlighted the need to focus on investment in R&D, the transposition of internal market legislation, progress towards the 2006 Spring European Council SME policy targets, strengthening competition in the area of professional services and protecting the environment by prioritising effective solid and water waste management and curbing greenhouse gas emissions. An investment in R&D, especially from the business sector, remains low with the levels of R&D investment as a proportion of GDP stagnating since 1999. The set-up of research policy has been redesigned and the actions supporting innovation have been updated for the new programming period. Their effectiveness can only be assessed in the medium term and may also depend on the general business environment. The

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implementation of internal market legislation has improved markedly. In a quest to improve the business environment, the start-up of companies has been made easier for limited liability corporations, but some key measures of the NRP have not yet been implemented (for example the creation of the General Commercial Registry and of one-stop-shops for businesses, completing sector-specific land use and planning frameworks). There was no progress regarding competition in professional services where regulations remain among the most restrictive in the EU. Improvements in this area, and in other services sectors, are expected to flow from the implementation of the Services Directive. 12. Waste management is still weak, and efforts to address this are ongoing with the support of Structural Funds. The policy response in the past has been rather weak as illustrated by the number of cases to the European Court of Justice. Green house gas emissions returned to a more sustainable path in 2006 and according to new projections Greece will meet its Kyoto target. Complex licensing procedures and local resistance are slowing down investment in renewable energy sources. However, the energy intensity of the economy is on a downward trend and close to the EU average. Efforts to improve the energy regulatory framework continue. High-voltage retail tariffs were liberalised in 2008 and the entry of new providers is expected shortly. Gas market liberalisation remains incomplete. In telecommunications, 2007 was the first year of the full application of the Community legal framework. A detailed programme of actions for 2008-2009 should complete the liberalisation in all market segments. Competition and lower prices have led to a fast rise in broadband penetration, facilitated by the government's Digital Strategy initiatives. The development of energy infrastructure, including cross-border links, is of high policy priority and pursued with certain success. Transport infrastructure will continue to absorb a high percentage of public investment. Particular emphasis is given to further developing private-public partnerships for an increasing number of infrastructure projects.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 14. The Greek labour market is characterized by low employment, especially for women and older workers and a very high long term unemployment and youth unemployment. The main challenge for Greece is to improve the labour market participation and employability of women and various disadvantaged groups. A further challenge is to enhance the efficiency of the labour market by better matching people to jobs and to increase the labour market relevance of education and training. Greece addresses all four flexicurity components, whilst not explicitly defining a national pathway or outlining an integrated approach. Policy focuses on active labour market policies and skills upgrading, although spending on active policies and coverage remain insufficient. Implementation of educational and lifelong learning reforms is slow and a review of labour law is needed. Social security contributions remain high. The Council recommended Greece to focus on, employment protection, the tax burden on labour, active labour market policies and undeclared work. Although the institutional framework for flexible forms of employment is largely in place, these

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appear to be unattractive to both employers and employees. An across-the-board review of labour law is missing. In addressing the issue of efficiency of active labour market policies, efforts have focused on integrating services (the creation of onestop-shops), the delivery of services at local level and the targeting of particular groups. Greece must increase spending for active measures and establish cooperation between public and private sector institutions. Impact evaluation of activities need to receive greater prominence. 17. There has been some progress with regard to reducing the tax burden on labour. Attention should now be given to lifting the burden of high social protection contributions, particularly for the low waged. With regard to undeclared employment, the focus was put on combating tax evasion and on avoidance. The issue needs to be addressed more effectively including by strengthening administrative capacity. Implementation of already announced measures merits higher priority. Greece was also recommended to accelerate the implementation of reforms on education and training. Despite high youth educational attainment, the youth unemployment rate remains three times higher than the average. Greece must proceed faster with the implementation of reforms in order to improve the quality of education at all levels and improve its labour market relevance. Key areas include increasing public spending on education, combating the fragmented governance of the education and training systems, increasing training opportunities for adults, and the implementation of tertiary education reforms. The full and rapid activation of a national system to link education and training with employment is also of fundamental importance. The absence of a system of official recognition of nonformal and informal learning constitutes another major shortcoming. Furthermore, Greece should speed up the implementation of the lifelong learning framework law. The Council also asked Greece to focus on encouraging female employment, reducing early school leaving and putting in place a comprehensive support for active ageing. Additional teaching support programmes and centres for diagnosis of emerging needs have operated, and the number of pupils leaving school early shows a decrease. In addition, the gender employment gap is narrowing, but boosting employment opportunities for women still remains a great policy challenge. An array of initiatives has been implemented, strongly supported by the European Social Fund. The introduction of an additional mandatory year of pre-school education and care is important but more comprehensive action is necessary to better reconcile work and family life. The new law reforming the pension system introduces incentives for working longer. The NRP also outlines measures to support the employment and employability of older persons, but further action is needed in terms of activation policies for older persons, namely to provide them with more employment and training opportunities. The establishment of a National Fund for Social Cohesion is an important policy initiative in alleviating poverty in Greece. The fund will support those persons on low salaries and pensions. The full activation of the fund is essential.

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SPAIN
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The updated National Reform Programme (NRP) is forward looking, ambitious, and responds to a number of Spain's main challenges. The measures proposed are presented in general terms, backed by a clear problem analysis, sufficient budgetary information and a good degree of policy integration. The programme sets out a welcome commitment to implement the ambitious better regulation programme, and to strongly encourage social dialogue in order to, among other factors, modernise employment protection and foster flexicurity. It also outlines efforts to continue R&D investment and its translation into innovation. However, there seems to be little to address the challenges of improving education, increasing the attractiveness of part-time work, raising productivity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and implementing further pension and healthcare reforms. The Structural Funds have been targeted on the areas highlighted by Spain's recommendations and points to watch, with a significant proportion of the funding earmarked for Lisbon related activities. It is too early to demonstrate progress in terms of implementation. Consultation of the NRP at the level of regional and local governments and the social partners has been reinforced but efforts to develop ownership remain relatively limited. Some doubts remain concerning the involvement of regional governments in the overall strategy. Involvement of the regions is relevant, since responsibilities in certain policy areas, like innovation, regulation of services, and education, are with the regions. The involvement of Parliament remains an area where there is room for improvement. In the light of the following assessment Spain should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: pension and healthcare reforms, greenhouse gas emissions, attractiveness of part-time work, and integrate immigrants into the labour market.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. Spain is facing a number of structural changes in the macro-economic area, all aggravated by the impact of the current financial turmoil. These centre on a lack of international competitiveness, as evidenced by a high current account deficit. In particular, insufficient productivity growth is affecting competitiveness. Further challenges include the on-going adjustment of the housing sector, and the long-term fiscal sustainability of public finances, which dictate that further pension and health care reforms are necessary.

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In the context of rapidly increasing unemployment, the general government balance is rapidly deteriorating and could put in danger the objective set in the NRP of a balanced budget as a way to ensure macro-economic stability. Given the persistence of a high current account deficit, even in a current context of sluggish growth, a closer monitoring of this challenge is now needed. Policy reform over the last twelve months has been limited in order to address the causes behind the large current account deficit, such as insufficient physical and human capital. Over the past year a series of measures have been designed to tackle this structural problem. These have prioritised public spending on R&D, education and infrastructure in order to foster productivity growth, attempted to ensure budgetary stability, and to increase competition in certain sectors. The core inflation differential with the euro area has nonetheless remained close to its historical average. The updated NRP announces efforts to counteract inflation through in particular further liberalisation of the services sector. This is a welcome step and should help narrow the core inflation differential gap. To aid the long-term sustainability of public finances, Spain implemented a lowscale reform of the pension system in January 2008. Although a step in the right direction, its impact seems to be limited and further reform is necessary. Health care expenditure increase remains a source of concern in spite of some improvement in containing pharmaceutical spending.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 8. In the updated NRP existing challenges in the micro-economic pillar are confirmed. Focus remains on infrastructure; knowledge and innovation; greater competition, better regulation; the efficiency of the public administration; competitiveness; encouraging entrepreneurship; and enhancing energy efficiency in the fight against climate change. A number of measures are being implemented to improve the functioning of the energy market in Spain. These centre on moves towards an integrated Iberian market, the improved interconnectivity with Portugal and Morocco, and an increasing focus and strong political will placed on promoting interconnectivity with France. Improving competition in the electricity sector has been addressed through a number of reforms including measures to limit the market power of dominant players (for example by making it mandatory for integrated generators to sell energy to third parties) and to facilitate supplier switching. Some elements of the regulated price system favouring incumbents have been removed and the share of the regulated market is shrinking. However, Spain needs to speed up the pace of reforms as belowcost retail and network tariffs remain, accumulating large deficits contrary to the recommendations of the regulator. After the liberalization process is complete a tariff of last resort reserved for specific consumers will be introduced, although the complete details of this have yet to be established by the authorities. Competition in services is considered as a priority way of reducing inflationary pressure. Of particular interest are reforms in retail markets where the ambition to increase price transparency for consumers is welcome. The priority given to the implementation of the Services Directive is important given the very large number of heterogeneous procedures and rules affecting the retail sector (many of which at the

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regional and local level). The principles announced in the NRP intended to govern a new legislation on competition in professional services are welcome. Further measures are announced for key industries such as the railway sector, postal services and telecommunications that could have an impact on competition. 11. To improve further the business climate Spain has set an ambitious target for a 30% reduction in the administrative burden by 2012, with an Action Plan to facilitate this envisaged. Better regulation tools are to be found although the extent of their use varies from ministry to ministry and Spain needs to develop a more consistent policy in terms of impact assessment and consultation. In this respect the law making impact assessment compulsory after January 2009 is very encouraging. Spain remains committed to address its climate change challenge. However, despite some progress, Spain's starting position is very low and the estimated gap regarding the green house gas emissions target will have to be covered through the emission permits market (with sizeable budgetary implications). New measures envisaged include further coordination with regional governments. Spain is in a relatively good position to meet its 20% renewable target even significant effort is still required over the coming years. In order to assist the structural change of the productive sector (with a high concentration in traditionally low-tech, low value-added sectors) the authorities need to keep its focus on productive public expenditure in key areas as R&D and innovation, education, and infrastructure. Efforts to increase both the level and efficiency of R&D and innovation spending continue to be a strong point of the Spanish reform agenda. The newly created ministry responsible for high education, scientific research and technology will elaborate a new legal framework covering public policy tools, reducing administrative burdens, and regulating Intellectual Property Rights. Further efforts should be made to encourage private sector R&D expenditure, which represented only 47% over overall R&D in 2006. Additional efforts should be made to increase the return in terms of innovation and to improve knowledge transfer between science and industry.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 14. The Spanish labour market faces an economic outlook that differs significantly from that of the previous years. After a period of high employment creation and lower unemployment, the unemployment rate increased significantly, from 7.9 % in July 2007 to 11.3% in the second quarter of 2008. These worsening labour market conditions intensify current structural challenges. Segmentation in the labour market is the highest in Europe; Spain has a high number of pupils leaving school early; labour productivity is low; immigrant workers are not fully integrated into the labour market and female participation is low (although it has increased notably in the last few years). Given the scale of recent changes to the labour market, the development of a flexicurity based approach with a set of national pathways would seem rather essential, but this concept remains under developed in Spain, and the main weakness is the continued segmentation of the labour market.

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The Council recommended Spain effectively implemented education reforms at regional level, and to reduce the number of pupils leaving school early. These were the main objectives of the education law adopted in 2006. However, in 2007 the early school leaving rate actually increased by 1.1 percentage points to 31%. This is the third highest in the EU, and hides considerable regional variations. The target for 2010 set in the 2006 Implementation Report, for a reduction to 15% now seems unattainable. The NRP does contain measures at both primary and secondary education level aimed at tackling this problem, and a thematic conference with the regional Ministers of Education is foreseen. However, the implementation of most of these measures is due only to start during the fourth quarter of 2008. The NRP also announces a forthcoming roadmap to improve vocational training, where Spain displays a graduation rate of 17 percentage points lower than the EU15 average. Improving the quality and status of vocational training would also have a positive impact on the objective of reducing early school leaving. The Council has also highlighted the need for Spain to focus on countering segmentation in the labour market, raising skill levels and productivity, integrating immigrants into the labour market and increasing access to childcare. An agreement with the social partners in mid-2006 has helped to bring down the rate of fixed-term contracts by 5 percentage points to 29.4% in the second quarter of 2008. However, some of its key measures are limited in time and do not foresee the promotion of part-time employment. Progress is being made to increase skill levels, with the number of workers participating in continuous training increasing by 18.9% in 2007. In order to integrate immigrants into the labour market, Spain has a strategic plan for 2007-2010 foreseeing a broad array of measures under four pillars. However, this challenge has increased in magnitude in the current climate, given that the rate of fixed-term contracts for immigrant workers is extremely high (over 50%) and that the unemployment rate for these groups has increased more rapidly than for the rest of the population. There has been some progress concerning childcare although important regional disparities persist in this field. A plan has been announced to improve childcare services for children aged 0-3. This contains a budget of 1.1 billion euros for the period 2008-2012. In a reaction to the deteriorating labour market situation Spain approved in April 2008 an Extraordinary Plan for "Orientation, Professional Training and Labour Insertion", containing measures to fight against unemployment through active employment policies and training. A series of further measures were approved in September 2008. The implementation of the Law for Gender Equality has continued over the past year, with the adoption of measures aiming to ensure parity between men and women. It is also encouraging that labour market reforms have been approved in the framework of the social dialogue with a high degree of agreement from all social partners. However, initial disagreements have eroded the possibilities to carry the reform process further and undertake much needed and deeper reforms such as those to tackle the segmentation in the labour market.

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FRANCE
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The National Reform Programme (NRP) for 2008-2010 has set an objective to stimulate growth and jobs, and through continued structural reform, to increase the capacity of the French economy to resist financial and economic shocks. The NRP represents a sub-set of the government's 2007-2012 policy programme, aiming to contribute to increased growth and full employment. There is a direct link between the Strategy and 2007-2013 Structural Fund investments. In the context of the current global economic situation, the NRP states that France's budgetary policy will be reflecting the exceptional circumstances. Governance and developing ownership of reform has improved over the past year, notably with regard to the social partners and labour market reform. It is essential that this progress be maintained. Political ownership of the Lisbon Strategy with the French authorities has improved. In the light of the following assessment France should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: better regulation policies, participation of older workers, and making work pay

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 5. Frances main medium term macro-economic challenge is to improve its public finances and in particular by adhering to its expenditure targets. In recent years with strong economic growth, little progress has been made with reducing the government deficit. The government deficit in France increased in 2007 to 2.7% of GDP and has deteriorated in 2008, due to the weakening economic conditions and a number of tax cuts decided in August 2007. It is expected that the government deficit will be above 3% of GDP in 2008-2010. The Council recommended that France ensures long-term fiscal sustainability, with a view to achieving a balanced budget in 2010. In response France has taken actions in 2008 to achieve a balanced budget. These actions include in particular the implementation of the General Review of Public Policies, which entails annual assessments of the efficiency of public policies, ministerial strategies, and audits for modernising the State. A key element of this review is a zero growth of State expenditure, in particular by replacing only one of two retired civil servants. However, the governement has announced that the targets of the expenditure rule will not be achieved in 2009. Moreover, the expenditure rules in the other administration sub-sectors (local government and social security) remain limited,

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non-binding or not fully implemented. On the other hand, in an effort to help balance the social security budget by 2012, the government has launched a series of reforms, including measures designed to increase the efficiency of the healthcare system, and new taxes. However, the measures announced to reduce healthcare expenditures are non-binding or of limited impact. 7. To structurally improve France's budgetary situation, it is particularly important in the medium term to ensure zero-volume growth of State expenditures, which would strengthen the pace of budgetary consolidation, help achieve a balanced budget in the medium-term, and reverse the rapid increase in the debt ratio, which is important in the light of the expected costs of an ageing population. France's expenditure-to-GDP ratio is forecast to have been 52.8% in 2008, the highest in the euro area. The debtto-GDP ratio, according France's November 2008 update of the Stability Programme is supposed to have reached 66.7% in 2008 and is expected to increase. In view of improving the sustainability of public finances, the Council also recommended that the negotiation on pension systems scheduled for 2008 would have to build on the gains made following the introduction of the 2003 reform. The 2008 review was concluded successfully in time and notably decided to increase the number of contribution years required for full pension entitlement from 40 to 41. It also addresses the issue of special pension regimes, with an alignment with the pension regime of civil servants. Such efforts should be pursued at the next round of the review of the reform foreseen in 2010.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 9. Improving functioning of markets is a key micro-economic challenge for France. The price level for goods and services could be lowered through enhanced competition, thus sustaining domestic demand and household purchasing power. Enhanced competition and less restrictive regulation in products and services markets would benefit to Frances competitiveness, in terms of growth, exports and employment. The Council recommended improving the competition framework in the energy and rail freight sectors. Some positive but limited commercial, regulatory or technical initiatives have been taken in the electricity and gas markets, such as interconnections of networks and connection with neighbouring markets. However, the specific transitory regulatory tariff for industry has been prolonged until 2010. Regulated tariffs still account for a large part of gas and electricity consumption. They block market entry and consolidate the very high concentration in electricity supply. Alternative suppliers represent respectively less than 1% and 20% of residential and non-residential customers. In rail freight, positive measures have ensured better access to infrastructure for alternative operators, whose market shares increased in 2007 (to 4.7%). However, there should be a stronger separation between infrastructure manager (RFF) and the incumbent operator (SNCF), and the draft law creating a strong, independent Regulation Authority should now be adopted and implemented. The Council also pointed out the need to enhance competition in regulated trades and professions. Additional measures are still needed, notably in legal professions. The transposition of the Services Directive represents a significant opportunity to speed up the pace of reform. In the retail sector, in most French municipalities, mayors can

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still have recourse to the authorization procedure for opening a retail store below 1000m. Selling at a loss is still forbidden. 12. The Council also stressed the need to further enhance better regulation policies by including impact assessments. The national target to alleviate by 25% the administrative burden by 2011 is welcome. Simplification of legislation is also progressing. The recent constitutional law introduced principles regarding the quality of new legislation. This should lead to mandatory impact assessments that address environmental, social and economic aspects. Taking economic and competitiveness impacts more into consideration within the Better Regulation policy, as well as adopting a more systematic and structured approach to consultation of stakeholders, including SMEs, would also contribute to further improving the overall business environment. A number of important reforms have been taken in the micro field including the welcome establishment of a stronger Competition Authority. However, its investigation and sanction means, and its coordination with the Economics Ministry, notably as regards antitrust activities, remain to be clarified. R&D expenditure in the public sector is in line with the 2012 national target and should contribute to greater innovation. Private expenditure remains insufficient, especially in mid-sized enterprises. The more systematic evaluation of research and innovation is welcome. The Law on the Modernisation of the Economy further simplified the business environment for small enterprises, in line with the European Small Business Act. However, although the number of new firms created annually has significantly increased, the number of mid-sized enterprises remains insufficient. Many actions are ongoing to promote entrepreneurial education, although not integrated in the regular curriculum. The recent comprehensive ICT strategy includes 2012 targets for access to broadband Internet. Broadband Internet access at school is part of the overall ICT plan. A comprehensive and ambitious set of draft environmental legislation will promote better energy efficiency in buildings, greener public procurement, and more renewable energies, and may thus lead to a significant greening of Frances economy.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 14. The labour market is characterized by high productivity but low labour utilisation. This is reflected in persistently high unemployment of notably the young and low employment of principally older workers, as well comparatively lower hours worked in the economy. Labour market rigidities account for inefficiencies and employment segmentation impacting hardest on employment outsiders like youngsters. Flexicurity is the key to reform of France's dual labour market, with the 2008-2010 NRP pointing to ongoing reform in all four flexicurity domains. Structural reform is contributing to a more integrated employment policy, even if vital flexicurity reforms (employment protection) are partial or reform has slowed (vocational training). The Council recommended France to modernise employment protection and enhance life-long learning. In the past year, social partners reached a first inter-professional agreement on flexicurity, which was subsequently transposed into law. This law aims to develop more flexible contracts through an increase in trial periods, a new specialpurpose contract, and a new way to end permanent contracts through consensual

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termination. Conversely, workers that have been laid off will have some transferability of rights (e.g. training, complementary health insurance, and unemployment benefits) reflecting contributions made earlier. While the reform should allow for more use of temporary contracts, facilitate terminations on permanent contracts, and help transitions back into work through transferred training rights, it does not tackle contractual segmentation and falls short of comprehensive employment protection legislation reform that would address the insider-outsider duality along permanent - temporary contract lines. 17. Progress to reform vocational training has stalled, with the objective of a more efficient and accessible training system closely aligned to labour market needs, still under negotiation by stakeholders. New legislation has merged and reorganized public job placement services and unemployment compensation agencies. The new operator should be better able to assist companies, workers and job seekers as of 2009. The rights and obligations of job seekers have for the first time been laid out, while reform of the unemployment system is projected to both tighten and open up the system to a wider public. The latter reform, if carried through, could make French unemployment compensation less based on insiders' vested interest and more based on unemployment risks. Efforts to increase the labour supply include the tax exemption of overtime and a new law making the statutory 35-hour working week less binding. In addition, to complement the 2008 pension review, further measures aim to encourage active ageing and discourage early withdrawal from the labour market. However, social benefit reform aimed at facilitating a return to employment has been postponed until mid-2009. Some reforms should stimulate labour supply, in particular the levy on early retirement (raised from 24,15% to 50%), the removal of obstacles to combining employment and retirement, obligatory active ageing targets at branch and company level, and to make work pay by helping bridge the gap between assistance and wages (RSA as of mid-2009). However, other measures may prove to be second-best responses. For example, tax exemption on overtime will encourage hours worked and favour those already employed. However, labour supply is primarily an issue of low levels of participation in France, and these policies do not tackle the heart of the problem. An important reform of social dialogue has been brought in to facilitate majority agreements. Currently, sizeable reductions of employers' social contributions on minimum wages act as a negative incentive to raise the wage of people employed at the minimum wage, helping to create a low wage trap. As a result, 13% of the workforce is employed at the minimum wage. A projected reform is seeking to alter how the minimum wage is set and its link to reductions in employers social contributions, making the latter conditional on wage negotiations. The continued high tax wedge on low wages may require further tax reform.

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ITALY
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The new National Reform Programme (NRP) demonstrates awareness of the problems that need to be tackled to increase Italy's growth potential. However, the reform agenda in the micro-economic and employment spheres needs to be further developed. Few new measures have been announced to open up competition in product and services markets and no clear indications are given on how to meet the R&D target. Comprehensive strategies for both a flexicurity-based reform and improving the quality of education, in particular with a view to addressing regional disparities, have not yet been developed. Consultation and efforts to develop ownership of the NRP at the level of central and local governments and the social partners are substantial. Links between governance and monitoring of the NRP, the National Strategic Reference Framework and national operational programmes under the structural funds are strong. The earmarking of structural funding for growth and jobs objectives is applied satisfactorily. In the light of the following assessment Italy should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: R&D efficiency and spending, greenhouse gas emissions, quality of regulation, the effectiveness and efficiency of public administration, infrastructure, labour market participation of women, employment of older workers, and alignment of wage and productivity developments.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. Ensuring the long-term sustainability of public finances remains a key challenge for Italy, given the very high level of public debt and demographic pressure. There is also the need to enhance the quality of public finances, in particular as regards fiscal governance and public services. Deteriorating cost competitiveness vis--vis Italys main trading partners is resulting in a steady loss of market shares and has thus become an important policy challenge. The Council asked Italy to pursue fiscal consolidation, in particular by curbing growth in current primary expenditure, and fully implement and complete pension reform. Italy's resolute fiscal consolidation strategy over 2006 and 2007 brought the general government deficit down to 1.6% of GDP, its lowest level since 2000. However, also because of the economic downturn, the situation of public finances started deteriorating again in 2008. The further weakening of the economy is expected to lead to breach of the 3% of GDP deficit threshold already in 2009, while the very high and increasing public debt prevents the government from extensively

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using discretionary fiscal instruments. The reaffirmed commitment to the multiannual fiscal consolidation strategy relies on progressive containment of expenditure at all levels of government. This will require improving efficiency and effectiveness of spending in order to safeguard an adequate level of public services. Some recent improvements in fiscal governance will help enhance expenditure control. The current challenge for fiscal governance is to design a new framework for fiscal federalism that ensures the accountability of local governments and fosters efficiency. 6. With a law adopted in 2007, Italy has taken a further step to reform pensions with a view to limiting future age-related public expenditure increases. Strict implementation of the reform over the years is crucial for fiscal sustainability, but additional measures should be considered, notably a further increase in the retirement age, in particular for women. To restore competitiveness in export markets, a robust recovery of productivity growth is key. In the short-term, better balancing wage coordination at the national level with appropriate wage adjustment at firm level would help. Steps have been taken in this direction through fiscal incentives for performance-related pay, and an overhaul of the collective bargaining framework is currently under discussion. It remains to be seen whether these initiatives will foster productivity growth and to what extent they will bring about a better alignment of wages with productivity as was recommended by the Council to all euro area countries. This would also help address regional disparities in the labour market.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 8. The main micro-economic challenges facing Italy involve opening up competition in the market; granting incentives for scientific research and technological innovation; upgrading infrastructure; and protecting the environment. Responding to these challenges would enhance long-term productivity growth and the resilience of the economy. The Council recommended Italy to continue the progress made to enhance competition in product and services markets. A law on the liberalisation of local public services has been adopted, but its impact on competition will depend on its application. Promising initial measures have been taken to open up the fuel distribution market, which should be implemented across the country. No further liberalisation measures are announced in the new NRP, which is mainly backward looking in this respect. The recommendations issued by the National Competition Authority to address the significant barriers to competition that exist in a number of sectors, including retailing, professional and financial services, gas and local public services, provide a clear blueprint for reform. In this context, the bill mandating the government to propose every year a law to take account of the recommendations issued by the National Competition Authority, currently being discussed by the Parliament, would provide an appropriate tool. Furthermore, the national merger control law should be made applicable to all companies, including large insolvent companies, thus again opening up competition in air transport. As regards financial services, the financial crisis should not stop further strengthening the framework for competition.

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10.

The Council also highlighted the need to focus on: increasing investment on R&D; curbing greenhouse gases emission; implementing plans to improve infrastructure; and improving the quality of regulation, also by strengthening and fully implementing impact assessments. In the area of R&D, Italy has made some progress in supporting innovation and strengthening links between research and industry. This includes public-private partnerships at local level and a tax credit scheme for investments in R&D. Large-scale projects have been launched to promote industrial innovation and support the modernisation of the industrial basis. Measures are being taken to improve the governance of research, including initial steps to reform funding criteria to reflect merit and promote a more responsible use of resources, and the option for universities to become private foundations. However, the implementation of measures is generally slow and R&D spending has not increased since 2005, while the number of researchers remains lower than the EU average. Thus, meeting the expenditure target for R&D (2.5% of GDP by 2010) seems increasingly difficult. Moreover, the foreseen cuts to universities recurrent funding and personnel are likely to reduce research and education capacities if not accompanied by further efficiency-enhancing measures, including a more comprehensive reform of funding criteria. The NRP provides information on progress made in implementing plans for expanding energy, ICT and transport infrastructure. Additional major infrastructure projects are envisaged, but these should not slow down the implementation of existing plans. Some measures to expand broadband to rural areas have been announced, which should now be implemented. To improve the business environment, Italy has taken steps to improve the quality of existing regulation, including by abolishing a number of redundant laws. Further effort is needed to ensure high quality new legislation, including comprehensive use of impact assessments. Italy is also taking steps to improve the efficiency of the public administration, a key factor undermining the business environment. Measures being introduced aim at enhancing transparency, better rewarding merit and promoting a more rational use of resources. A target has been set for cutting the administrative burden on businesses by 25% by 2012 and a project for measuring the burden is being completed. A law has been introduced to strengthen one-stop shops and reduce the time and costs for starting an enterprise. Italy's greenhouse gas emissions are significantly above 1990 levels and the NRP acknowledges that existing measures will not be sufficient to meet the Kyoto target. Additional interventions need to be urgently identified and implemented.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 14. In a context of persistently slow economic and productivity growth, improving employment, labour market participation and employability throughout the country, overcoming the sharp regional disparities and high gender gaps, remain main challenges for Italy. While not explicitly defining a flexicurity pathway or demonstrating an integrated approach, Italy's NRP describes recent or forthcoming initiatives addressing all four components of flexicurity. The design of a coherent set of structural measures that addresses all four components is now required. Focus should in particular be placed

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on addressing labour market segmentation; enhancing the provision of active labour market policies throughout the country, including by strengthening the employment services; and developing concrete and effective lifelong learning policies, in particular in SMEs. 16. The Council recommended that Italy, within a flexicurity approach and with a view to reducing regional disparities, focus on education, lifelong learning, undeclared work and the operation of employment services. Little progress is visible in terms of improving the quality of education. Large disparities in education outcomes persist and southern regions remain among the worst performing in Europe. The foreseen cuts in education spending, mainly aimed at bringing the pupil to teaching staff ratio more in line with the EU average, need to be accompanied by decisive action to promote quality teaching so as to avoid deteriorating further education outcomes. In this context, the close monitoring of quality standards is essential. Stabilising the organisation of the education and training system after a series of incomplete reforms is a priority. On lifelong learning, effective action, including efforts to enhance the role of enterprises as training providers, is needed to help increase the participation of the workforce in training. The European Social Fund has been providing an important contribution in this area. Some measures, mainly preventative, have been recently adopted to fight undeclared work, while some previous promising initiatives have been dropped. Measures to simplify recruitment and job regularisation procedures have been adopted that could also enhance transparency of employment relations. A comprehensive policy package, ensuring both the rights and obligations of workers and a stricter control of firms' hiring behaviour, should be designed. Progress in ensuring a better operation of the Employment Services needs to be pursued, in particular to effectively monitor the outcome of their activities and overcome the poorer performance of service in the south. In light of very low employment rates for women when compared with the rest of the EU, the Council also pointed to the need to continue increasing the provision of adequate, accessible and affordable childcare and elderly care. The implementation of the national plan on services for early childhood should therefore be closely monitored. Overall, the NRP still does not clearly set out how to foster the labour market participation of women. The Council also emphasised the need to put in place a consistent active ageing strategy. The gradual increase in retirement age and the recent provision on the full accumulation of pension and work income are steps in the right direction. A wider policy on active ageing has been announced as a follow-up to the 2008 Green Book on Welfare. This would contribute to a sounder financing basis for social protection and to the adequacy of pensions.

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CYPRUS
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The Cypriot National Reform Programme (NRP) contains a detailed and comprehensive list of policy objectives and actions aimed at responding to the Council recommendations and points to watch. It also presents analytically the main policy priorities for the period 2008-2010. Overall, the planned measures are ambitious and consistent with Cyprus medium and long-term structural reform needs and have a defined timetable and budget. Structural Funds programmes for 2007-2013 are earmarked to a large extent for the Lisbon objectives. The utilisation of the Structural Funds contributes significantly to the priority policy areas of the NRP. Governance and ownership of the NRP continues to be strong. All stakeholders are involved in the consultation and implementation process. The government has actively sought to increase further public awareness through seminars and public events, extensively covered by the media. In the light of the following assessment Cyprus should pay particular attention to the the country-specific recommendation presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: health care reform, current account developments, gender pay gap; competition in professional services; private sector R&D, and broadband.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. The macro-economic challenges presented in the NRP continue to be fiscal consolidation and debt reduction in order to stabilise the economy and to improve the long-term sustainability of public finances. The NRP targets a policy mix that supports economic growth and price stability. In this context, it envisages an improvement in the quality and management of public finances, by redirecting government expenditure towards growth enhancing activities. The implementation, since 2007, of a 3-year budgetary framework and a performance-based budget has been key. However, the NRP does not tackle the persistent current account deficit. While this has temporarily deteriorated due to high commodity prices, the NRP indicates that the process of real convergence will demand a much more significant reduction in the current account deficit, but without detailing the means. The Council recommended Cyprus to take steps to implement reforms of the pension and health care systems and to set a timetable for their implementation. Progress in pension reform has been very substantial in 2008. A vigorous reform package, including higher contribution rates and stricter eligibility criteria, has been agreed with the social partners and is currently under discussion in Parliament. Furthermore, the increase of the retirement age from 60 to 63 years for an additional nine semi-

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governmental organisations is at the stage of legal vetting. The implementation date for the reform is 1 January 2009. In contrast, the need for progress on healthcare reform is imperative, not only for securing the long-term sustainability of public finances but also due to its social impact. Although preparatory work continues unabated, progress has been slower than planned. The delay in the two pillars of reform, transforming hospitals into autonomous units and establishing a comprehensive National Health Insurance System, has been mainly due to lack of consensus and technical problems. The large number of stakeholders and interests involved make a consensus hard to reach. 6. In 2007, for the first time, the general government balance recorded a surplus, of 3.5% of GDP, on the back of strong economic growth and exceptionally buoyant revenues. For 2008, the government surplus is projected about 1% of GDP, despite the expected adverse cyclical impact. The 2009 budget provides a balanced mix of fiscal prudence and support for the economy, with measures targeted at the more vulnerable social groups. However, public finances are projected to move into deficit in 2009, on account of a significant slowdown of economic activity and subdued tax revenue. Expenditure would remain at a similar level as in 2008, as a rise in current expenditure would be offset by a reduction in interest rate payments The level of debt should continue declining, approaching 45% of GDP by 2010, largely reflecting the planned reduction of deposits with the central bank.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. The challenges for Cyprus for the next two years are to create a more competitive environment for businesses, increase private sector research and innovation, and accelerate the transition of the economy towards diversified and renewable energy sources. Improved broadband availability and speed at a lower cost are also necessary to boost uptake of ICT and increase its contribution to the overall economy. A systematic simplification of existing legislation, a consistent approach towards consultation and a fully integrated impact assessment system through the implementation of the 2007 National Action Plan and the welcome commitment to reduce administrative burdens by 20% by 2010 would help to improve business environment. The Council pointed to the need for Cyprus to improve competition in professional services. Cyprus has commissioned an independent study to be completed by May 2009 to examine the existing restrictions for certain professions. As regards business ownership and structure restrictions, Cyprus is currently changing the legislative framework to allow the formation of private limited companies for lawyers, architects and engineers. Furthermore, the recently reinforced National Competition Authority (NCA) has launched investigations into most professions to tackle pricing and other restrictions on competition. This represents a step in the right direction but it has yet to produce the expected result and it remains very important to step up the pace of reform, complete the relaxation of the regulatory framework restricting ownership and corporate formation, and ensure that the NCA has all the statutory guarantees and the resources needed to carry out its enforcement and advocacy role. The Council also pointed to the need to further stimulate R&D in the private sector. R&D spending remains low in Cyprus (0.43% GDP in 2006). The share of private sector investments has declined to only 16% despite the existence of relatively big

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companies in the services and tourism sectors that could undertake such R&D activities. In this context, it is unlikely that Cyprus will attain its target for 1% GDP R&D expenditures by 2010. In 2008 Cyprus introduced policies that address organizational and infrastructure weaknesses and budgeted adequate funding for them. However, key actions such as the launch of the high-tech business incubator program, the establishment of the Science and Technology Park and the setting up of a loan guarantee granting facility for SMEs, are not yet completed. The introduction of fiscal measures and the encouragement of venture capital investment in start-up and early-stage R&D-intensive projects would be important to promote a higher level of private sector investment in R&D. 10. Notwithstanding the rapid pace of broadband deployment in Cyprus over the last year, access to broadband remains below the EU average and a stronger policy response is needed to facilitate the development of infrastructure and in particular to increase speed, availability and lower costs. Cyprus has substantial further potential to further exploit the opportunities offered by ICT across society. Despite a series of measures taken in 2007 and 2008 to develop eGovernment services and promote ICT investment and uptake, key policy actions such as the design of a National Information Society Strategy are delayed considerably. Since 2005 Cyprus has been implementing programmes for energy efficiency, energy security, diversification, and the as well as promotion of renewable energy. A number of measures and incentives are in place to facilitate investment in renewable energy technologies. These policies are reinforced in the revised NRP by significant new support schemes for all types of renewable energies, as well as by the establishment of a new organizational structure. However, water management remains problematic. The new National Action Plan for Drought aims to ensure reliable water supply to households by building necessary infrastructure and at the same time decreasing demand. Drought management measures should also contribute to improving the business climate and tourism.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 12. Maintaining a sustained supply of labour, developing further human capital and enhancing social cohesion continue to be the main challenges. The labour market in Cyprus is characterised by overall high employment, low unemployment and labour supply shortages, particularly in low-skill occupations, which is being addressed by large-scale migratory flows. However, productivity is stagnant and is below the EU average. The NRP reports on a number of on-going or planned initiatives on all four components of Flexicurity but without explicitly referring to an integrated national flexicurity pathway. Initiatives have focused on a national lifelong learning strategy, Public Employment Services, and measures mostly co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) aiming at promoting active labour market policy and flexible forms of employment. In the light of the continuing scarcity of such forms of employment, there remains scope to further enhance the integration of groups that remain under-represented in the labour market through adequate contractual arrangements.

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14.

The Council recommendation for Cyprus focused on lifelong learning, employment and training opportunities for young people and reforms of the vocational, education, training and apprenticeship system. The participation of adult population in lifelong learning has been increasing over the last two years to reach 8.4% in 2007 and the ratio of pupils leaving school early has been falling. However, in the light of the national strategic priorities to restructure the economy by shifting emphasis from low to high-skilled jobs, and to address the key problem of low labour productivity, enhanced efforts are needed to increase participation in lifelong learning of the lowskilled and unemployed and to reduce the high early school leaving rates among young people with a migrant background. Initiatives in these areas are planned and supported by the ESF. Following the adoption of the national Lifelong Learning Strategy in 2007, a National Committee and a Technical supporting Committee have been appointed. Their remit is to monitor, coordinate and promote the implementation of the Strategy. The Technical Committee is currently preparing a mapping of lifelong learning measures promoted by the authorities. The regular evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of lifelong learning measures needs to be reinforced. In the last 12 months there has been slow progress in upgrading the secondary technical and vocational education, and the implementation of the Modern Apprenticeship Scheme has been delayed, with it now due to start by the end of 2008. The Council also pointed to the need to address the very high gender pay gap. Following the completion of a study on the issue, the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance has prepared a proposal of measures to be co-funded by ESF (with a projected total cost of 4.5 million), during 2009-2013. This is a welcome start that should be followed by a comprehensive policy plan to address in an integrated way all social, occupational and educational causes underlying this gap. A number of labour tax and benefit measures have been launched with a view to making work pay and strengthening social cohesion. More effective policy measures to encourage the labour market integration of people with disabilities are needed as well as measures to reduce the very high poverty risk among the age group of 65+. There is also a need to reinforce actions to improve health and safety at work, and to improve reconciliation of work and family life by expanding the availability of childcare facilities, especially for the age group of 0-2 years old.

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LATVIA
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. Concerning the priority areas for action, implementation of an ICT programme in the education sector is behind schedule. The National Reform Programme (NRP) confirms the ambitious target to more than double the current level of household access to broadband to 75% by 2013 (50% by 2010). The planned initiatives in the field of energy and climate change, in particular the programme for environmentally friendly public procurement, are promising but remain to be implemented. Links between the governance of the implementation of the NRP and programmes under the Structural and Cohesion Funds are quite strong and the earmarking of structural funding for Growth and Jobs objectives has so far been applied satisfactorily. It remains to be seen if this will continue from 2009 in light of the tighter budgetary outlook. The implementation of the Structural Fund programmes for the period 20072013 is falling behind schedule. Governance and ownership of the NRP at the level of central and local governments and social partners is rather weak and public visibility of the Lisbon reform process remains low. Discussions on the NRP are held within the Lisbon Strategy Supervisory Council, the Lisbon Strategy Consultative Working Group, as well as with other stakeholders. However there seems to be limited assessment of the implementation of the NRP. In general the NRP is not a forward-looking document, and lacks a strategic approach. In the light of the following assessment Latvia should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important:: the regulatory environment, financial incentives to work, and take-up of ICT.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. 5. In the context of the global and domestic economic climate, ensuring macroeconomic stability remains the main challenge for Latvia. In this context the Council recommended Latvia to pursue a more restrictive fiscal policy and bring wage developments in line with productivity. However, in 2008 the budgetary situation deteriorated rapidly due to the deepening economic downturn.. On 14 November 2008 Parliament adopted a 2009 state budget with a forecast deficit of 1.5% of GDP, based on a projected 1% GDP contraction. In view of international financial assistance negotiations, as well as the evidently deepening budget imbalances, on 12 December 2008 the Parliament adopted the "Programme for stabilisation of the economy and renewal of growth" aimed at stemming immediate

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liquidity pressures, strengthening the banking sector, correcting fiscal imbalances, and adopting domestic policies that will improve competitiveness. This should help maintain domestic and international confidence in the financial system and contribute to reversing worsening cost competitiveness and inflationary pressures. It should also strengthen the economys growth potential through structural reforms. Importantly, the implementation of EU co-financed projects should proceed as planned. Timely and determined implementation of the Programme will be crucial. To underpin this programme, the government adopted an amended budget for 2009. This aims to cap the 2009 general government fiscal deficit at below 5% of GDP, implying a very large budgetary adjustment compared with the budget passed in November 2008. A new budget law for 2009, consistent with this amended budget, should be adopted by the end of March 2009. 7. Medium-term fiscal consolidation would be aided by a strict medium-term fiscal framework and by ensuring public sector wages develop in line with productivity. In this context, amendments to the Budgetary and Financial Management Law are planned for 2009. There has also been significant progress to limit and progressively reduce public sector remuneration. The government has proposed substantial reductions in public sector wage expenditure, achieved by both cuts in average remuneration as well as by headcount reductions, as a centrepiece of a much tighter fiscal stance. By example and competitive pressures, this should help to align private sector wage levels more closely with productivity. Further progress in this area will be key to restoring Latvia's cost-competitiveness. The proposed corporate income tax measures to stimulate the manufacturing sector should help improve competitiveness in the medium term Other export and manufacturing-promoting instruments should be applied without further delay using the available Structural Funds' financing.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 9. The NRP identifies knowledge and innovation, and a business environment conducive to investment and employment as the micro-economic challenges. The main goals are to increase R&D spending, renew the human resource base in science, generate innovation and new technologies, and to increase the penetration and efficiency of ICT. In the short term, policies requiring additional expenditure may prove challenging and further structural reforms will be needed alongside an increase in effective R&D spending to ensure sustainable growth in the future. The Council recommended that Latvia progressed faster with its research and innovation policy reforms. Progress has been made, but policy formulation remains fragmented and inter-ministerial co-ordination could be improved. R&D policy is centred on the academic community and integration of the private sector remains the main challenge. The impact of recently adopted policies to stimulate partnerships between research institutions and business is also unclear, since there is no systematic monitoring and evaluation. Research activities could be further concentrated in areas with the highest potential for productivity gains. Given the generally low level of technological development in the private sector, additional emphasis should be put on the promotion of skills and resources that enable the application of existing technologies. Innovation in the service sector (including non-

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technological innovation) has considerable potential. Latvia has so far not leveraged public procurement to boost innovation. 11. National data suggests a decrease in R&D intensity in 2007 to 0.63% of GDP, reversing increases between 2004 and 2006 The ambitious R&D targets of 1.1% of GDP in 2008 and 1.5% in 2010 are unlikely to be met. The shortage of qualified workers, especially researchers and engineers, needed to absorb the planned increase in total R&D investment remains an important challenge. A reinforced exposure of the R&D and innovation system to international cooperation is highly relevant in this respect. The Council also invited Latvia to improve further the regulatory environment. Latvia has continued making progress and the setting of a 25% target for administrative burden reduction at national level is particularly welcome. The work on the general framework of better regulation policy should lead to the consolidation of fragmented initiatives, and ensure that the entire public administration takes ownership of this agenda. Systematic efforts to simplify the existing legislation are still lacking, as is a consistent approach to public consultation. More efforts are needed to enhance the use of a comprehensive impact assessment system as an instrument for ensuring a high quality of new legislation. Latvia performs unfavourably concerning supply of online public services and their use by enterprises despite a significant increase in the supply of e-government. The take-up of broadband by enterprises in 2007 slightly diminished. The legal basis for e-services is still missing and their commercial rollout remains limited. ICT is mainly used for support functions instead of core business activities, leaving its potential in raising productivity largely unexploited.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 14. The NRP identifies the promotion of an inclusive labour market, social dialogue, flexicurity, health and safety at work, regional mobility and tackling undeclared work as challenges for 2008-2010. The increasingly difficult labour market conditions necessitate a strong policy response to ensure that the unemployed return to the labour market quickly. While a flexicurity pathway has not been explicitly defined, the intention is to make contractual arrangements more flexible, strengthen the capacity of social partners and implement active labour market programmes. Measures have been taken to review some social benefits and tackle undeclared work. More emphasis is needed on lifelong learning, on supporting effective transitions and progression in jobs and on recognition of non-formal learning. The Council recommendation focused on labour supply and productivity. Overall labour market performance has been good, resulting in an increase in the overall employment target and those for women and older workers. Until now the labour market has been slow to reflect the economic downturn, but more demanding times lie ahead, with unemployment set to become a particular challenge, especially for disadvantaged groups and youth. The quality of labour supply and labour shortages will need to be addressed by enhanced training and a better match between skills and labour market needs. Very low labour productivity across most economic sectors is a

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concern. Some progress has been made in plans to support regional mobility, but implementation is now needed. Efforts have been made to forecast future labour market developments, enabling education and training systems to better anticipate skill needs. However, the quality of education and training (particularly vocational education) needs to continue to improve. Although the lifelong learning action programme for 2008-2010 has been approved, implementation is delayed. It focuses on disadvantaged groups and supporting local governments, but the overall need to develop skills and qualifications is insufficiently stressed. 17. The Council invited Latvia to improve access to childcare and to focus on pursuing active labour market policies. The provision of childcare is still insufficient to effectively help the combination of parenthood and work. Steps have been taken to introduce alternative, including short-term solutions. It is not enough if parents work full-time, as part-time wages are often too low. Support from the Structural Funds will help improve pre-school education infrastructure in regional centres. Active labour market policies have become more demand driven and place new focus on inactive and disadvantaged groups, this needs to be maintained in the expected downturn. The extensive labour market adjustment to be expected as the economy restructures will put extra pressure on these programs and the additional resources needed will be substantial. Although Latvia continues to increase its minimum wage and personal income tax threshold, the tax wedge on average and low wage earners remains high, as are marginal effective tax rates. The steps undertaken in 2008 go in the right direction, but could be taken further in view of the need to improve competitiveness and growth prospects.

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LITHUANIA
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The Lithuanian National Reform Programme (NRP) presents a list of measures to respond to the Council recommendations and other priority areas. It sets some quantified targets, but it is difficult to assess whether the measures will be sufficient to achieve them, as some measures are rather general. The NRP does not identify budgetary resources and only offers a general timeframe for implementation. The NRP fails to provide a clear and concise Action Plan that allows discerning political intentions on addressing the outlined priorities. Lithuania plans to invest a high share of Structural Funds into R&D and innovation and human capital. It is still too early to see how these plans have been put into practice. Lithuanian efforts to ensure ownership and visibility of the Lisbon strategy are reflected in the consultation of working groups of stakeholders and members of Parliament. Nonetheless, ownership of the Lisbon Strategy tends to be at a technical rather than political level. Parliamentary elections took place in October 2008 after the approval of the NRP and a new coalition government was appointed in December. In the light of the following assessment Lithuania should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: better regulation, regional labour mobility, availability of childcare, and occupational health and safety

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. The immediate challenge for Lithuania is to manage the economic slowdown so as to preserve macro-economic stability. In particular, this relates to containing inflationary pressures and reducing the large external deficit. Fiscal discipline and wage setting in line with productivity will be vital so as to not exacerbating existing imbalances. Strengthening the supply side of the economy will be very important to ensure a sustainable economic recovery. Structural reforms could support the required re-allocations of resources to exporting sectors. In 2008 public finances are expected to have registered a deficit of nearly 3% of GDP, due to expansionary policies. Looking forward, in view of continuing threats to macro-economic stability, the incoming government adopted in December 2008 a substantial fiscal austerity package. The package foresees considerable budgetary savings coming through a tax reform and cuts in budgetary expenditure. The tax rate changes (standard VAT up from 18% to 19%, personal income tax down from 24% to 21% and corporate profits tax up from 15% to 20%), increases in excise duties as well as removal of most of the existing tax exemptions entered into force on 1

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January 2009. Significant cuts in the public wage bill, other current expenditure as well as in investment are planned in the budget. Furthermore, the government plans significant receipts from privatization in 2009. 6. The Council invited Lithuania to focus on containing inflationary pressures. Inflation rose substantially from 5.8% in 2007 to around 11% in 2008. Wage growth remained high in 2008 and was 19% year-on-year in the third quarter, well above productivity growth, thus eroding Lithuania's competitiveness. Further price increases stem from higher gas and oil prices translating into higher heating costs, higher food prices, as well as from the harmonisation of indirect taxes for tobacco, fuel and alcohol. The counter-inflationary measures set out in the anti-inflationary plans of 2007 have yet to be implemented. Looking forward in 2009, after the impact of the indirect tax increases in January, inflation is nevertheless expected to ease rapidly due to a slump in domestic and eternal demand.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. The NRP identifies the following priorities in the micro-economic domain: encouraging research and innovation; strengthening competitive industrial potential; the creation of a favourable business environment; encouraging a rational use of resources to strengthen the synergy of environment protection and economic growth; promoting information and communications technology; and up-dating infrastructure. The Council recommended Lithuania to accelerate the reform of its R&D and innovation system. In response, the Research Council was created to administer funds on a competitive basis and five Integrated Research, Higher-Education and Business Centres (Valleys) are being established to concentrate physical and human resources, strengthen science-industry interactions and help restructure public research institutions. Increases in salaries are aiming to boost attractiveness of researcher positions. Support from Structural Funds and better conditions for R&D and innovation activities in enterprises are also being provided. These reforms are expected to improve the capacity of Lithuania to attract and retain students, researchers and innovative companies and their implementation needs to be closely monitored. This is particularly important given that the ageing of researchers and the decline in the number of doctoral graduates remain a major concern. Innovation support services should also target traditional and low-tech sectors that are important for the economy but where growth is hampered by low levels of innovation. In terms of R&D spending, there are no signs of progress on the public side with the intensity of R&D government funding decreasing from 0.48% in 2005 to 0.43% of GDP in 2006. Therefore, the 1% of GDP target for R&D public funding by 2010 will be difficult to achieve. However, there are positive signals from the business sector where R&D intensity increased in 2006 to 0.21% of GDP (from 0.16% in 2005). Further analysis of this increase should be carried out to better design future measures promoting business R&D. The Council also highlighted the need to improve the efficiency of regulatory environment with particular focus on legislative simplification, and to focus on increasing foreign direct investment (FDI). In 2007 Lithuania adopted an investment promotion programme. However, the programme focuses almost exclusively on

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infrastructure, while most of the reasons for low FDI are due to labour market bottlenecks and weaknesses of the business environment. Improving the business environment through far reaching legislative simplification and by reducing red tape would help to encourage economic activity, attract FDI and counterbalance the current slowdown without impinging on the public budget. However the Better Regulation Programme adopted in 2008 remains ineffective. While Lithuanias intention to set an administrative burden reduction target is welcome, this should be followed by concrete legislative and administrative simplification. Furthermore, more effort is needed to improve the quality of impact assessments of new legislation through an integrated analysis of environmental, social and economic impacts. While a number of steps have been taken on the application of the 'Think Small First' principle, the Better Regulation agenda still lacks sufficient focus on SME. 11. Lithuania continues improving environmental protection by promoting renewable energy resources, production and use of bio fuels, management of the seacoast and the modernisation of apartment blocks. ICT up-take is slow, with broadband penetration reaching 13.7%. While Lithuanias efforts to a new broadband network of information technologies in rural areas are welcome, further efforts are needed to speed up progress. Lithuania is encouraged to set a broadband penetration target and making high-speed Internet available to all schools by 2010. In 2007, Lithuania revised its National Energy Strategy to prepare for the closure of the second unit of the Ignalina nuclear power plant in 2009. However, most of the planned measures still need urgently to be implemented.

EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 12. After a period of strong growth and a rapidly tightening labour market, the difficult economic conditions have resulted in negative employment growth and increased unemployment. Slowing emigration should also relax the tight labour market, but further contribute to increased unemployment. In the light of negative demographic trends and an ageing population, maintaining adequate labour supply, both in quantity and quality, is a key challenge for Lithuania. To reach the national employment target of 68.8% by 2010 (64.9% in 2007), Lithuania needs to address low territorial mobility, social inclusion, undeclared work, disincentives to work and insufficient opportunities to balance work and private life. Efforts are needed to boost productivity and alleviate skills mismatches by improving education and training systems, lifelong learning, and occupational health and safety. Lithuania has been addressing all flexicurity components to some extent without a clearly established pathway. It now plans to set up a Flexicurity Task Force to agree on an integrated set of flexicurity measures by 2010. The Lithuanian labour market is insufficiently flexible, as there is more focus on job rather than employment security. Expenditure on active labour market policy measures is higher than on passive, but the participation in lifelong learning is critically low. The Council recommended Lithuania to increase the supply of skilled labour by promoting regional mobility and reforming education and training systems. The Programme for the Promotion of Labour Mobility approved in 2008 plans financial compensation for commuting and improvements in transport infrastructure. This is welcome, although the measures need to be further specified and implemented. Progress is more limited in reforming education and training. The draft law on

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Studies and Science should help make higher education more responsive to the needs of the economy and society, encourage better competition between universities, help reform of university governance by involving more social partners, and increase financing of higher education and research. However, this law has yet to be adopted. Lithuania plans to raise participation in lifelong learning to 8% by 2010 (4.9% in 2006). No target has been set for older workers and the measure proposed in the NRP to give priority to training to people over 45 seems to cover only the unemployed. The revised lifelong learning strategy was approved in October 2008 but because of its general nature, lack of quantified targets and budgetary resources, its expected impact is difficult to assess. The NRP sets an ambitious target for the share of students in vocational training programmes of 32% by 2010 (2% in 2007). To help achieve this, initial and continuous vocational education and training systems are to be integrated, pupil-based financing introduced and modular programmes created. This should raise the attractiveness of vocational education, especially if the quality is also improved. 15. The Council invited Lithuania to improve youth employability, expand entrepreneurship education, increase the availability of childcare and strengthen occupational health and safety. Important initiatives on youth employability and entrepreneurship education should help support the young in view of the expected rise in youth unemployment. Lithuania plans to broaden pre-school education to cover the period from birth to the school age and establish multifunctional education centres. This could help increase currently limited childcare services. However, already generous child-care leave and benefits have been further increased, with likely negative repercussions on public finances and female employment. It is thus important to promote more sustainable ways to reconcile work and family life, including via more flexible benefits, work and childcare arrangements. On health and safety, a monitoring system of working conditions and employee health has been launched and employers can now use social insurance funds for prevention. The Occupational Health and Safety Strategy is under preparation and should provide an integrated approach covering legislation, training, information, quality at work, and preventative healthcare. The NRP also plans to facilitate the integration of vulnerable groups, improve employment services, and strengthen social dialogue. These measures are especially important now when unemployment is starting to rise.

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LUXEMBOURG
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The National Reform Programme (NRP) provides a comprehensive picture of measures recently taken to respond to the areas Luxembourg was asked to focus upon. However, the NRP remains backward looking, containing little detail on future initiatives, nor information on the timetable for their implementation or their budgetary impact, making it difficult to assess whether initiatives will be sufficient to tackle Luxembourg's remaining structural challenges. Links between the governance and implementation of the National Reform Programme (NRP) and the programmes under the structural funds are also fairly strong. The earmarking of Structural Funds for Growth and Jobs objectives is being applied satisfactorily with 82% of ERDF and 100% of ESF budgets devoted to achieving these objectives. Consultation and efforts to develop ownership of the NRP at the level of central and local government and the social partners continue to be very substantial. Social partners were involved in drafting the 2008 Implementation Report. The visibility of the Lisbon process is reinforced by the regular publication of the "Observatoire de la Comptitivit". In the light of the following assessment for Luxembourg the following challenges remain important: pension system reform, early school leaving, unemployment amongst the young, strengthening competitive markets, transposition of EU legislation, and greenhouse gas emissions.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. The main macro-economic challenges identified for Luxembourg are to reverse the deterioration in public finances, and to reduce the risk of accelerating inflation and worsening competitiveness. The public finance challenge has been addressed, at least in the short run. Government finances recorded a surplus of 0.7% of GDP in 2006, which widened to 3.0% in 2008, creating welcome room for manoeuvre in view of the worsening economic conditions. Luxembourg's budgetary medium-term objective is a structural deficit of % of GDP. Government debt is one of the lowest in the EU. The long-term sustainability of public finances and the viability of the pension system remain a concern, given that the very strong employment growth observed since the early 1980s will inevitably translate in the future into a comparable increase in the number of pensioners. The rise in age-related government expenditure is projected to be among the strongest in the EU. Despite this, there has been very little progress in reforming the pension system and no progress at all was recorded in 2008.

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Luxembourg has seen a significantly stronger increase in unit labour costs since the beginning of the decade than its neighbours and the EU-15, due both to a faster increase in wages and a slower rise in productivity. The latter was essentially due to a sizeable labour hoarding during the 2001-2003 slowdown. Wages increased by 4.3% in 2007, following a 3.1% increase in 2006, (despite the partial de-indexation agreed in April 2006). They slowed to about 2.7% in 2008. The partial de-indexation is scheduled to remain into force until 2009. These developments clearly threaten price competitiveness and undermine future growth prospects. Some restraint in wage increases in the coming years would thus be needed.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. Priorities identified by Luxembourg in the micro-economic area are to integrate the economy into the European and international framework, to foster an attractive economic environment, and to apply the principles of sustainable development. While progress has been made on the integration of the economy and in further improving the economic environment, respecting the principle of sustainable development turns out to be a significant challenge in the context of climate change. The Council asked Luxembourg to focus on creating a more attractive economic environment by fostering competition, speeding up the transposition of EU legislation, and supporting SMEs. There has been some progress in each of the these areas, which now needs to be consolidated and complemented by further action. A proposal submitted by the government to merge the competition authorities and to broaden their mandate are steps towards promoting a competitive environment. However, this needs to be complemented by an increase in staffing levels in these authorities, addressing barriers to competition in the professional services sector, and revising the regulatory framework for railway services in line with European legislation to ensure competition. Luxembourg still has one of the highest transposition deficits in the EU, but has made notable progress over 2007-2008 in reducing it 1.8% (May 2008). The 1.5% target is now within reach, and Luxembourg should look at setting a date for achieving the new 1.0% target agreed by the Council. Efforts to set up one-stop-shops have been announced and should be fully implemented soon. Entrepreneurship education should also become routine in secondary schools. Luxembourg is undertaking a number of measures in a wide range of areas to promote sustainable development, committing itself to a 28% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the most ambitious target in the EU. However, with total emissions in 2006 standing at approximately the same level as in 1990, this target will be very hard to attain by 2012, especially in view of population and economic growth. It is therefore important for Luxembourg to implement further measures, especially those targeting big and growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Road transport in particular remains the major source of emissions, partly because of the fuel exports triggered by price differentials with neighbouring countries. To address the Spring European Council commitments, investment have been made in safe ICT solutions and electronic infrastructure, putting the 30% broadband penetration rate for 2010 in sight. Initiatives to speed up administrative procedures and increase eGovernment have also been announced. A quantitative target to reduce administrative burdens would be desirable. The public research budget has

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significantly increased, doubling from 2005 to 2009. The present focus on efficient governance and absorption capacity therefore seems appropriate. However, the 3% of GDP target for public and private investments in research is unlikely to be met, and it is important not to lose sight of the target in the mid-term. Public-private partnership should be further strengthened, including to facilitate private research investment by SMEs. EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 11. In order to avoid shortages of (high) skilled workers and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the pension system, Luxembourg's main employment challenges remain to raise the employability and increase the labour market participation of young people and older workers. Luxembourg has reiterated its commitment to address these challenges in the priorities set for 2008-2010. These encompass fostering innovation, creating full employment, and supporting a high-quality education and training system. In close cooperation with the social partners, Luxembourg is developing an integrated flexicurity approach without having defined any specific national pathway. This approach strongly focus on contractual arrangements, active labour market policies, and lifelong learning. However, in the field of "modern social security systems", there still remain insufficient incentives for older workers to extent their working life and disincentives to retire ealier. The Council asked Luxembourg to focus on reforming the pension system to discourage early retirment and increase the employment rate of older workers. The recent constitution of a working group on pensions, the introduction of vocational training leave, and of supporting mechanisms focused on better career transitions, may have a positive impact on the employment rate of older workers. However, these actions are not specifically focused on older workers and the package as a whole is not yet substantial enough to produce tangible results. This response needs to be complemented with concrete actions to support active ageing through proper incentives to work and disincentives to retire earlier. Luxembourg was also asked to focus on reducing the number of early school leavers. Measures have been introduced to support disadvantaged young people with fewer opportunities and to facilitate their re-entry into the educational and training system. In spite of recent progress, performance still remains below EU average and someway from the 2010 targets for completion of upper secondary education and early school leaving. Further efforts are needed to remove artificial barriers between different types of education. Specifically, the practice of placing students in different groups or school types according to their educational performance should be reduced to increase the level of educational attainment of students from weak socio-economic or immigrant backgrounds. Luxembourg is also concentrating on the improvement of training opportunities and on the formal recognition of skills gained on the job. However, the implementation of measures is still ongoing, and it therefore remains to be seen if they are sufficient to raise levels of human capital. Several actions have been launched in order to reduce youth unemployment and to facilitate the transition between school and work. Vocational guidance services have been developed, activation measures have been aligned with the needs of the labour

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market and opportunities for informal learning and skills certification have been expanded. However, at this stage, many measures are not yet fully implemented or take the form of pilot projects. So, it remains important to strenghten policies to tackle youth unemployment and to continue with the evaluation of current activation policies.

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HUNGARY
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The National Reform Programme (NRP) for 2008-2010 does not reflect a clear coherent strategy for the medium-long term. The action plan provides some elements to illustrate the country's response to policy recommendations and a general timetable, though it does not offer budget coverage. Following the financial market turmoil the Hungarian authorities adopted a series of measures to restore market confidence, including accelerated deficit reduction, enhanced fiscal governance and strengthened financial sector regulation and supervision. These measures are supported by a coordinated international loan package of 20 billion to assist Hungary's balance of payments. Consultation on the NRP continues to improve. A draft report was submitted to public consultation on the Internet. Political ownership appears limited and the Lisbon strategy is mostly followed at technical level. In the light of the following assessment Hungary should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important:: R&D performance, state aids, the regulatory environment, incentives to work and to remain in the labour market, the employment and social services system, and undeclared work.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. The NRP identified reducing the fiscal deficit and improving the sustainability of public finances as key macro-economic challenges. Further important challenges are to arrest the decline in competitiveness seen over the last two years as a result of a growing tax-wedge on labour and the persistency of wage increases. The accumulated imbalances, in particular the high public debt ratio and external debt still make portfolio investors hesitant to invest in the country. The Council recommended Hungary to implement the necessary measures to ensure a durable reduction of the government deficit and of the public debt ratio. Hungary has been making strong efforts since the middle of 2006 to respond to these challenges with good performance during 2007 and 2008. The deficit was reduced to 5% of GDP in 2007 (from 9.3% of GDP in 2006), with a broadly even distribution between the revenue and the expenditure side. The deficit is likely to have been further reduced to around 3.3% of GDP in 2008, lower than the target of 4% of GDP. For 2009 the deficit target was revised in the context of the new policy programme, to below 3% of GDP, despite the anticipated deterioration in growth. This additional adjustment is foreseen to take place entirely through expenditure cuts, primarily important cuts in the public sector wage bill and a reduction in the 13th month

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pension. Until recently, progress on the comprehensive reform of fiscal governance had not advanced as planned, but the new economic programme also envisaged the revitalisation of this process. A new reform law was adopted in late 2008 containing multi-annual expenditure ceilings and the establishment of a Fiscal Council. 6. The Council also recommended Hungary to reform the public administration, health care, pension and education systems with a view to ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability and improving economic efficiency. A large-scale regional reorganisation and institutional streamlining of the public administration was finalised by the middle of 2008, which is expected to result in significant expenditure reductions. In the field of public education, the coverage of performance-based financing formula was further extended in 2008. Little further progress has been made on pension reform, where the effective retirement age remains very low (58.6 years in 2007) compared to both the EU average and statutory retirement age (over 61 years). The recent welcome reform of the disability benefit system focuses on establishing stricter eligibility criteria, coordinated service provisions and back-towork incentives. In health-care, after important progress in 2006 through the streamlining of hospital structures and a revamped pharmaceutical subsidy scheme, the reform process suffered some serious setbacks as a result of the March 2008 referendum, which abolished fees for doctors visits and for daily hospitalisation. The Parliament also annulled the recently approved bill on health insurance reform. Afterwards, the authorities announced a new health reform, which focuses on strengthening the 'gate-keeper' function of general practitioners and proposes to revamp the health insurance system with a view to mitigate regional disparities (the concrete design and timetable need to be spelled out). Overall, given the expected rise in long-term age-related expenditures, announced reforms do not go far enough and the sustainability of Hungarian public finances is still regarded as at high risk.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. The key micro-economic challenges remain those of increasing R&D and innovation, encouraging the use of ICT, improving competition, in particular by reducing and redirecting state aids, improving the business environment, and further reducing the administrative burden on enterprises. The Council asked Hungary to place focus on these challenges. There have been few concrete measures to reduce state aid and re-direct funds towards horizontal objectives. In 2007 total state aid amounted to 0.86% of GDP. The share of horizontal aid accounted for only 53% of total aid in 2007, compared to the EU average of 82%. There has been some progress towards improving R&D and innovation performance through the implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Action Plan. The actions within this plan concentrate mainly on strengthening business R&D. The level of private expenditure on R&D remained low in 2006 at 0.5% of GDP although this has increased since 2004. According to Hungarian government figures total R&D spending will have represented 1.1% of GDP in 2008, and is forecast to rise to 1.4% by 2010. However, given the slow progress being made in terms of implementing the planned reforms, the target set for 2010 of 1.4% of GDP is challenging. A range of measures have been announced in the field of innovation, in

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particular within the New Hungary Development Plan. This is important progress that needs to be built upon given the relatively low level of innovation in the economy. In particular, measures should aim at enhancing co-operation between industry and public research institutes, and integrating the Hungarian Academy of Sciences into the innovation system. 10. Hungary's efforts to further improve the business environment were mainly focused on simplification proposals in 2008. Whilst the setting of a target to reduce the administrative burden is welcome, Hungary also needs to implement further concrete measures to ensure some reduction in the burden. Further efforts are warranted in assessing the impact of the new legislation, including through the use of an enhanced comprehensive impact assessment system. Progress has been made to improve the business environment. In particular, the introduction of the compulsory electronic registration means that start-up costs and the time required for company registration have significantly decreased in 2008. Hungary needs to make further progress to make ICT more readily used and available. Delays in implementing measures to increase the take up of broadband and of ICT in general by business risk slowing down innovative efforts in the whole economy. Policies designed to foster the availability of ICT services and their adoption by enterprises should be considered a priority for the future.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 12. In the context of an increasingly difficult economic climate, with likely reductions in employment and continued increases in unemployment, the main labour market challenge for Hungary is to increase employment and labour market participation and to adapt education and training systems better to labour market needs. Employment activity of young people, young mothers, older people, the low skilled and other disadvantaged groups, including the Roma population and people with disabilities is particularly low. Moreover, the multiple disadvantaged social groups are concentrated in worse-off localities with poor job opportunities. The existence of an integrated flexicurity approach and an elaborated national pathway is not evident. Many active labour market programmes are in place, but their effectiveness needs to be improved. A comprehensive lifelong learning strategy exists, but its implementation is rather underdeveloped. Contractual arrangements vary between the extremes of the high level of protection offered to public sector workers and complete flexibility of the self-employed entrepreneurs. The comprehensive review of the Labour Code is still pending. In response to the Council recommendation on improving the labour market situation the government announced the 'Pathway to work' programme aimed at creating incentives and improving employability of the low skilled and long-term unemployed. This is welcome progress, but the specific design, budget and timetable for this programme remains unclear. Increasing the efficiency and coverage of active labour market policies remain a challenge. In particular, a higher level of monitoring and evaluation is important, especially for the programmes targeting the Roma population. Although the new range of policies directed at the Roma are steps in the right direction, it will be crucial to develop further concrete policy instruments and to focus on implementation. A number of targeted programmes have been announced

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which aim to improve the labour market situation in the most disadvantaged microregions. However, this needs to be complemented by measures to foster labour mobility. 15. In response to the Council's recommendation on education and training the government is implementing a range of recent measures and foresees further measures with ESF assistance to improve the quality, effectiveness and accessibility of education. These include combating segregation in public education, the introduction of an integrated assessment system of both schools and teachers, and the involvement of employers in the development of educational plans in tertiary education. The impact of these measures is thus far unclear. The Council asked Hungary to focus attention on improving incentives to work and to remain in the labour market. In response conditions for early retirement have been tightened slightly and financial incentives to remain in employment have been introduced. These represent important first steps, but further action is required in order to reduce current disincentives within the tax and benefit systems and to develop a long-term pension and active ageing strategy. There has been no significant policy response to improve the reconciliation between work and private life. In particular, the commitment made to improve pre-kindergarten childcare provision should now be translated into concrete action, accompanied by a reform of lengthy maternity leave schemes and reforms to encourage more flexible work arrangements. Although the establishment of the integrated employment and social services system appears to be on the right path, further integration and strengthening of the system is needed. Further adequate measures have been implemented and introduced to transform undeclared work into formal employment, and Hungarys clear determination to improve the situation is welcome. The implementation of the lifelong learning strategy is ongoing, and measures now need to be implemented to increase adult participation in lifelong learning, especially the low-skilled and older workers.

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MALTA
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The new National Reform Programme (NRP) shows ambition in addressing Malta's challenges, and demonstrates a good level of synergy and policy integration. In general, the content of the strategic response seems adequate. However, in most cases, the proposal is to continue with existing initiatives and additional reforms remain quite general. Given the ambitious plans, it seems all the more necessary to link these visions to the current situation, to give detailed timelines and quantitative targets for implementation, and to develop clear monitoring and evaluation tools. The links between the new NRP and the Cohesion Policy programmes are good: 45% of the total Cohesion budget is earmarked for implementing the Lisbon strategy (20% in the previous programming period). Implementation has started well, with almost 59% of ERDF funds thus far contributing to NRP priorities and the ESF also providing substantial support. There are signs of a strong political ownership of the new NRP. Consultation with social partners is institutionalised via the Maltese Council for Economic and Social Development, the new NRP underwent an additional public consultation, and it was debated intensely in the Cabinet. However, the stakeholder consultation could be wider, for example by including the social NGO's and environmental groups, and could be made earlier. In the light of the following assessment Malta should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: fiscal consolidation, healthcare reform, regulatory environment, diversify its energy dependence, educational attainment and early school leaving, and lifelong learning.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. Malta confirms the sustainability of public finances as one of its main macroeconomic challenges and aims at reaching a balanced budget in structural terms by 2010. The new NRP recognises that future demographic changes will pose a challenge to age-related public expenditure, namely healthcare and long-term care, thus endangering long-term fiscal sustainability. Enhanced competitiveness within the euro area is particularly important and relies heavily on sustainable wage growth, achieved mainly by ensuring wages move in line with productivity, as well as on increasing productivity, and on tackling labour market shortages. Competitiveness also relies on maintaining low and stable inflation, primarily through effective competition. Malta's small open economy, together with its narrow productive base, makes it more vulnerable to external shocks. To address this, the new NRP envisages

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further economic diversification by encouraging foreign direct investment in highvalue added activities. 5. Following a notable improvement in public finances over 2005-2007, the situation was reversed in 2008, with the general government deficit estimated to have increased to around 3.5% of GDP. This reflects overspending due to a higher-thanplanned increase in the public wage bill, in particular in the healthcare sector, higher energy subsidies and the one-off cost related to early retirement schemes in preparation for the privatisation of the Malta Shipyards. The deterioration will stall the declining trend of the deficit and debt-to-GDP ratios and could jeopardise the authorities plans for a balanced budget in 2010. The Council highlighted the need to continue implementing and reinforcing healthcare reform measures to ensure sustainable public finances. While the planned changes would allow for better resource utilisation and contribute to expenditure savings, the proposed healthcare reform measures seem inadequate, and progress in separating the regulation and delivery of the healthcare system has been limited. The spending pressures brought about by an ageing population and the rising cost of health provision, heightened by the expected higher running costs of the new hospital, point to the need for a more ambitious reform of the healthcare system, but the new NRP does not foresee any additional measures to support the financial sustainability of the healthcare system. Public expenditure is still characterised by rigidities and discretionary decisions that may derail budgetary consolidation, as evidenced by the experience in 2008. Introducing control mechanisms to restrict growth in expenditure would release resources that could be used to bolster potential growth, to generate savings or to respond more effectively to changing policy priorities or macro-economic circumstances. Although the new NRP acknowledges the importance of redirecting spending to growth-enhancing categories, details on how this would be achieved are lacking.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 8. Malta has set the twin challenges of improving competitiveness and protecting the environment, with focus on the business environment and better regulation, R&D, innovation and ICT, tourism, infrastructure and competition. Tourism is an important sector for Malta. The challenge is to further exploit its potential and to update transport infrastructure, whilst taking care to protect the environment and Malta's cultural heritage. The Council recommended Malta should take steps to strengthen competition. This concerned the status and competencies of the Competition Authority, the high degree of state aid, and competition in the professional services sector. Malta is progressing towards an adequately staffed Competition Authority. Independence from political influence is an issue as the Competition Authority is part of a government ministry. However, reporting on actual activities, a prerequisite for the assessment of independence and impact has not yet started. An amendment of the Competition Act, which would also include the introduction of a leniency programme, is now foreseen for autumn 2008. State aids represented 2.29% of GDP in 2006, with a share of sector specific aid of 93%, considerably above the EU average. These values are a

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severe concern, and whilst still in line with derogations included in the accession treaty, several of these will no longer be in force after 2008. Malta has finally taken decisive steps to terminate state aids to the shipyards. The implementation of this privatisation needs to be closely monitored to exclude undue distortion of competition. The NRP reports that the Competition Authority has taken active steps to address competition within professional services. 10. The Council highlighted the need to focus on a further improvement of the business environment. The implementation of a simplification action plan is progressing, and work on administrative burden reduction has begun. Malta has set a target for the reduction of administrative burden of 15% by 2012. The simplification process would benefit from more focus being placed on the administrative burden for business and on the monitoring of impact (as announced in the NRP). It should also be clarified according to which criteria a full impact assessment would be carried out for specific initiatives. The Legal Notice Checklist, used in Malta to consider smaller scale projects not justifying a full impact assessment, could also be strengthened. A number of initiatives have been established to help towards the setting up of a onestop-shop for business and an improvement in start-up conditions but it is still too early to assess their impact. Malta is completely dependent on imported oil for its energy supply, making diversification a pressing urgency. However, actual progress to develop renewable energy is quite modest. This is despite the fact that solar energy and on-shore wind farms seem to offer viable options for Malta. A thorough feasibility study on options for energy policy, including on connection to the European grid was expected to be submitted to the government in the spring 2008, but is still not ready. The decision process on new energy infrastructure investments needs to be pushed forward. Improving energy efficiency is an important element to reduce Malta's dependency on imports. However, it is not sufficiently clear whether the objectives of the national energy efficiency plan are realistic. Recent reforms of energy utility rates can have a positive impact on energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy, and thus also contribute to an urgently needed reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. With R&D spending at 0.54% of GDP (2006), Malta does not seem to be on track to reach its modest target of 0.75% by 2010. Further funding of R&D is mainly planned to come from EU Structural Funds. Malta remains committed to invest in its ICT base and to improve broadband penetration that remains below the EU average. There has been some clear success in this respect, as well as for the European Research Area.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 13. Malta's main labour market challenge is the need to increase employment and skills. The key policy challenges are therefore to attract more people into the labour market, in particular women and older workers, to increase educational attainment, and to reduce the number of pupils leaving school early. Undeclared work also remains a pressing issue. Based on the proposal of a working group involving social partners, the new NRP defines an integrated flexicurity pathway with a set of measures to be implemented, focused in particular on the improvement of the skilled labour supply.

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Implementation of this pathway is now crucial and it is positive that the NRP presents a detailed timetable for this. 15. The Council recommended Malta to step up efforts to increase labour supply. Malta has implemented measures to attract more people, in particular women, into the labour market. The improvement in female employment has been driven by fiscal measures such as tax credits for women returning to work, support for part-time workers, and by the expansion of part-time work. Maternity protection legislation has been updated and special leave rights to employees not covered by existing agreements have been extended. The government is focusing on family-work reconciliation measures, such as childcare services, and teleworking. However, the employment rate for women with at least one child below the age of six years is the lowest in the EU, whilst the employment rate for young women (aged 15 to 24) is above the EU average. This illustrates that a number of women with young children do not return quickly to the labour market after a period of maternity and suggests it is crucial to step up these reconciliation efforts. Some initiatives have been taken to encourage older workers to re-integrate in the labour market, such as the payment of social security contributions in specific cases and allowing pensioners to work without a reduction in their pension. However, the benefits of these measures may be offset by early retirement schemes to support the privatisation of Malta Shipyards. The resort to undeclared work remains an issue that partially explains low employment rates for women and older people. Malta has expressed determination to address the issue. However, the scale of the problem has yet to be quantified, and progress achieved is unclear. Additional efforts through law enforcement and a revision of the benefit system to make-work pay would help. Education remains a major challenge. Further reform of education and training systems is important to raise the general qualification level, to reduce early school leaving, and increase the number of students in higher education. Reforms have begun to enhance infrastructure and the quality of teaching. Upper secondary school attainment is now on the increase. The government now needs to accelerate the implementation of the Educational Reform Agreement of July 2007 to improve links between education and the labour market and to reinforce career guidance. The government is working to better match training and education policies with emerging labour market needs with a focus on the IT sector. This is welcome but other sectors may also require an increase of skilled labour. Life long learning remains a strategic challenge for Malta, with low participation rates, particularly for the low skilled. More substantial efforts are urgently needed to up-grade labour force skills in order to support economic development. Initiatives are being implemented through different bodies an actions, but a comprehensive strategy is still missing. Access should be facilitated by more flexible arrangements, in particular for older workers, and by making full use of the ESF.

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THE NETHERLANDS
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The policy response towards the challenges presented in the National Reform Programme (NRP) is based on a clear analysis and is supported by a multi-annual budget planning. The NRP provides detail on a number of measures aimed at improving the labour supply. Although welcome, a concern remains that incentives for entering and remaining in the labour market and increasing the number of hours worked may not be sufficient for the Netherlands to reach the national employment target of 80% by 2016. Continued implementation of the long-term strategy for research and innovation is now needed in order to increase private R&D investment. To raise labour market participation and to create better conditions for a moderate wage development, the government has reduced unemployment insurance contributions; to avoid a further rise in inflation the government has postponed the VAT increase. Expenditures earmarked for the Lisbon Strategy represent 80% of the total Structural Funds allocated for the Netherlands. For the European Regional Development Fund, this implies a significant increase compared to the 2000-2006 period. Political ownership of the Lisbon Strategy remains strong in the Netherlands. The reform agenda is evolving in close co-operation with social partners and stakeholders, including regional actors. In the light of the following assessment the Netherlands should pay particular attention to country-specific recommendation presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: R&D performance.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. The macro-economic situation in the Netherlands has been very good over the past years, but is expected to deteriorate. Public finances are still sound and government debt is still beneath the 60% of GDP threshold. In the NRP, the Dutch government confirms its commitment to ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability. This is of particular importance given the projected increase in age-related spending is above the EU average. To this end, it is important to ensure that the structural government balance is in surplus over the medium term. Furthermore, it is also necessary to continue implementing measures that increase labour market participation and the average numbers of hours worked. The Dutch authorities have committed themselves to further improve the long-term sustainability of public finances. The long-term fiscal position is expected to benefit somewhat from planned measures to further increase labour participation, such as the introduction of a working bonus for employed persons over 62 and the

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individualisation of the general tax credit. The government will have to continue to ensure the long-term sustainability of public finances. 6. The Council recommended euro area Member States to improve the alignment of wage and productivity developments. The strong increase in labour market participation has been putting downward pressure on productivity growth during the past few years. With a view to limiting wage developments in the coming year, the Dutch government has decided to postpone the planned VAT increase of 1 percentage point in 2009 and to lower social security contributions for employees.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. In the micro-economic domain the key challenges for the Dutch economy are to support productivity growth, strengthen the knowledge base, and to address the societal challenges of sustainability, ageing and globalisation. This demands policies to encourage increases in R&D investment and improved innovation performance. The Council referred to the need to focus on measures to increase private sector R&D investment. Given that the Netherlands has in recent years seen little progress towards the ambitions reflected by its R&D investment target for 2010 (3% of GDP), a continued sense of urgency and a close coordination, at the highest political level, of R&D and innovation policies are important. The development of a long-term innovation strategy is an important and welcome step towards building an integrated approach to strengthening research and innovation capacity. Linking the strategy to broader societal challenges is also a welcome development, although care should be taken not to fragment the portfolio of policy measures. It is important that the reform efforts, notably to create favourable incentives for R&D investment, are continued in order to counterbalance possible downward pressure on R&D investment as a result of the difficult economic circumstances. The strengthened focus on developing the excellence of the public research base will be crucial in attracting more private research investment, but should at the same time be complemented with measures to increase its socio-economic relevance. Addressing both of these issues through measures oriented at the institutional funding of universities and research organisations could prove to be more effective. The portfolio of instruments to directly support private R&D investment continues to be strengthened and diversified, but care should be taken to avoid risks of further fragmentation. The Netherlands has made further progress in improving the business climate. Measures include encouraging entrepreneurship and the beginning of implementation of one-stop-shop for start-ups (although there is no one-stop-shop for private limited companies). Internet broadband penetration (34.3%) is far above EU average. Efforts in the area of better regulation and in particular in administrative burden reduction continue. The additional net 25% reduction aimed at by 2011 is being implemented with a new baseline measurement. Another positive element is the planned integrated system for measuring the impact of new legislation on businesses, employment, and environment. The Netherlands has a well-developed strategy for environmental sustainability and energy and is committed to meeting its targets for greenhouse gas emissions and energy-efficiency. The long-term climate and energy strategy introduces ambitious targets to reverse the trend in energy consumption and production. This strategy puts forward a comprehensive package of measures actively supported by the business community, although implementation has only

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just begun. A substantial part of the Dutch competitiveness is due to a well functioning transport infrastructure. However, road congestion remains high and the steps announced in the mobility strategy, especially the introduction of road pricing, go in the right direction. EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 10. The Dutch labour market is characterised by overall high employment and very low unemployment. The main challenge is to increase further labour market participation as well as the overall number of hours worked in the economy. The NRP confirms the overall employment target of 80% by 2016. The Dutch labour market policies include most elements of the flexicurity approach. To increase labour participation and further improve the functioning of the labour market, the government created the Labour Participation committee (Bakker committee). Following the advice of this committee to further develop the integrated flexicurity approach, the Dutch government engages in discussions with social partners on designing work-to-work transitions and stimulating participation in lifelong learning to strengthen employability. A positive outcome of these discussions is a prerequisite for further developing flexicurity in the Netherlands. The recent tri-partite agreement limiting severance pay for high-income earners is a step in the right direction, but more efforts are needed to improve labour mobility. Despite a wide range of contractual arrangements granting varying employment protection, some groups remain under-represented in the labour market. Recent reforms of social protection systems prioritise work over income; however, they need to be combined with more effective implementation of active labour market policies focusing sufficiently on the large group of partly disabled, long-term unemployed and people with a migrant background. The Council recommended the Netherlands to take further measures to improve the labour supply of women, older workers and disadvantaged groups with a view to increasing the overall hours worked in the economy. The NRP recalls the creation of the Task Force Part-Time Plus and fiscal measures in 2009 directed at women. A review of the 2005 Child Care Act has been announced, designed to more effectively and efficiently stimulate participation. According to Dutch studies the individualisation of the general tax credit is the most effective measure for encouraging women to take up a job. However the government plans in this domain remain limited in scope, with a transition period of 15 years. Given this, and the fact that fiscal measures are likely to be insufficient for tackling the high marginal tax on a second income, it is highly unlikely that the 2010 national target of 65% of women working at least 12 hours a week will be reached (it stood at 57.7% in 2007). Older workers will be encouraged to stay in the labour market by granting them a bonus (from 62 years), whilst employers will benefit from reduced social security contributions when hiring the older unemployed or maintaining older workers in employment. Through these measures, the Dutch government intends to avoid increasing the statutory retirement age, something the Bakker committee deemed necessary. Although in a recent past the government has successfully influenced the older worker's behaviour (by abolishing the pay-as-you-go early retirement schemes), it appears that besides the newly proposed financial incentives, additional measures are needed to substantially close the difference in labour market

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participation of the 55-59 and 60-64 age groups. The introduction of an earned income tax credit aims at making work pay for the low-skilled, benefit recipients and the economically inactive. Implementation of the Integration Plan announced in 2007, and aimed at improving integration and participation of immigrants, has so far been limited and more efforts will be required to bridge the persistent high employment and unemployment gaps with the native population. Furthermore, it is likely that, as has been observed in the past, the labour market performance of people with a migrant background risks deteriorating strongly with the economic slowdown. 14. Pre and early school education will be extended to improve the achievement levels of children with a migrant background or from disadvantaged groups. Financial incentives for schools, an extension of compulsory education, and the planned introduction of the obligation for young social assistance claimants (up to 27 years) to study or work, should contribute towards further progress in reducing the numbers leaving school early and increasing the number of youngsters completing secondary education (currently standing at 76.2%, significantly below the EU target of 85% by 2010).

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AUSTRIA
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. Due to the national elections held in September 2008, the Austrian National Reform Programme (NRP) for 2008-2010 contains no binding statements on future policy measures but mainly informs about implemented measures and provides background analysis. An adapted NRP will be developed after the adoption of a new government programme. Governance and ownership of the NRP continue to be strong. Responsibility for national co-ordination is taken at Ministerial level, and a wide range of stakeholders are included in the consultation process. In the light of the following assessment Austria should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendation presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: fiscal adjustment; supply of skilled workers at all levels, competition in services, in particular professional services and the retail sector; emission reduction policies; and female labour market participation.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. Austria confirms its main macro-economic challenge remains one of ensuring the sustainability of its public finances. Although pension reforms introduced in the early 2000s have helped to keep the risk to the long-term sustainability of Austrias public finances relatively low, there is nonetheless still significant room for improvement. In the previous NRP, and associated Implementation Reports, the Austrian authorities committed to a budgetary strategy aimed at achieving a balanced budget over the economic cycle. This involved general expenditure restraint and further reforms of the public administration and health care system. However, negotiations within the previous coalition government on health care reform broke down, alongside those on the introduction of an automatic adjustment mechanism in the pension system. Since these budgetary savings did not materialize, progress towards long-term sustainability has been limited. The Council highlighted the need for Austria to make greater effort to ensure the achievement of a balanced budget before 2010. In 2007, on the back of lively economic growth, the general government deficit narrowed to 0.5% of GDP. The budget deficit increased slightly in 2008. In an effort to sustain overall demand, the newly installed government is providing fiscal stimulus, notably by carrying forward direct tax cuts originally planned for 2010. Plans for budgetary consolidation have been back-loaded and the goal of a balanced budget has been dropped for the entire legislation period until 2013.

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The 2009 budget will be the first one to be prepared under a new medium-term budgetary framework, adopted by the Austrian Parliament in December 2007. This new framework could enhance the predictability of the budgetary process. Although welcome, this framework only encompasses the federal governments budget and its extension to the sub-national authorities finances would be highly desirable.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. Austria has outlined a priority of making effective use of high R&D spending (representing 2.55% of GDP in 2007), a good international ranking on innovation, and exemplary performance in eGovernment to ensure a transition towards a knowledge-based economy. The current success of Austrias micro-economic policies is reflected in the growth in foreign direct investment and the large contribution of exports to Austrias overall growth. However, these exports remain mainly from traditional areas of industry. The Council referred to the need for Austria to strengthen entrepreneurship education. Austrias overall performance with regard to entrepreneurial activity is only in line with the EU25 average, despite the fact that it is ranked one of the highest in the EU on almost all indicators of the entrepreneurial climate index. As a result of many excellent initiatives the climate for entrepreneurship in Austria is one of the best in Europe and Austrian citizens are among the least likely to say that starting a business is difficult. However, the number of people taking advantage of this positive climate remains low, suggesting that it is the attitude towards entrepreneurship that needs to be addressed, with education holding the key to progress. This is compounded by recent indications that industry will suffer from a shortage of skilled workers in the coming years, making it difficult to maintain high growth, to increase productivity, and drive structural change. The situation is aggravated by the low number of qualified migrants, loss of know-how and skills as a result of early retirement of older workers, and the low share of science and technology graduates. Targeted measures are therefore needed to improve the supply of skilled workers at all levels and promote more entrepreneurial attitudes. Cooperation between relevant government departments in this area has improved, but has not yet led to concrete results. The Council also pointed to the need to increase competition in services, in particular professional services. The retail sector is also subject to heavy regulation and shows the highest degree of concentration in Europe. A comprehensive series of measures have been taken in recent years related to reducing regulation and increasing competition in professional services. It is widely believed in Austria that further deregulation would undermine the quality of these services. Despite the good progress there is scope for further action in the fields of legal services and notaries, though at present the competition authority (BWB) is not actively working on any service-related actions. The Council also stressed the need to reduce emissions. Road transport remains the major source of greenhouse gas emissions, a significant part of which is due to export of fuel due to the price differential to neighbouring countries and because Austria is a transit country. The climate and energy fund became operational in July 2007, but the selection of projects in the 2008 work programme started only in June 2008, and the impact remains unclear. Further energy saving measures, for example

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the insulation of buildings and efficient heating devices, are being heavily promoted. Austria has also put forward a comprehensive package of measures on renewable energies, including a doubling of the amount of electricity generated by water, wind and bio fuels by 2015. Austrias National Energy Efficiency Plan contains a long list of measures and indicative energy savings targets, but a lack of sufficient detail on these measures makes it impossible to assess whether the targets can be met. So far, no new measures have been introduced as foreseen at the climate summit in April 2008. In spite of ongoing and planned additional measures, there remains a gap between greenhouse gas projections and the 2010 Kyoto targets. 11. A comprehensive R&D review announced for 2009 should not only reinforce Austrias strong position in the European Research Area, but also bring more clarity into the complex administrative structures currently in place. Further progress has also been made on the reduction of administrative burdens. However, the same attention should be paid to the quality of new legislation, in particular through the effective and transparent implementation of the existing impact assessment system. Specific attention is paid to the needs of SMEs in the wide range of initiatives aimed at strengthening Austrias position in international trade.

EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 12. Austria's labour market is characterized by overall high employment and relatively low unemployment. The main challenge is now one of improving labour market participation and employability of various disadvantaged groups, such as older workers, the low skilled, disabled people, young migrants and women with small children. Austria has shown a commitment to address these challenges through a flexicurity approach developed in cooperation with the social partners. The Austrian pathway to flexicurity appears strongest in relation to contractual arrangements and active labour market policies. However, the pension and invalidity systems still contain insufficient incentives to stay at work, and Austria still lacks a coherent lifelong learning strategy, given its rather fragmented education system. There remains scope to improve job-related training for older workers, education outcomes of disadvantaged youth and transition from education to work. The Council recommended Austria to further improve incentives for older workers to continue working and improve education outcomes for vulnerable youth. The employment rate of older workers has considerably increased in recent years, although it is still well below the EU average. Recent pension reforms have strengthened incentives to work longer but they have long transition periods and early retirement is still a widely used option. The recent prolongation of provisions for early retirement for the long-term insured, and the suspension of the mechanism for adjustment of the pension system to longer life expectancy are backward steps. The high number of disability pension recipients underlines the need to modify the disability pension scheme and to adapt working conditions for older workers including enhanced health prevention. Some progress has been achieved with regard to job-related training of older workers, notably through the promotion of companybased training. These efforts have been supported by the European Social Fund and need to be enhanced.

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In the last 12 months, significant measures have been taken in favour of disadvantaged youth, such as individual learning support, subsidies to companies recruiting apprentices and a guarantee for young people to receive a vocational education. However, enhanced efforts are necessary, in particular for young people with migrant background, who tend to obtain lower education levels, and have a higher share of early school leavers. The Council also pointed to the need to tackle the gender segregation of the labour market, including by improving the availability of childcare. A key measure in this regard is the move to make the childcare allowance scheme more flexible. This aims to facilitate re-entry into gainful employment. Increased funds will enhance childcare facilities, especially for children under 3 years old. However, this financial increase is not likely to be significant enough to fully meet the needs. To effectively tackle segregation and the gender pay gap (still one of the highest in the EU) requires a comprehensive approach aimed at improving career opportunities for women in higher paid positions and sectors.

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POLAND
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. In the new National Reform Programme (NRP), Poland presents its policy response to the key challenges. Notable progress has been made in implementing the egovernment programmes and improving the transposition of internal market legislation. There has not been much progress in upgrading transport infrastructure, speeding-up the business registration process and increasing the provision of childcare facilities. Poland has not made much progress towards achieving the specific policy commitments agreed at the Spring European Councils. The one-stop-shop and a single administrative contact point for recruiting the first employee have yet to be established. The leveraging of more private investment into R&D remains a challenge, as does the commitment of offering every unemployed young person a job or training within six months. The new NRP briefly reports on the main actions undertaken over the past 12 months. It then outlines three main priorities for the future: creating an active society, an innovative economy and efficient institutions. The actions described are targeted towards achieving Polands main challenges but they are described only in general terms, making it difficult to judge their likely effect. Budgetary implications and monitoring and evaluation procedures are missing. Poland has earmarked 64% of cohesion policy funding for growth and jobs objectives, and although the role of structural funds is highlighted, it is not elaborated upon. The NRP does not present an Action Plan that indicates concrete measures to be taken in addressing Polands challenges. The consultation process and efforts to develop ownership of the NRP have also not been presented. The Minister for Economic Affairs remains responsible for the effective coordination, preparation and reporting of the NRP, supported by an inter-ministerial working group. However, more efforts are needed to support implementation at regional and local levels. In the light of the following assessment Poland should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: competition in network industries, the business environment, transposition of internal market legislation, education and training systems, and childcare facilities.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 6. Bringing high mandatory public expenditure on social protection under control remains Polands major macro-economic challenge. Generous and poorly targeted

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disability and early retirement benefits cause a large and persistent budget deficit and contribute to very low activity rates. In addition, the farmers social security fund (KRUS), to significant extent subsidised by the public budget, is a major factor in hampering the restructuring of agriculture and preserves hidden unemployment in rural areas. A heavily indebted public healthcare sector requires a better management of hospitals and private co-financing of medical services. Recent price developments in the housing market need to be closely monitored and supply side structural rigidities limiting labour mobility need tackling. 7. The Council recommended Poland to strengthen fiscal consolidation and enhance control over expenditure. While fiscal consolidation improved in 2007 and 2008 to deficits below 3% of GDP, Poland has not taken steps to introduce an expenditure rule. Poland continues efforts to complete the pension reform. A law on "bridge" pensions (temporary early pensions for people working in difficult conditions) has been adopted by the Parliament, but the rules according to which teachers' early pensions and the standard pensions in the general system after 1 January 2014 will be calculated and paid are still being discussed. The announced reform of KRUS does not go far enough and will not have any noticeable impact. However, the plan to improve the effectiveness of the healthcare sector is promising, although the feasibility of a quick implementation of far-reaching reforms is uncertain due to political uncertainty. In an effort to avoid long run budgetary problems, the government has adopted an active ageing strategy. Its implementation, however, is yet to begin.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 9. Poland has a range of micro-economic challenges linked to the aim of completing the transition of the economy. To address this requires increases in R&D expenditure, which remains very low (0.6% of GDP), a research sector with better links to businesses, and increases in the level of investment in innovation. The low number of motorways and express roads, combined with slow train services, represent a significant obstacle for a growing economy. The energy sector requires more competition, the development of an information society is held back by low broadband deployment and a low provision of e-government services. Over regulation, a lack of legal stability, and slow procedures for business registration hamper entrepreneurship. The Council recommended Poland to improve the framework for competition in network industries. Steps have been taken in this regard. For industry, electricity prices were liberalised in January 2008 and long-term power purchase agreements have been terminated, thus no longer constituting an obstacle to competition. Actions have also been taken to strengthen the unbundling of the transmission system operators in both the gas and electricity market. The government has announced that it will fully liberalise electricity prices for households in 2009, and electricity operators are to be privatised over 2008-2009. However, effective competition in the electricity and gas market is not yet visible for consumers, and only a very low proportion of consumers have changed their suppliers. The ambitious privatisation plan, with four electricity operators, is welcome but in the current economic climate it may be difficult to implement. The NRP details measures that would ensure a

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stronger role for the regulator, but does not address the key issue of the regulator's independence. 11. The Council recommended Poland to reform the public research sector to boost R&D and innovation, and to encourage private R&D. Progress in this respect is mainly limited to the adoption and preparation of legislation for the reform of the public research base. A draft national R&D strategy, together with a proposal for the reform of the higher education and science sectors is being prepared. According to government commitments, the R&D target 0.92% of GDP by 2010 will be reached by yearly increases of public R&D spending of 0.158% of GDP. There has been a promising response towards improving innovation policy, but increasing the cooperation between science and industry remains a challenge. The recently drafted National Innovation Strategy has been followed up by the adoption of an implementation plan. A Council for Innovation and Science, directly supervised by the Prime Minister, has been established to co-ordinate central and regional activities. Pilot measures on the business environment and to develop innovation centres are rolled out to develop full-scale projects financed with the structural funds. Tax policy has been designed to provide relief to support the creation of R&D centres. The Council also highlighted the need to place focus on upgrading the transport infrastructure. Extensive bureaucracy has so far led to limited road construction. In 2007 only 11 km of new motorways and 92 km of new express roads were built, and little more is expected in 2008. The recent step by the Ministry of Infrastructure to adopt a special law to simplify road construction procedures will help accelerate progress, but effective construction remains very limited. Construction budgets are being revised upwards as a result of an increase in costs of material, equipment and skilled labour, and many projects are suspended pending an environmental impact assessment. Further areas demanding policy focus include steps to speed-up the business registration process, ensuring timely implementation of the e-government programmes, and improving the transposition of internal market directives. The implementation of a one-stop shop has again been postponed to 2009. The implementation of the promising better regulation programme has been stalled and indeed refocused only on the reduction of administrative burden. This could undermine the achievements made in the application of impact assessments. The government has taken steps to monitor the transposition of internal market directives, although the effect of this has yet to materialise. Progress has been made in developing e-government, but this needs complementing with the adoption of an ICT strategy, substantial investment in ICT projects and training for officials.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 15. Sustained economic growth has helped raise the employment rate, substantially reduce unemployment, and thus achieve national employment and unemployment targets set for 2010 earlier than foreseen. Nevertheless, low employment, in particular among older workers, high structural unemployment and decreasing labour activity remain key challenges.

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Poland has started moving towards developing an integrated flexicurity approach with active labour market policy playing an important role. Reform of the pension system with a view to prolonging working life remains important but is delayed. Part-time employment has limited use despite legal framework being in place, and increasing participation in lifelong learning is a challenge. The government has engaged in a broader dialogue on the subject with social partners. The Council recommended Poland to develop an integrated flexicurity approach with focus on active labour market policy for disadvantaged groups, improving incentives to work, developing the lifelong learning strategy, and adjusting education and training to labour market needs. Work is in progress on further legislative amendments to enhance job-search activity and to reinforce employment services. A number of measures were launched to improve the labour market situation of groups at risk of poverty, including the adoption of the National Strategy for Social Protection/Social Inclusion for 2008-2010. The rapid implementation of this is now essential. The employment rate of older workers is the second lowest in the EU, but an active ageing strategy agreed by the government constitutes a promising response. The thorough review of the benefit systems has not been brought forward. Actions to match education and skills with labour market needs are in progress, designed with a view to increasing the attractiveness of vocational education, developing a National Qualification Framework, modernising curricula and placing more emphasis on key competences. The preparation of the lifelong learning strategy has been ongoing for several years and is now postponed until 2009. The Council also highlighted the need to increase childcare provision with a view to reconciling work and private life. Measures have been proposed to increase women's employment, in particular through support for the reintegration of women after maternity leave. However, these proposals are still under elaboration and do not tackle the increase in accessibility of childcare. Poland is facing increasing labour shortages in certain sectors as a result of fast economic growth, outward migration and skills mismatches. To address this, the government plans a wider opening of the labour market to high-skilled non-EU workers and a smooth integration of migrant workers returning home. The modernisation of public administration is presented as crucial and measures are planned to improve the capacity of all administrative levels.

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PORTUGAL
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The updated National Reform Programme (NRP) for 2008-2010 shows continuity with the previous version and stability in its objectives. It recognises the interlinkages across the three domains and introduces a new integrated approach. It also exploits the advantages of a clear convergence with the objectives of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF). It appears to be sufficiently backed up by financial resources, with the structural funds playing an important role. A more precise timetable for implementation of the measures included would be welcome and the evaluation, assessment and monitoring mechanisms of the NRP need to be strengthened in order to measure results and ensure timely and effective implementation of reforms. Against the backdrop of the economic downturn, the government has announced a number of actions to ease the impacts upon the most vulnerable, including property owners. While these measures are important to deal with the impacts of the crisis, they will put further pressure on public finances. The NSRF includes a significant commitment to move to a new competitiveness and innovation agenda. The indicative earmarking of Structural Funds for Growth and Jobs objectives is satisfactory (82% of the Portuguese structural funds 2007-2013). The implementation of an ambitious reform programme through the Lisbon Strategy remains at the top of the political agenda of the Portuguese government. The implementation of the NRP will continue to be monitored by the Lisbon coordinator who reports directly to the Prime Minister, is in charge of the Technological Plan, and is involved in the coordination of Structural Funds, all of which resulted in a very integrated policy approach. Parliament, social partners and other stakeholders are closely involved in the preparation and the monitoring of the NRP. Not only are public awareness campaigns organised on a regular basis on the Lisbon strategy, but also their impact is also closely monitored which results in a very high awareness rate. In the light of the following assessment Portugal should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: unit labour cost developments, long-term fiscal sustainability, continued implementation of the technological plan, the liberalisation of the energy sector; regulatory environment, and social cohesion.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 5. The 2008-2010 NRP confirms Portugals commitment to fiscal consolidation as a key macro-economic policy concern, and gives priority to improving the quality of public finances and modernising public services. Despite the good progress made in

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recent years, fiscal consolidation remains a key challenge in the face of still fragile public finances as well as a quickly deteriorating economic outlook. Furthermore, Portugal continues to record a low growth potential and a persistently large external deficit, the latter reflecting a continued sizeable deficit in the balance of goods and aggravated by the costs of servicing a growing external debt. Following the recent pension reform, the risks to the long-term sustainability of public finances have been lowered. Fiscal policy faces the double challenge of containing public spending in a sustained manner and reorienting it towards uses more supportive of economic growth and competitiveness gains. 6. Portugal has made good progress with fiscal consolidation. The government deficit has been reduced from 6.1% of GDP in 2005 to 2.6% in 2007, as a result of both revenue increases and expenditure containment. A further containment of the government deficit in 2008 seems attainable. The downward path of the debt-to-GDP ratio initiated in 2007 seems to have halted in 2008, with a further deterioration foreseen in the near future. Important steps have either been taken, or are due to enter into force in the area of public administration reform, which has been a pillar of the fiscal consolidation strategy of recent years. These include, most notably, the partial replacement of government employees who leave, the introduction of new career and pay scales and employment standards for government personnel, and performance evaluation for services, workers and managers. Progress in redirecting public spending towards uses more supportive to potential growth has been less evident. The current macro-economic outlook reinforces the need to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending, which would benefit from a systematic and thorough monitoring and evaluation of public policies. The already sizeable external deficit increased further in 2008, and despite low economic growth it is expected to remain high. The financial crisis makes it even more urgent for Portugal to regain its cost competitiveness, notably by pursuing structural reforms aimed at raising productivity growth in an integrated way and ensuring wage and price moderation. The recent reforms of old-age pension schemes contributed markedly to containing the increase in age-related expenditure and lowered the risk to the sustainability of public finances. Nevertheless, the rapid increase in pension expenditure, which is expected to continue along with population ageing, still raises concerns for the sustainability of public finances. These concerns are magnified by the evolution of government debt, which increased from 50% of GDP in 2000 to an estimated 64 % by 2008.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 9. The 2008-2010 NRP gives priority to the continued implementation and furthering of the reforms foreseen previously. It identifies three priorities in the micro-economic area: Improving the business environment, especially for SMEs; More R&D and a better innovation system; and the fight against climate change based on renewable and efficient energy. A horizontal aim has been set to promote the attractiveness of the territory by improving growth, productivity and cohesion through investment in infrastructures. These priority areas are mainly in line with the challenges identified by Portugal and the Commission in previous assessments and are coherent with the

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NSRF (2007-2013). However, the challenge posed by a lack of effective competition in energy markets has not been sufficiently dealt with. 10. Portugal has strengthened its science, technology and innovation measures on the basis of the Technological Plan. In 2007, Portugal presents for the fist time a positive technological balance and the 2008 budget foresees the achievement of the targeted 1% of GDP for public R&D spending. However, the targeted tripling of business R&D by 2010 may be difficult to reach despite a recent recovery in business R&D expenditure. Despite improvements, the innovation system still presents systemic deficiencies, in particular a weak inter-linkage among its various actors. The updated NRP supports the development of collective efficiency strategies and strengthens the role of clusters to promote innovation and global competitiveness. These efforts to boost private R&D capacity and strengthen innovation performance need to be continued, especially since they will benefit from the strong support of measures framed in the NSFR 2007-2013. The level of competition in the electricity market for consumers with low levels of demand is very low, due to dominance of the incumbent. Furthermore, the continuous presence of regulated tariffs distorts individual choice and creates a barrier for new entrants, leading to failure of the liberalised retail market. A clear roadmap for the phasing out of regulated tariffs is essential before effective competition can begin in the sector. Despite improvements in better integrating the Iberian market and, notably, the creation of a daily market, the electricity market remains insufficiently integrated. Portugal has completed the transposition of the Financial Services Action Plan directives and has increased the supervision role of the Central Bank on credit and financial institutions to protect consumers. In the retail banking sector concerns remain in the area of credit card payments where fees paid by merchants are still high. Even in the pre-financial crisis period Portugal suffered from relatively high barriers in terms of access to credit. In 2008, Portugals efforts to further improve business environment focused mainly on simplification proposals, including a reduction of the administrative burden. The target of a 25% the reduction of the administrative burden is welcome and reaching this through concrete measures is strongly encouraged. Efforts need to be stepped up to assess the impact of new legislation. More generally, an effective system of evaluation, assessment and monitoring of policy initiatives is strongly encouraged in order to ensure that ambitious measures translate into the desired results. Portugals backlog with regard to the transposition of EU legislation is still above the 1.5% target despite strong recent progress. Concerted further efforts are ensuring good progress towards the target. Portugal has considerably stepped up its efforts and is progressing well in the implementation of the Services Directive. Projections of greenhouse gas emission reductions indicate that Portugal will reach the 27% Kyoto target with existing policies, Kyoto mechanisms and carbon sinks. Portugal continued its progress in terms of improving the business environment. Simplification, in particular via solutions in the realm of greater e-government, has not lost momentum and continues to produce concrete results. The introduction of a series of programs in the area of entrepreneurship education, a weak point in last years assessment, is welcome though plans to introduce entrepreneurship education in secondary schools have yet to be implemented.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 15. The main challenges in the employment domain are to further enhance the education and training systems, to foster job creation and prevent unemployment, to promote flexibility and security in labour market, and to reinforce social cohesion. Despite recent improvements, Portugal continues to face a deficit in qualifications, training systems are still not adjusted to labour market needs and the labour market remains highly segmented. The updated NRP gives the high priority to these challenges. This is backed by substantial financial resources, namely through the ESF. Portugal has undertaken reforms to address the flexicurity challenges in cooperation with social partners. The updated NRP does not explicitly identify a national pathway and the existence of an integrated approach is not evident, although measures are being taken under all four components. While progress has been made in modernising social security systems, more efforts will be required for implementing a truly comprehensive life-long learning strategy and the planned reform of active labour market policies. It will also be essential to swiftly apply the revised Labour Code. Extensive reforms are being implemented to improve the efficiency of education and training systems, with concrete measures to improve young and adult qualification levels through the "Novas Oportunidades" initiative. The number of pupils leaving school early is decreasing and youth educational attainment is on the rise. This trend must be consolidated in order to further narrow the substantial gap with the EU averages and benchmarks. The full implementation of the National Qualifications Framework is essential, with the active involvement of stakeholders, in order to provide a qualification system relevant to labour market needs. Some progress has been achieved in terms of modernizing employment protection through the agreement reached with the social partners to reform the Labour Code. This is expected to enter in force in early 2009. It contains specific measures to counter labour segmentation and fight the precariousness of some jobs. Whilst this is undoubtedly a fundamental step, the focus should now turn to its full and swift implementation. It is also important to insert a review clause in the Code. The full implementation of both recommendations issued to Portugal is essential in the context of the current crisis. By overcoming the qualifications deficit and reducing labour segmentation, Portugal will be better equipped to face the rapid and changing needs of its economic situation. The Council also pointed to the need to address the factors undermining social cohesion. It is welcome that the updated NRP attributes special attention to the reinforcement of social cohesion and this will closely integrated with the National Strategy for Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2008-2010. Some measures were taken in an effort to alleviate poverty, in particular the network of proximity services providing social and health-related support for vulnerable groups, investment in social facilities, and the introduction of a benefit to support the social and professional integration of vulnerable groups. Yet Portugal continues to stand out as having one of the most unequal distribution of income and social cohesion remains an important concern.

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ROMANIA
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. Romania's economic and social development remains hampered by weak public administration, both at the central and local level, and by an inefficient judiciary system. The Council, therefore, recommended Romania to urgently strengthen administrative capacity, especially in essential functions of government. Progress however has been limited. Problem analysis, conceptual development, budget planning and execution as well as enforcement of policies remain weak. Ineffective oversight and lack of independence of regulatory and supervisory authorities often results in failure to tackle non-competitive market behaviour. An inefficient judiciary system adds to legal insecurity. Corruption still affects the business environment and access to and quality of the public services. Progress in this area is monitored through the co-operation and verification mechanism under which the Commission drafts regular progress reports. Progress in setting clear and organised financial and management procedures, especially as regards procurement, is still too slow. These weaknesses cause substantial delays in infrastructure development and use of structural funds. The key to improved performance lies in reforming public administration, clearly identifying tasks and responsibilities, ensuring officials independence and rewarding merit, in delegation of decision-making to avoid bottlenecks at the top. Plans have been developed, and should now be implemented. Political recognition of the need to speed up reforms as part of the Lisbon Strategy is fairly recent. There have been some efforts to build broader support across the political spectrum but this has not had a lasting effect. In August, Romania adopted an Action Plan with short-term measures to implement the country-specific recommendations. While the Action Plan contains a number of measures that, if delivered, could have had a positive effect on the Romanian economy, only few have effectively been implemented as attention shifted to the campaign for the parliamentary elections that took place at the end of November. There have been substantial efforts to raise awareness and build ownership for the Lisbon reform agenda, for example through high-level conferences and round tables with close involvement of the Prime Minister and his office. Members of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration have actively participated in discussions on the reform agenda, although a regular debate in Parliament on progress could contribute to a more sustained reform effort. Consultation of the social partners, local authorities and other stakeholders has improved during the course of the year but needs further strengthening. Monitoring requires considerable effort, particularly by focusing on key measures, setting outcome indicators and assessing progress regularly in the Council of Ministers. In the light of the following assessment Romania should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a

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Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: ensure the long-term sustainability of public finances, R&D performance, infrastructure, public employment services, and energy efficiency. PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 6. Romania's demand-driven boom has come at the expense of rising external imbalances and an overheating economy, making the economy more vulnerable to the impacts of the international financial crisis. The main macro-economic challenge is therefore one of addressing these imbalances and ensuring fiscal and monetary policy deliver sustainable medium term growth. The central bank has reacted by significantly tightening monetary policy conditions. With this in mind the Council recommended Romania avoid pro-cyclical fiscal policy to contain the growing current account deficit and inflationary pressures, keep wage developments in line with productivity growth, improve budget planning and execution and improve the composition of public spending. Fiscal policy has continued to be expansionary with the general government deficit likely to increase to 5.2% of GDP in 2008 up from 2.5% of GDP in 2007. This is partly due to continued weak budgetary planning and execution, with frequent inyear rectifications using revenue windfalls to increase expenditure, in particular wages, social transfers and subsidies. Despite several announcements, including in its recent action plan, Romania has yet to introduce a medium-term fiscal framework and a multi-annual investment programme to improve budgetary planning and the quality of public expenditure. State aid in remains high in comparison with the EU27 average. In 2006, total State aid for industry and services was estimated at 0.56% of GDP, above the 0.42% EU-27 average. In addition, over the period 20022006, Romania granted only 16% to horizontal objectives, a rather low share in comparison to the EU-27 average (73%). The current account deficit is forecast to decrease slightly but remains very high. Reliance on short-term debt has increased over recent years. In the context of increased risk aversion in international financial markets, continued imbalances in the Romanian economy affect investor confidence, and could result in additional pressures on the currency, tighter strains on external financing and reduced FDI inflows. This pleads for tightening Romania's fiscal stance, pursuing wage moderation and implementing structural reforms to reinforce external competitiveness. A tight labour market and skills shortages have driven up real wages (by around 14% in 2008), far outpacing productivity growth. Public sector wages have grown even faster than those in the private sector. In September 2008, the Parliament approved a law to increase teachers' wages by 50%. If this increase were implemented under the 2009 budget there would be serious implications for the budget deficit, inflation and the economy as a whole, especially given that it could trigger similar wage claims in the rest of the public sector. The Council asked Romania to ensure the long-term sustainability of public finances, in particular with regard to potential risks in terms of adequacy and sustainability of

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pensions. Over recent years, measures have been taken to increase the long-term sustainability of the pension system, including by setting up a voluntary third pension pillar (in 2007), a compulsory second pension pillar (in 2008), and gradually increasing the statutory retirement age and minimum contribution period. The adequacy of pensions has also improved through a real increase of 85% between 2004 and 2008. This has however, resulted in additional pressure on the pension bill, compounded by recent reductions of pension contributions. 12. Given the impact of ageing on expenditure, further reforms are necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of public finances. This would include raising the labour market participation of older workers and discouraging early retirement. The aim must be to improve the dependency ratio (currently close to 1:1) and thus increase the number of people in work contributing to social security. Improving the quality of health care can make a significant contribution to improving the health of the population, and keeping costs in check.

MICROECONOMIC POLICIES 13. Romanias main micro-economic challenge is to substantially improve its business environment by cutting red tape, ensuring the independence of its regulators and improving infrastructure. In order to address gradually eroding cost-advantages it will be crucial to pursue higher productivity and more innovation The Council recommended Romania to take rapid measures to substantially reduce red tape, in order to remove an important source of corruption, and improve the business environment. In spite of several high-level political announcements and the adoption of a Better Regulation Strategy, the effective removal and simplification of procedures and authorisations has been further delayed. Romania continues to operate one of the most burdensome tax administration systems in the world with companies paying 113 taxes per year. While Romanias commitment to reduce administrative burdens by 25% by 2012 is welcome, if determined action were taken this goal could be achieved much more quickly. To avoid adding further to red tape, the regulatory system needs to become more transparent and predictable. To this end, stakeholders should be systematically consulted on forthcoming legislation with a minimum consultation period of 8 weeks, in line with European standards, and more impact assessments, of better quality, should be carried out. The Council also highlighted the need to reinforce measures to tackle fragmentation of the research base and to pursue a more integrated approach to infrastructure development, to stimulate the innovative capacity of enterprises, and rollout of ICT. Implementation of the National R&D Strategy for 2007-2013 is underway but major challenges remain. In particular the foreseen increase in public R&D funding (to 1% of GDP by 2010) should go hand in hand with a reform of the R&D system and measures to address the key factors that constrain innovation. A significant consolidation of the still fragmented research base is required, by cutting off funding to institutes with low scientific performance and by consolidating those that have potential. In spite of rising public financing, business expenditure on R&D has declined during the last decade and the R&D content of FDI has remained low. Public funding should be used more to leverage private sector investment, strengthen links between business and research institutes, increase the attractiveness of research

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careers, and better link knowledge production with societal demand. Romania should set up a comprehensive monitoring system, based on international standards, to measure results and make adjustments. 17. Infrastructure, particularly in transport and ICT, continues to present serious shortcomings. With only a few hundred kilometres of motorways, an outdated railway system, and weak interconnections to the rest of the EU, infrastructure continues to act as a brake on growth and investment. In addition, due to inadequate administrative capacity, the preparation and launch of projects according to schedule and the compliance with requirements remains a major challenge, thus putting at risk Romania's capacity to absorb the EU's structural funds. ICT services still play a limited role in the economy, despite a dynamic electronic communications market. Progress towards an information society continues to remain insufficient: enterprise connectivity to broadband is one of the lowest in Europe resulting in low levels of e-commerce and use of e-applications. Only 35% of public services in Romania are fully available online. Concrete actions are necessary to speed up progress in this area. The independence of regulators, particularly in energy and telecommunications continues to remain a serious concern. As one of the most energy-intensive economies in Europe, energy efficiency should be a key priority for Romania. Whilst some measures are foreseen, what is needed is an ambitious and integrated strategy to radically improve energy efficiency of buildings (many of which are poorly insulated) and production structures. Moves to increase cooperation between Romania and other member states, such as the proposal for a New European Transmission System in the gas sector in which Romania is collaborating with Hungary, could help secure energy supply and market integration in the region.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 20. Romania continues to face labour shortages due to large migratory outflows, fast growth in particular sectors, and skill obsolescence. The lack of basic skills amongst young people, resulting primarily from weaknesses in the education system and from inefficient active labour market policies, reduces their chances to enter into the labour market, and holds productivity back. Adult participation in education and training remains the lowest in the EU. Agriculture still represents about one third of employment, although its productivity and contribution to GDP remains at very low levels. The Council recommended Romania to tackle low activity, employment and productivity levels in an integrated manner. Progress to date remains limited. Many initiatives are prepared, but are often insufficiently targeted to the needs of the labour market, and of different groups, in particular vulnerable people, the largest share of which are the Roma. Greater attention is now given to life-long learning and active labour market measures. However, the lifelong learning strategy has yet to be adopted, and the downsizing of the Public Employment Service will limit its capacity to improve and expand its services, particularly against the background of increasing inflows into unemployment.

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Whilst some positive initiatives have been taken to increase investment and modernise higher education, major challenges remain in primary and secondary education. The proportion of pupils with low achievement in reading, mathematics and sciences has increased. More than half of 15 years old have low reading skills (one of the worst scores in the EU). One in five pupils leaves school early. For Romania to achieve its ambitions to become a knowledge-based economy, it must urgently tackle the causes of its weak educational outcomes. The Council also recommended Romania to tackle undeclared work. Prevention and control efforts have been stepped up, but so far with limited effect. More extensive enforcement and stronger sanctions are essential, as is the need to reinforce the weak link between social contributions and actual benefits. Romania has announced measures to provide a better reconciliation of work and family life by reforming child care provision. This involves increasing the number of facilities, improving quality, and integrating it into the education system. This welcome policy development, if implemented, should increase female labour participation.

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SLOVENIA
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The new National Reform Programme (NRP) contains an Action Plan and envisages further progress. In most areas the measures are formulated in general terms without clear indication of the allocated budgets and timetables for their implementation. However, both documents explicitly address all current recommendations and watchlist items and identify most underlying domestic problems. Cohesion policy underpins the Lisbon strategy with over 60% of the funds earmarked for Lisbonrelated investments. The funds clearly intervene in the areas highlighted by the above priorities. Slovenia is very committed to the Lisbon process. However, due to parliamentary elections in September 2008, involvement of the National Assembly in the preparation of the NRP and Action Plan was limited. The government included in the NRP results from a public consultation that included the social partners and the civil society. In the light of the following assessment Slovenia should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: wage growth in excess of productivity improvements, competition in the services sector, the national research and innovation strategy, energy efficiency, the link between the education system and the labour market, and the system of social transfers and the tax wedge on low paid.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. The long-term sustainability of public finances, threatened by the budgetary costs of the ageing population, is the main macro-economic challenge facing Slovenia. The rigidity of public expenditure remains a concern as the high share of nondiscretionary spending commitments leaves little scope for shifting expenditure towards growth-enhancing expenditures. It also limits the capacity to adjust to macro-economic shocks, which is more urgent given the current economic downturn. Public spending on health and to a lesser extent education is marked by low efficiency. Inflation stood at 5.6% in 2008, by far the highest rate in the euro area. This was not only driven by rising energy and food prices and strong demand pressure, but also by a lack of competition in some sectors. Since wages are clearly expected to grow faster than productivity, recent wage agreements, combined with persisting rigidities in the labour market, could deteriorate competitiveness vis--vis other euro area countries. The Council recommended that Slovenia should continue reforming its pension system and promote active ageing. However, no additional measures to strengthen

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the 1999 pension reform have been taken. Although the employment rate of older workers has been gradually improving, more decisive steps towards an active ageing strategy are now needed. The NRP recognises the need to change the current pension system and envisages further measures to keep older persons active for longer but offers no details. There has been some progress in addressing the euro area recommendations, especially in terms of budgetary consolidation with the achievement of a budget surplus in 2007. The budgetary position is expected to show a deficit slightly below 1% of GDP in 2008. However, recently agreed public sector wage increases constitute a strain on budgetary resources and a risk to inflation. Some progress was made to improve the quality of public finances through continued implementation of the 2006 comprehensive tax reform, including a further reduction of the corporate income tax rate and a phasing out of the payroll tax by January 2009. The NRP also envisages a reduction in the GDP-share of expenditure, spending efficiency improvements, and a reallocation to growth-enhancing expenditures but does not lie out concrete measures. 6. The NRP does not sufficiently recognise the risk of inflation and wage developments to competitiveness. A comprehensive strategy to tackle inflation is necessary. While the slowdown of domestic demand is likely to ease inflationary pressures, only limited progress has been made to stimulate competition in certain sectors. In order to maintain competitiveness, the risk of wage growth in excess of productivity improvements should be contained.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. In order to contain inflationary pressures and sustain competitiveness, the key microeconomic challenges are to improve competition and energy efficiency and to better implement the national R&D and innovation strategy. It will be a challenge for the newly established Competitiveness Council to ensure a more effective implementation and monitoring of competitiveness and innovation measures without adding to the coordination problems in R&D and innovation due to the high number of actors involved. A lack of competition in certain sectors contributes to inflationary pressures. The high concentration in the retail sector, a relatively low efficiency of the food processing industry, and insufficient regulation of competition are the main factors. The powers of the Competition Protection Office have been increased allowing investigations into the abuse of a dominant position and the imposition of fines. Since the end of 2007, the Office has fined five electricity distributors for pricefixing and initiated proceedings regarding cartel agreements and abuse of dominant position. Competition has risen gradually in telecommunications, but not in energy, retail and professional services. The banking sector is one of the most concentrated in the EU, but competition in retail financial services should increase with the implementation of the EU Directive on payment services and the Directive on the Single Euro Payments Area. Overall progress in the area of competition is limited but the new NRP envisages further measures, albeit without details. While business R&D investment has increased, public sector financing of R&D has lagged considerably behind. Recognizing this fact, the new NRP postpones the achievement of the R&D target of 3% of GDP from 2010 to 2013. A more efficient

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implementation of the R&D and innovation strategy, stronger coordination, and regular independent evaluation are now important. 10. Both the manufacturing sector and households are reducing their energy intensity. Slovenia has adopted a national energy efficiency action plan 2008-2016, targeting a reduction of final energy consumption of 9% and of greenhouse gas emissions of about 1.1 million tons per year. Additional financial incentives are provided for households and the Energy Act was amended to provide incentives for projects involving power plants using either renewable sources or high-efficiency heat and power cogeneration technologies. The implementation of measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been limited, in particular in the area of the modernisation of thermal plants and transport. Transport emissions increased over the last two years at an accelerated pace. Without additional measures, Slovenia is unlikely to meet its Kyoto targets. Slovenia made good progress in recent years to unlock business potential with easier and cheaper start-up procedures, improved access to finance for SMEs through the Enterprise Fund, and the re-introduction of a tax break for R&D investments. However, further efforts are needed to improve entrepreneurship education at all levels and to attract FDI and venture capital inflows. A more comprehensive administrative burden strategy would be welcome. The legislation on electronic communications has been amended and a broadband strategy set up which should be implemented by 2010. Broadband penetration is still below the EU average. Broadband penetration in schools is above the EU average.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 12. The Slovenian labour market is characterized by employment rates just above the EU average and low unemployment. Slovenia managed to reach the targets it set in the 2005 NRP for overall employment and unemployment, but did not achieve the target for the employment rate of older workers. Integrating young people into the labour market and raising the low employment rate of older people constitute the main structural labour market challenges. The new NRP envisages a gradual approach towards flexicurity, to be developed in agreement with the social partners. Slovenia would benefit from further developing flexicurity. The dichotomy between permanent and other types of contracts leads to labour market segmentation that particularly affects young people. Active labour market policy has been reinforced with the modernisation of the Employment Service and new programmes supported by the European Social Fund. However, efforts to reach the activation targets should continue in light of the economic downturn. Performance in relation to lifelong learning is generally good, but participation of older and low skilled workers remains low. More efforts are needed to reform the pension system and achieve active ageing. The announced reform of social transfers still needs implementing. The Council recommended that Slovenia should promote more flexible contractual arrangements to counter labour market segmentation and further improve the effectiveness of employment services. The 2007 amendments to the Employment Relationship Act extended the flexibility within companies, but did not fundamentally affect employment protection for permanent contracts. Temporary

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employment and so-called student work, a form of flexible and cheap employment with lower social protection and employment rights, constitute the main types of employment of young people. The plan to integrate student work into the regular labour market was abandoned and labour market segmentation remains a key issue. The Employment Service is now more effective thanks to modernisation, IT tools and internal training to promote a more proactive approach. In view of the important number of unemployed first job seekers, it is intended to strengthen on the job training activities and implement innovative employment programmes for young people. In addition, every young person that fails to find employment is planned to be involved in active labour market policies within four months of completing his or her education. 15. The Council pointed at the need to strengthen the link between the educational system and labour market. The reform of the educational system launched in 2004 and to be completed in 2009 entails a continued streamlining of vocational programmes with a view to better responding to the needs of the economy and allowing for greater relevance of and flexibility between study paths. New tertiary education programmes were accredited. The system of scholarships was reviewed to better orient students towards the needs of enterprises. Steps were taken to increase the number of students in technical and mathematical sciences but Slovenia continues to lag behind in EU. Further measures to facilitate the transition of the young from education to the labour market, e.g. through subsidies and tax relief for employers, are envisaged as well as the reinforcement of other relevant institutions. Since such measures only show their full impact after a few years, progress should be closely monitored. The new NRP recognises the need for a better interaction between taxes and benefits, but concrete measures are not outlined. The unemployment and low wage trap are among the highest in the EU. Further effort is needed since earlier reforms have not significantly improved the situation. The 2005 NRP announced a reform of social transfers and a reduction of the tax burden on labour in order to increase the incentives to work. However, the 2006 tax reform only marginally affected incentives for low wage earners and the implementation of the reform of social transfers has been delayed.

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SLOVAKIA
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The new National Reform Programme (NRP) for the period 2008-2010 describes the Slovak priorities and initiatives in response to its key structural challenges in rather fragmented and general manner, without the assurance of sufficient budgetary allocations. An estimated 57% of Structural Funds has been earmarked to achieve Growth and Jobs objectives. Progress with implementation is so far very limited as it started only in 2008. The NRP has been prepared by the central administration in cooperation with social partners and the academic community, while the involvement of regional governments and other stakeholders remains limited. A draft version of the NRP was submitted for consultation to the Parliament, the Economic and Social Council and the Council for EU Affairs. In the light of the following assessment Slovakia should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: broadband infrastructure and ICT take-up, competition, in particular in the gas and electricity; and gender pay and employment gaps.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. Slovakia's main macro-economic challenge is to ensure a stable macro-economic environment through sustained fiscal consolidation. This is particularly relevant as Slovakia will adopt the euro in January 2009 and, in the absence of formal monetary policy autonomy, fiscal policy will have to play a more prominent role in ensuring macro-economic stability. Based on moderating, but still resilient GDP and employment growth, the general government deficit is estimated to have remained close to 2 % of GDP in 2008 and to increase to some 2% of GDP in 2009. In the medium term, a lowering of the deficit is needed to ensure that public finances will be able to effectively cope with likely future challenges stemming mainly from ageing population and gradual slowdown in the catch-up process. The 2009 budget relies on substantial one-off revenue estimated at some % of GDP. A temporary opening of the second pension pillar in the first half of 2009 is expected to induce an outflow of participants from this pension scheme and thus result in a transfer of accumulated pension savings from private to the general government sector. On the expenditure side, the 2009 budget foresees an increase in public expenditure on education, science and technology to around 4% of GDP in 2009 (from 4% in 2008). This is fully in line with the Council request that Slovakia reallocate resources to education, R&D and innovation, and with the euro area recommendation to improve the quality of public

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finances. This increase is planned to be entirely financed by a higher use of the EU funds. 6. In view of the adoption of the euro, the government has introduced a set of measures aimed at preventing undue price increases during the changeover period, including price monitoring and various consumer protection measures. The government will also have the possibility to regulate prices if deemed necessary. It would seem appropriate to accompany these measures with more effective product market competition, productivity increasing measures and continued responsible fiscal policies.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. In order to sustain Slovakias competitiveness, the main micro-economic challenge is one of increasing the quality of R&D output and further eliminating barriers for business. Further priorities are to increase the up-take of ICT and to improve energy efficiency. Slovakia has approved a conceptual document on energy efficiency and is also working on a comprehensive national strategy for energy and climate change, whilst its performance is around EU average. The Council recommended Slovakia to implement a coherent R&D and innovation strategy by focussing on institutional reform and co-operation between business and research, as well as by allocating more resources. Despite the substantial increase in R&D investment planned for 2008, the overall R&D spending of about % of GDP is substantially below the EU average. During 2008, Slovakia has continued improving the institutional framework, but hardly any operational measures have been implemented. The aim is to reach an overall R&D spending level of 0.88% of GDP by 2010, with the main increase in public funding coming from the EU Structural Funds. The achievement of this target is subject to a new financing model still under development. The link between research and business remains weak and participation in EU research programmes is diminishing. The new NRP puts forward several good initiatives aimed at improving the quality of R&D output and funding and a plan for regular monitoring and review. In the area of innovation, there are plans to establish technology transfer contact points and regional innovation centres. Although the overall coherence of the proposed measures could be improved and the incentives for private sector participation need reinforcement, they have the potential of initiating positive changes. The Council also recommended Slovakia to improve the regulatory environment by implementing a comprehensive better regulation strategy. Progress in this area is so far disappointing with only limited steps taken to reduce administrative burden and to introduce the impact assessment system. Moreover, implementation of the action plan for the reduction of administrative burdens has been further delayed until 2009. User uptake of ICT is low, mainly due to the underdeveloped infrastructure, a limited supply of e-services, and an including incomplete legislative framework. To address this, Slovakia aims to make high-speed Internet available to all schools by 2011 (63% in 2007) and targets that 35% of households will have access by 2010 (27% in 2007). Measures to improve broadband access in remote regions have been delayed with the first public tenders currently planned for mid-2009 and mainly financed from the EU Structural Funds. Slovakia has adopted the main strategic planning

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documents on ICT. As of 2009, all calls for public procurement are to be submitted electronically, whilst a complete changeover to e-procurement is planned for 2011. 11. The Council also signalled the need to fully implement the one-stop shop for company registration and to introduce entrepreneurship education. While one-stopshops for the self-employed have been operational since 2007, the system is not yet in place for private limited companies. Even after the implementation of the EU Services Directive in 2009 it will still take 20 days to register a company significantly longer than the one-week target. The merger of the collection of tax, customs and social security contributions by 2014 is a welcome step. As regards entrepreneurship education the intention to integrate this subject in all schools at secondary level by 2014 (70% by 2013), is welcome. However, the precise measures are still rather vague and appropriate financial means need to be allocated to ensure their implementation. The Commission takes note of the government's recent decision to improve access to loans for SMEs. The Council also highlighted the needs to increase competition in power supply. No specific measures have been reported apart from plans to strengthen consumer awareness, to be achieved through additional information obligations on market operators. This risks increasing the administrative burden. Comprehensive price regulation on the basis of the price cap method is to be introduced as of 2009. It should be ensured, however, that this method is applied in a way that does not discourage new investment. Discrimination of market entrants needs to be prevented more effectively and the national market more closely integrated with the neighbouring countries.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 13. The Slovak labour market is characterized by very high long-term unemployment, persisting skill mismatches and a low employability of disadvantaged groups. In order to continue reducing unemployment and to achieve the national targets for overall employment (62.7%) and long-term unemployment (5.9%), the quality of the educational system needs to be improved, participation in lifelong learning increased, and provision of employment services intensified. In addition, to make up for the low fertility rate and the increasing share of older workers, labour supply and productivity need to be increased. The persisting gender pay and employment gaps also require further attention. Without clearly defining the flexicurity pathway, Slovakia has taken several measures in areas of the four flexicurity components, mainly to strengthen workers' security in employment and to modernise the active labour market policy. Insufficient response has been given to the low participation in lifelong learning. The announced intention of the government to analyse the flexicurity areas and to launch a public debate on the best-suited concept for Slovakia in 2009, is very welcome. The Council recommended Slovakia to implement a lifelong learning strategy, complete the education reform and to enhance access to employment for disadvantaged groups. The lifelong learning strategy was approved in April 2007, but still needs to be transformed into concrete legislative and institutional measures. Legislative proposals both on lifelong learning and vocational training and education are under preparation and should help citizens to upgrade their competencies and

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skills throughout their life. The education reform of the primary and secondary level continued in 2008 and focuses on modernising and improving the quality of the education system and increasing the possibilities of schools to better respond to the labour market needs. To ensure effective implementation, the training of teachers and efficient monitoring mechanism will now be necessary. No progress has been recorded in reforming tertiary education. While strong employment growth has contributed to reducing long-term unemployment, it remains the highest in the EU. Recently introduced active labour market policy (ALMP) measures risk to hamper transition into regular employment. Support provided to the disadvantaged groups, notably the Roma minority, would be more efficient if combined with education, social protection, housing and business promoting policies. 16. The Council also asked Slovakia to address the gender pay and employment gaps, develop an active ageing strategy and create job opportunities for young. In spite of recent legislative and institutional measures, the high gender pay gap and limited access of women to better paid jobs remain problems. Reconciliation of work and family life has been facilitated by increased family-related social benefits and flexible working arrangements, but a thorough analysis of the reasons underlying the increasing gender employment gap is lacking. Although remaining at a high level, youth unemployment has radically decreased (from 30.1% in 2005 to 20.3% in 2007), mainly due to better-targeted ALMP measures and increased participation in education and training. In spite of the positive trend, the employment rate of older people remains 10 percentage points below the EU average. The increasing share of older people in the workforce requires an adaptation of working conditions for older workers, enhanced health prevention and much stronger participation in training activities to maintain their productivity. The development of a comprehensive active aging strategy, presenting a combined response in terms of social protection, labour market, and health care policies, has only been announced for 2009.

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FINLAND
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The Finnish government has adopted a new National Reform Programme (NRP) for the 2008-2010 period. It is characterised by stability in objectives, coherence in efforts, and consistency with the priorities of the Lisbon Growth and Jobs agenda. It also identifies strong inter-linkages with goals from other policy areas, notably raising the employment rate to counteract the imminent decline in the working-age population and gearing the national innovation strategy to a higher degree towards improving the provision of public services. An estimated 88% of the total Structural Funds have been earmarked to achieve Growth and Jobs objectives, which is among the highest in all Member States. Significant delays in the earlier phases of implementation are now starting to be rectified. The new NRP has been extensively prepared with very close involvement of stakeholders and parliament. Furthermore political ownership of the Lisbon Strategy has been enhanced, owing to a special informal ministerial meeting organised to define the priorities of the new NRP. Focus on assessing and measuring progress of reforms has also been increased, with a view to adapting agreed measures if necessary. In the light of the following assessment for Finland the following challenges remain important: competition in services, energy efficiency, and the mismatch between labour supply and demand, with a particular emphasis on increasing the participation of the young, migrants and the low skilled.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. Despite Finlands strong and balanced macro-economic performance, the ageing of the population will pose a major challenge in the medium and long term, adversely affecting the growth potential of the economy and the fiscal situation. In a setting of a declining workforce economic growth will become increasingly dependent on advances in productivity. In view of the rise of inflation in 2008, securing price stability and wage growth in line with productivity developments has become a priority for macro-economic policy. Macro-economic policy measures are divided into three priority areas: the pension system, curbing public spending, and securing welfare services and public sector productivity. The reform measures in these areas are advancing well overall. The most notable ongoing reforms concern the reorganisation of service provision both at the central and local government level, merging municipalities into larger and more viable entities, maintaining the central government spending limits system, and implementing and monitoring the 2005 pension reform measures. Some measures have been further reinforced. The central government has extended its productivity

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programme, now aiming to reduce personnel by over 10% by 2015. A reform initiative from spring 2008 aims at reorganising regional administrations. The implementation of a comprehensive reform of social security, focused on strengthening incentives to work while securing basic income, has been accelerated, with proposals for legislative changes scheduled for early 2009. Taken together, these measures should help address long-term macro-economic challenges and further reinforce the sustainability of public finances. Some of the reforms are not implemented through direct enforcement, but principally through incentives and might need adjustments if the targets are not met. 6. In line with the euro area recommendations, Finland appropriately used the cyclical upswing in the economy to further strengthen its public finances. This has created leeway for substantial tax cuts, notably personal income taxes, which would support domestic demand during the predicted slowdown of economic activity in 2009, while also improving incentives to work. Furthermore, the announced reform measures of the public sector are foreseen to enhance the quality of public finances.

MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 7. Finland has identified micro-economic challenges regarding knowledge and innovation; the promotion of entrepreneurship; market efficiency and competition; information, communication and transport networks; and sustainable development. Finland's highly successful innovation performance over the last years has not yet helped to stimulate productivity growth or dampen prices. It stills exhibits relatively low levels of productivity and high price levels compared to other innovation leaders. The Council concluded that special attention should be paid towards continued reforms to improve competition and productivity in some services, and towards creating the necessary leverage to reduce high price levels. Some progress has been achieved in this area, in particular in fighting cartels and in addressing competition restrictions within and outside the scope of the Competition Restriction Act. Although competition has improved in some service sectors in Finland, concrete measures to address restrictive regulation in certain sectors are still needed, in particular concerning retail opening hours. Restrictions regarding land access also remain extensive. Reflections are ongoing on ways to improve competition enforcement. Lengthy court proceedings and the lack of deterring fines have been identified as main obstacles for effective enforcement. A level playing field between private and public service companies in areas such as public procurement, in particular SMEs, is also part of Finland's reform effort. Increasing competition outside the most densely populated areas remains a challenge. The Council also pointed to the need for Finland to implement announced measures to reach the Kyoto targets. Some progress has been achieved in this area with the launching of the long-term Climate and Energy Strategy, the main aims of which are saving energy and promoting renewable energy. Measures have been put in place to improve households energy efficiency and for a reform of car taxation. Although these measures imply an important step towards meeting the Kyoto-emissions target and improving energy-efficiency, Finland still remains one of the most energy intensive economies of the euro area.

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Finland is further improving upon an attractive business environment where enterprises face a relatively low administrative burden. Efforts need to be stepped up in assessing impacts of legislation, leading to an integrated analysis of environmental, social and economic impacts, including impacts on businesses. Providing a detailed guidance and ensuring adequate quality control would help achieving those. Finland's leading position in research and innovation has slightly eroded in recent years and R&D intensity has fallen back to its 2002 level. Nonetheless, with R&D spending still above 3% of GDP, Finland still remains one of the top performers in the EU. Reacting to the changing international environment Finland is now transforming its innovation system from a technology-driven innovation model to a more demand-driven and broad-based innovation strategy. In this strategy the adaptation of its governance structure to accommodate horizontal innovation policies is of high importance. Major reform processes were initiated comprising restructuring of the public research sector and the university system as well as better coordination of resources. The recent proposal for a National Innovation Strategy will align these reforms with the operational strategies of the research and innovation agencies.

EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 11. As a result of a long period of high growth, Finland is expected to face major labour market challenges, namely increasing labour shortages as well as regional, sectoral and skills mismatches. In this context timely measures to prolong working life are necessary with respect to both the youth and older workers, as is the need to increase economic immigration and the participation of people with a migrant background and the low skilled in the labour market. Flexicurity is highly placed in the political agenda. So far the tripartite working group, set up to define the Finnish flexicurity model has outlined an initial draft. The pathway indicates an integrated approach focusing on quick transitions from job to job, the quality of working life and the full use of the workforce. Active labour market measures seem to focus on proactive training. A more detailed proposal will be presented in 2009 linked to the results of the working groups reforming social security and adult education. Although the flexicurity model is still work in progress, the first outline suggests an appropriate policy response. The Council referred to the need to continue reforms to address bottlenecks in the labour market, with a particular view to tackling high structural unemployment notably among low skilled (including young), and by taking into account the potential contribution from economic migration. Overall, progress is promising in addressing labour market bottlenecks although developments need to be monitored closely to ensure that the expected impact of reforms in terms of reducing labour market shortages materialises. In 2008, structural unemployment, defined as the long-term unemployment rate, has been reduced to about 1% of the workforce. The employment of older people, who are generally also less skilled, has also increased during the past year. Youth employment also improved recently, but remained still at a relatively low level. The national target to raise the total employment rate to 72% by 2011 and the measures outlined in the NRP both represent positive steps towards a further reduction in unemployment. In order to improve financial incentives to work and to further reduce structural unemployment the 2009 budget proposal includes tax reductions and proposals to revise benefit systems. Despite these

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positive developments, labour shortages remain in some sectors while there is an over supply of labour in other sectors. This suggests that unemployment is essentially structural by nature, following from a mismatch between available skills and the needs of employers. It will be important to find effective solutions to this mismatch. 14. During the past year some progress has been made in increasing economic migration. In 2008 about one third of residence permits were work based, reflecting and annual increase by more than 20%. The policy response includes the implementation of the national immigration programme through various projects focused on recruiting foreign labour and promoting the opportunities in the Finnish labour market. A legislative change simplifying the work permit procedure of non-EU citizens is expected to come into force in 2009. In addition, a programme aimed at attracting foreign students and researches in universities is being drafted. An effective implementation of these measures will be important for the future labour market needs. The integration of the already existing population with migrant background has so far not been very successful, which is demonstrated by a great disparity between the unemployment rates of natives and immigrants. Reinforced measures are necessary to improve their inclusion in the labour market. So as to alleviate the effects of gender segregation in the labour market, the government has introduced a firm policy response by presenting a package of measures aimed at reducing the relatively wide gender pay gap by 5 percentage points by 2015.

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SWEDEN
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. Sweden has announced in its National Reform Programme (NRP) further measures to tackle its challenges. The Swedish government is committed to pursuing its structural reform agenda and has made job creation the centrepiece of its policy priorities. In response to the need to focus on competition, the government has commissioned an in-depth study of the causes of the lack of competition for delivery by the end of March 2009. In an effort to increase labour supply, measures have been announced to further reduce taxes and employers' contributions, and to raise the productivity and employability of people. However, it is too early to assess the impact of these initiatives. In the current situation of decelerating economic growth, the government is using part of the fiscal room of manoeuvre to support economic activity. A third phase of the in-work tax credit scheme (lowering taxes on income from work) will be implemented as from 2009, as well as a reduction in the corporate tax rate and employers' social contributions. Apart from cushioning the downturn, these policies are also likely to have positive supply-side effects in the medium term. Political ownership of the Lisbon Strategy remains strong. Various stakeholders, such as representatives of local and regional governments and social partners, play an important role in the preparation of the reform agenda. Notably, the social partners are regularly consulted by the government on labour market issues, and have made a joint contribution in the framework of the specific consultation prior to the drafting of the NRP. Sweden's national strategic priorities for regional competitiveness, entrepreneurship and employment are well in line with the NRP objectives to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, to increase labour supply and to ensure a highly skilled workforce. Links between NRP implementation and Structural Funds programmes are strong, with an increased investment share earmarked for the Lisbon priorities of jobs and growth to 91% (compared to 73% in the previous programming period). High priority is given to increasing labour supply through higher labour force participation and more working hours, given the ageing population and the current high level of welfare services. There is also a considerable emphasis on support for R&D, innovation, entrepreneurship and risk capital. In the light of the following assessment for Sweden the following challenges remain important: recent reforms to increase work incentives, youth unemployment, the employment rate of people with a migrant background, and to reintegration of people on sickness-related schemes

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Despite the current deceleration in economic activity, which has seen GDP growth slowing from an annual pace of above 4% in early 2006 to negative growth in 2008, Sweden is coping well with the key macro-economic challenges of maintaining sound public finances and safeguarding fiscal sustainability. During the years of strong economic expansion, the general government budget recorded successive surpluses well above the target of running a surplus of 1% of GDP over the cycle, contributing to a further consolidation of public finances. This makes public finances well positioned to remain a stabilising factor during the current phase of economic slowdown. In 2008, the government further enhanced the rules-based budgetary framework, notably by reverting to the initial practice of presenting in the budget an expenditure ceiling for the three coming years (compared to two in recent years). The recently created Fiscal Policy Council has started work and published its first report in 2008. The implementation of a range of reforms of the tax and benefit systems is likely to contribute to increasing the long-run employment rate and to making labour markets more flexible, which should contribute to fiscal sustainability.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 9. The micro-economic challenges facing Sweden are dominated by concerns related to increasing competition, complemented by the need for monitoring of further progress related to R&D, and creating a favourable business environment by ensuring a better environment for entrepreneurship and SMEs. The Council underlined that Sweden should take further regulatory measures to increase competition, notably in services. Both the completed and planned actions set out in the NRP are welcome steps in the right direction. The new Competition Law may help deter competition law infringement, and in particular the formation and continuation of cartels. However, further progress will depend on the actual application of the law given the relatively low level of fines imposed so far. The forthcoming proposal aimed at ensuring a level playing field for competition between public and private operators through new conflict resolution powers conferred on the Competition Authority is welcome. Such improvements might be particularly beneficial for SMEs. The implementation of EU public procurement directives and the announced three-year programme to facilitate public procurement constitute positive steps. The implementation of the proposal within the report to give the competition authority standing before the courts in procurement cases would be extremely useful in enhancing the agencys effectiveness. In another promising step, the government has commissioned an in-depth study of the causes of the lack of competition in the Swedish economy, including concrete proposals for removing these causes, to the Competition Authority, for delivery by end-March 2009. However, any tangible progress will depend on the practical follow-up to the recommendations of the study. It is also important to step up the pace of reform in this field in order to bring Swedish price levels closer to the EU average in areas where competition is weak. With the proposed budgetary increases presented in the 2009 Budget Bill, Sweden may well reach its targets of a 4% of GDP overall, and 1% public, R&D expenditure intensity. Since 2007, Sweden has also made efforts to strengthen governmental

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financial support to innovation in SMEs. To improve the efficiency of R&D and innovation spending and to further improve competitiveness in international markets, Sweden would benefit from continued efforts to commercialise R&D, to consider non-R&D drivers of innovation, and to bring innovation closer to market needs. Continued improvements have been made to simplify the regulatory and fiscal framework for small entrepreneurs. However, SME participation in public procurement is still hindered by the extensive use of large framework contracts. Moreover, private undertakings still have to compete on unequal terms with public enterprises. Attention needs to be paid to the implementation and use by authorities allowing for an integrated assessment of economic, environmental and social impacts. 12. Sweden is on track to achieve its Kyoto climate targets. With a share of about 40% in 2005, Sweden has the highest share of renewables in domestic energy consumption in the EU.

EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 13. Sweden's main employment challenge consists of increasing labour market participation among disadvantaged groups, such as the long-term unemployed, the young, those returning from long periods of sick leave and people with a migrant background. With this in mind, the government maintains its strong focus on increasing labour supply. While not explicitly defining a national pathway, Sweden addresses the four flexicurity components in an integrated way, with a strong involvement of social partners in regulating the labour market. The use of fixed-term contracts has been facilitated and a number of initiatives have been taken or announced to encourage life-long learning and ensure the delivery of skills in line with labour market needs. Active labour market policies focus on those furthest from the labour market. Recent initiatives in the context of modernizing social security systems aim at making work pay. These measures point in the right direction. However, the appropriate balance between work incentives on one hand and employability and long-term employment on the other could be further developed. The Council pointed to the need to focus on the implementation and impact evaluation of recent reforms to increase work incentives, to tackle youth unemployment, to raise the employment rate of people with a migrant background, and to reintegrate people on sickness-related schemes. A comprehensive impact evaluation framework has been announced, which will include quantitative targets and indicators for the development of sickness and unemployment absence, as well as for activities of people outside the labour force. Future reporting is intended to better reflect the impact of specific policy initiatives. However, the new framework is not yet in place and the results of recent reforms are not clear. Sweden has continued its efforts to address work incentives, in particular through further labour income tax reductions (in-work tax credit) and stricter rules and controls of the social security and unemployment benefit systems. The long-term effects are difficult to assess, in particular in view of the current economic downturn. The new reform measures for young people focuses on incentives to work and improving the transition from school to work. However, although unemployment

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decreased in the last year more for young people than for other age groups, the youth unemployment rate is still high at 19.3%. Differences in employment rates between foreign-born and people born in Sweden remain significant and unemployment is twice as high for foreign-born people. Initiatives announced in the NRP for people with a migrant background will include financial incentives for municipalities that are successful in raising labour market participation or proficiency in the Swedish language, as well as reduced employers' contributions. Foreign-born entrepreneurship and validation of professional skills will be facilitated. A number of measures have been announced to help people on sick benefits move back into employment. Benefit levels have been cut, and maximum benefit periods limited in time. A wage subsidy has been launched to favour the recruitment of people on longterm sick leave. Rehabilitation will be further strengthened, and co-operation sought with actors in the social economy to provide adapted employment opportunities. 17. While considerable efforts have been made to improve the incentives to work for these target groups, measures to ensure sustainable employment for the new labour market entrants seem less developed. Furthermore, it is expected that the need for financial assistance will increase in the next few years. For all these groups, substantial support to ensure their employability would presumably be needed in addition to financial incentives.

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UNITED KINGDOM
OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. The UKs Action Plan represents overall a good response to the Council's recommendation and on those other areas demanding focus. Most measures are of appropriate ambition and quality relative to the challenges. Measures have clearly identified budgets and timetables. There is good policy integration between measures, including between different levels of government. The proposed measures on skills and disadvantage and those on R&D and innovation represent good responses, albeit still needing full implementation. Consultation on the National Reform Programme (NRP) at the level of central and local governments and amongst the social partners continues to be good. Specific consultation in preparing the NRP has included a stakeholder seminar. The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were involved in preparing the NRP concerning their own policy responsibilities. Nonetheless, ownership of the Lisbon strategy is mostly limited to the administrative level with little political involvement. In the new 2007-2013 Structural Funds programming period, over 80% of Structural Fund resources are earmarked for Lisbon-type activities. This represents one of the highest earmarking targets in the EU, with 41% of the ERDF allocation devoted to innovation, research and technological development. 96% of ESF allocation is devoted to develop a skilled and adaptable workforce and to extend employment opportunities. In the light of the following assessment the UK should pay particular attention to the country-specific recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34. Alongside this, the following challenges also remain important: R&D intensity and increasing housing supply in order to meet medium- to long-term demand pressures.

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PART II: ASSESSMENT BY POLICY AREA MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 4. The 2008-2010 NRP identified maintaining macro-economic stability despite the ongoing challenges facing the global economy as one of the government's main goals over the coming cycle. Given the UK's greater exposure to credit and equity market weaknesses, the financial crisis together with the on-going sharp housing market correction will have a significant impact on the medium-term outlook for economic growth and public finances. Notwithstanding the current housing market downturn, in order to meet medium- and long-term demand pressures the Council referred to the importance for the UK of progressively increasing housing supply. The UK continues the implementation of its housing strategy and planned policy responses based on the Housing Green Paper released in 2007. These include the integration by 2010 of regional housing plans

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(aimed at ensuring housing supply in areas where they are most needed) with wider economic, social and environmental objectives as well as targeted funding for infrastructure to support sustainable development and housing growth at the local and regional level. However, the depth and duration of the financial market crises and on-going housing market correction - and possible short-term policy responses will be an important factor in determining the long-term housing market outlook. Although the tightening of credit conditions has reduced demand for housing considerably in the short-term, ensuring a sufficient long-term housing supply to cater for the projected increase in the number of households still looks very challenging, especially when the recent slowdown in housebuilding activity is taken into account. To reach the government's overall supply target of building 240,000 new additional homes per year in England by 2016 the growth in new builds would have to be 40% higher than the already strong completion rates in 2007. In this context, in particular the continued implementation of measures to improve the effectiveness of the UK planning system will be a key factor. 6. The general government gross debt ratio is forecasted to rise by almost 20 percentage points over the next three financial years to over 70% of GDP in 2010/11. While expansionary fiscal policy can soften the economic downturn, there is a need for a credible fiscal framework to restore a sound fiscal position in the medium term with consolidation measures geared towards enhancing the quality of the public finances and reinforcing the economy's growth potential. Relative to a weak base the budgetary outlook has deteriorated markedly over the present financial year. The general government deficit is expected to widen further to around 10% of GDP in financial year 2009/10, leaving the UK with one of the highest deficits in the EU. Considerable challenges lie in the continued efforts to refocus public resources and further enhance the efficiency of public spending, including by implementing the ambitious "value for money" programme. Planned or already introduced measures to reform the pension system are considered to be a good response to a previously identified challenge, aimed at addressing the adequacy of retirement income, while limiting the risks to the sustainability of public finances. However, much of the overall success of the reform is reliant on increased participation in private pensions, which will be more challenging given the backdrop of current financial market conditions.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 8. The NRP identified reforms that promote enterprise, support business growth, simplify the tax system, encourage investment and competition, and enhance flexibility and promote science, innovation and skills as key long-term goals. The government has also identified ensuring an environmentally sustainable world with specific actions to address climate change as a further goal. In the field of R&D and innovation, the UK has a strong research base, reflected by its scientific performance and quality assurance system, and established knowledge transfer mechanisms, although the engagement of companies in innovative activities is not well developed particularly in the important services sectors. The UK government has implemented many of the recommendations of the recent comprehensive Sainsbury review, and set out new policy orientations on innovation in a new Innovation White Paper. Key measures include ensuring the sustainability

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of the public research base, strengthening R&D tax credits, promoting technology transfer and setting knowledge transfer targets for the Research Councils, and stimulating the demand for innovation from public procurement. The establishment of the Technology Strategy Board, a newly reformed agency with expanded responsibilities to implement new innovation policies, is an important development and brings the UK in line with several other Member States that have dedicated agencies. The UK government needs to ensure that the new agency is given the delivery capacity and focus required to successfully co-ordinate policy as well as running a host of programmes itself. Public investment in the science base has increased in real terms during the last decade and the NRP states further increases by 2010-2011. However, raising private R&D investment and innovation continues to be an important challenge for the UK and is moreover vulnerable to the unstable global macro-economic conditions, which may impact research and innovation budgets. The fluctuation of the number of science and engineering graduates in the last decade poses a potential risk of shortage, which may require a long-term strategy for sustainability. 10. The UK continues to build further upon its good track record in providing a businessfriendly regulatory environment. The proposal to introduce "regulatory budgets", to limit the cost to businesses of new legislation, is particularly promising. Strengths in entrepreneurship education continue to be reinforced, and several new initiatives will promote entrepreneurship among women and ethnic minorities. Further progress has also been made in creating a one-stop-shop for business support services, as well as in improving SMEsaccess to finance and to public procurement contracts.

EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 11. The UK exceeds all quantitative Lisbon targets on employment. The major employment related challenges are raising the skill levels of the population, ensuring opportunities for progression and moving more people into work. The economic downturn is increasing unemployment and may affect the effectiveness of current efforts to improve the employment prospects of disadvantaged groups. Flexicurity is seen in a broadly integrated way in the UK. The UK labour market contains many components of flexicurity, although the flexibility elements are considerably stronger than security elements. The level of social protection is low and work is considered as the best route out of poverty. The NRP does not explicitly define an integrated flexicurity pathway but there have been many policy developments regarding the active labour market policies, life long learning and welfare reform. The Council referred to the need to improve skill levels and to increase the opportunities of disadvantaged. The UK has made good progress in the preparation and implementation of plans to raise skills levels. These are long-term and wideranging responses and most measures will be fully implemented in the next years. The employer-led UK-wide advisory Commission for Employment and Skills has become fully operational. The UK has made good progress in reaching the skills targets set nationally, however much of the planned and achieved progress is in relatively low level skills. In England, the main government programme to increase the skills of the workforce has been expanded significantly. There are plans to offer virtual vouchers to individuals to purchase relevant training funded by the state. In

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England, the government is planning to introduce significant reforms to apprenticeships accompanied by major institutional changes in planning and provision of post-16 education. These institutional reforms have not contributed yet to simplify the complexity of the skills delivery system, which together with the number of awarding bodies and qualifications are a source of uncertainty to employers, individuals and providers. 14. The UK has implemented or is planning to introduce a range of measures to increase the employment opportunities of lone parents, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, the least qualified and older people. The employment rates have increased for all categories with the exception of the least qualified. The rate of young people not in education, employment or training has been stagnating for the last decade. In England, the government has proposed to raise the compulsory participation age in education or training to 17 by 2013 and to 18 by 2015. After extensive piloting and evaluation, the programme aimed at people with disabilities has been implemented nationally. Policies are undergoing a process of transformation towards a more personalized support, integration of employment and skills services, greater focus on sustainable employment, increased involvement of employers and devolution of more powers to local communities. The reform also envisaged increased contracting out of employment services with emphasis on payment by results. There are uncertainties related to the implementation of these measures - aggravated by the current economic difficulties. The system will be fully operational by 2010-2011, although several aspects will be introduced at an earlier stage. Finally, the welfare reform emphasizes moving people off the benefits and into work through increased conditionality combined with additional support, simplification of the benefit system, introduction of a new medical test to better identify benefit eligibility for disabled people and financial incentives to stimulate employment of lone parents. Many reforms are still at an early stage of implementation and the effects will only be visible after an extended period of time. Besides, much of initiatives and success is predicated on the ability of growing economy to finance activities and on the input from employers and this is not guaranteed given the current economic slowdown. The UK has taken important measures to address equality between men and women such as encouraging organizations to carry out Equal Pay Reviews and introducing a duty on all public authorities to eliminate discrimination and to promote equality. Further measures are announced in the Equality Bill. Nevertheless, the gender pay gap remains one of the highest in the EU.

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EURO AREA MEMBER STATES


OVERVIEW OF PROGRESS PART I: GENERAL ASSESSMENT 1. In addition to respecting their country specific recommendations, euro area Member States were recommended to undertake structural reforms that improve the functioning of monetary union. They should target budgetary consolidation, the quality of public finances, competition on product markets, especially in services and financial integration, the alignment of wage with productivity developments and the implementation of flexicurity principles on labour markets. A further strengthening of both governance and international representation in international fora were considered items the euro area should also focus upon. While there has been considerable variation across policy areas and Member States, the euro area made overall limited progress over the last year with meeting the recommendations addressed to its Member States. Policy coordination in the euro area was faced in 2008 first of all with the challenge of addressing the common global macroeconomic and financial shocks. With respect to high food and oil prices, policy makers agreed on a common approach to avoid distorting budgetary and other political interventions (Manchester agreement). As a coordinated response to the financial turmoil, euro area Member States committed themselves to implementing policy actions on an unprecedented scale, guided by EU common principles. Regarding policy actions in the face of the economic slowdown, the Council agreed that coordination should be broadened to macroeconomic developments beyond fiscal policy. The need for monitoring competitiveness developments within the euro area in the light of the recent experience was recognised. As structural reforms have an added value for the euro area as a whole, Ministers from the euro area Member States agreed to devote specific attention to euro area recommendations. Concerning international representation, progress has remained limited to the installation of first strategic dialogues with key partners. In the light of the following assessment, the euro area Member States should pay particular attention to the country-specific and euro area recommendations presented in the recommendation for a Council recommendation COM(2009)34 and to the following issues: sustainability of public finances and their contribution to growth, competition in product markets, especially in the energy sector and retail services in order to curb inflationary pressure, stability and integration on financial markets, flexicurity on labour markets in accordance with the agreed common principles and more labour mobility in order to foster labour market adjustment and adequate wage developments in line with productivity developments with a view to price stability, employment and competitiveness.

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The Stability and Growth Pact provides the right policy framework for balancing short-term stabilisation needs and long-term structural reform requirements. Implementation of the Pact should ensure that any deterioration of public finances is accompanied by structural reform measures adequate to the situation, while ensuring that sustainable positions are being restored. Fiscal policy should be maintained on a sustainable course, anchoring expectations of an ordered resolution of the crisis. The recent economic shocks may impact also unfavourably on the quality of public finances, because against the backdrop of declining public revenues, expenditure on growth-enhancing items such as R&D and education is in danger to be reduced. Moreover, the existing differences in economic performance across Member States, of which some are exposed to large current account deficits, may challenge policy making in the euro area. Country-specific differences in fiscal room for manoeuvre should be considered, conditional on strong and credible national budgetary institutions and medium-term budgetary frameworks; Moreover, in Member States where room for budgetary manoeuvre exists, carefully designed timely, temporary and targeted discretionary fiscal measures may be taken, provided they support structural reforms or those most affected by the current economic situation. Following the fiscal stimulus injected during the current economic crisis, euro area member states should take appropriate measures to secure the sustainability of their public finances. Budgetary consolidation has stalled in the euro area in 2008 as evidenced by a budget deficit rising from 0.6 to 1.7 % of GDP. This deterioration, which stems largely from the revenue side, is not fully explained by slowing economic growth and the operation of automatic stabilisers. In consequence, the structural deficit also increased in the euro area as a whole and all its Member States with the notable exceptions of DE, LU, MT, NL and PT. The budgetary deterioration implies that countries without a sufficient safety margin or with a rapidly deteriorating deficit risk breaching the 3% excessive deficit limit in 2008. Safety margins emerged to be too low in EL, FR and MT to cope with the impact of discretionary policy measures on public expenditures, while the magnitude of the budgetary swing turned IE's surplus into a huge excessive deficit within one year. Large budgetary deterioration is also registered in ES and CY, but both had sufficient margins to avoid an excessive deficit. CY even continues to record a budget surplus. Despite the deteriorated economic context, DE, EL, NL and PT managed to improve their budgetary position. The assessment of budgetary developments in 2009 needs to take the uncertainty surrounding the macroeconomic situation into account. Upon current information, the euro area deficit will deteriorate by 2.3% of GDP in headline terms and by 0.9% of GDP in structural terms, which means that automatic stabilisers will be buffering the cyclical slowdown by 1.4% of GDP. Public revenues are forecast to increase by 0.2% of GDP while public expenditures are set to move up by 2.1% of GDP. All Member States (except MT) are likely to increase their headline deficit relative to GDP while EL, IT and SK may register an improvement in structural terms. Several Member States documented policy measures to improve the quality of public finances. Significant changes to the tax system have been introduced in DE, FR and SI. Reforms of the public administration are implemented in EL, PT and FI. DE and AT continued to pursue the reform of its federal constitution, with a focus on the fiscal domain while CY, EL and IT undertook measures to improve budgetary procedures.

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MICRO-ECONOMIC POLICIES 8. The request for more competition on product markets and especially in services had initially been motivated by the euro area's disappointing productivity performance, the relatively high inflation rates in services and with a view to its importance in coping with differences in competitiveness among the euro area Member States. Although the rate of core inflation of around 2.5% up to autumn 2008 was consistent with the euro area reaching a mature cyclical position, it also reflected a certain pass through of strong increases in primary commodity prices, particularly oil and food prices. Since firms in sectors, which are more sheltered from competition, are better able to pass on rising costs to consumers, inflation prospects in the euro area could benefit in particular from removing barriers in energy markets and from tackling problems in the food supply chain and competition in retail services. In the medium to long term, integrated and well-functioning financial markets are crucial to exploiting the euro area's growth potential and improving its capacity to adjust. The recent episode of financial distress puts into question the ability of euro area financial markets and institutions to properly fulfil this role. It will therefore be important for the euro area Member States that pending and new EU financial services legislation is implemented in a timely and consistent manner and that cooperation among national authorities in the fields of crisis prevention, management and resolution is deepened. The Council recommended that the euro area Member States should implement measures that improve competition, especially in services. Competition on service markets is expected to receive considerable impetus from the transposition of the service directive, which is due by December 2009. Most countries report that preparation is progressing as planned. At the EU level, an analysis of possible causes of product market malfunctioning is being carried out with the aim to identify the scope and priorities for policy interventions to improve market performance. At the level of Member States, there has been overall limited progress in those countries that face competition problems in services. Despite measures taken in various Member States (DE, FR, ES, BE, EL, PT, CY), the level of competition on energy markets has remained insufficient and energy prices contributed considerably to inflation in many Member States. A few countries have implemented measures aiming to improve competition in the retail sector (DE, FR, ES). Some progress can also be noticed regarding the overall regulatory and effective governance of competition policies, e.g. in SI and FI. As regards financial integration, progress at the EU level was made in 2008 with the scheme for credit transfers in the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA), the adoption of the Payment Service Directive and the Commission proposal for an improved EU framework for investment funds (UCITS). In response to the financial crisis, a series of immediate measures have been agreed to protect citizens' savings and rescue banks in difficulty. It included proposals to change legislation on deposit guarantees, capital requirements, accounting standards and the regulation of credit agencies. Member States implemented rescue measures based on EU-wide agreed principles. A High-Level Group was established to review the EU regulatory and supervisory framework and a working group started to review the issue of pro-cyclicality. As regards the reform of the international financial system, Member States, Commission and ECB work together in framing the discussions at G-20 level.

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EMPLOYMENT POLICIES 11. As unemployment is set to increase by a substantial margin, a balanced approach that promotes both flexibility and security on labour markets (flexicurity) gains further importance. Unemployment benefit and other income support systems are instrumental as a means to provide assistance to vulnerable workers and groups, thereby supporting their confidence, while at the same time ensuring appropriate incentives to work. It would be important to direct tax and benefit reforms at lowwage earners, since the situation is set to become particularly difficult at the lower end of the labour market, and to ensure that active labour market policies support persons undergoing transitions between jobs, including those across occupations and sectors. Implementation of comprehensive lifelong learning strategies, including training and retraining people, identifying and matching skills and jobs remain important to retain and enhance employability, therefore employment security. Also, while maintaining a proper social safety net, improving labour market flexibility and mobility can contribute to a quicker adjustment of the economy. In some Member States, social partner needs to ensure that wage developments take account of the competitiveness position of the country, especially when there are large external imbalances. Progress with reforms aimed at improving flexibility and security on labour markets and putting in place national strategies for the implementation of the common principles of flexicurity has been uneven across countries and limited in most of them over the year 2008. Only few countries define a national pathway; nevertheless all of them report on measures along the four flexicurity components most with highest emphasis lifelong learning. On-the-job and adult training is encouraged and supported in FI, FR, IE, NL, MT, EL, also in the form of training leave in BE, LU and AT. Job-to-job transitions of redundant employees are supported in NL, DE, LU and FI. IE, FR and AT undertook reforms to develop flexible and reliable contractual arrangements, while improving the protection of employees engaged in more flexible forms. Measures were taken to promote geographical mobility (BE), in particular as regards facilitating labour market access by foreigners (e.g. AT, FI). Innovative actions to promote professional mobility especially for youth took place in BE DE, PT and SI. The adoption of the European Qualification Framework further promotes workers' and learners' mobility. In an attempt to compensate for higher inflation and foregone increases in previous years, nominal wage growth accelerated to 3.5% in the euro area 2008, up by 1 percentage point a year earlier, and unit labour costs grew at the highest rates since 1992. There seems to be a close relationship between countries with above-average inflation and those where indexation is fully automatic (BE, LU, CY and MT), or activated through the use of collective agreements (ES and FI). Increases in the legal minimum wage (ES), generous wage increases in public health employees (MT) or the elimination of pay differences in the public sector (SI) risk contributing to downward rigidity of wages. In order to limit wage growth, NL withdrew the planned VAT-increase and a pay pause has been agreed in the wage agreement in IE. In IT an overhaul of the wage bargaining framework is currently on the agenda. The current-year overshooting in labour costs can be considered a typical feature in an economy at the end of a cyclical boom that is faced with an abrupt downturn. It nevertheless represents an important risk in particular in countries that are exposed to high external imbalances. Since insufficient alignment of wages to labour

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productivity resulted in non-benign losses of competitiveness and large current account deficits in a number of euro area Member States, the Eurogroup's decision to strengthen the monitoring of competitiveness developments is to be welcomed.

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COMISIA COMUNITILOR EUROPENE

Bruxelles, 28.1.2009 COM(2009) 34 final Volumul I

Punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale din cadrul Strategiei de la Lisabona n contextul Planului european de redresare economic evaluri anuale pentru fiecare ar Recomandare de RECOMANDARE A CONSILIULUI cu privire la actualizarea n 2009 a orientrilor generale ale politicilor economice ale statelor membre i ale Comunitii i cu privire la aplicarea politicilor de ocupare a forei de munc ale statelor membre

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Punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale din cadrul Strategiei de la Lisabona n contextul Planului european de redresare economic evaluri anuale pentru fiecare ar Recomandare de RECOMANDARE A CONSILIULUI cu privire la actualizarea n 2009 a orientrilor generale ale politicilor economice ale statelor membre i ale Comunitii i cu privire la aplicarea politicilor de ocupare a forei de munc ale statelor membre

CONSILIUL UNIUNII EUROPENE, avnd n vedere Tratatul de instituire a Comunitii Europene, n special articolul 99 alineatul (2) i articolul 128 alineatul (4), avnd n vedere recomandarea Comisiei, avnd n vedere concluziile Consiliului European din [], avnd n vedere avizul Comitetului pentru ocuparea forei de munc, ntruct: (1) Consiliul a adoptat n iulie 2005 o recomandare privind orientrile generale ale politicilor economice ale statelor membre i ale Comunitii (n perioada 2005-2008)1 i o decizie privind orientrile politicilor de ocupare a forei de munc ale statelor membre2, acestea formnd mpreun Orientrile integrate pentru cretere economic i ocuparea forei de munc. Statele membre au fost invitate s in cont de orientrile integrate pentru cretere economic i ocuparea forei de munc n cadrul programelor lor naionale de reform (PNR). Consiliul European de primvar din 2006, 2007 i 2008 a identificat patru domenii prioritare (cercetarea, dezvoltarea i inovarea, mediul de afaceri, ansele de angajare i o politic integrat privind energia i infrastructurile) care sunt pietrele de temelie ale Strategiei de la Lisabona rennoite. n aceste domenii Consiliul European a convenit asupra unui numr limitat de aciuni specifice, pe care a ndemnat statele membre s le finalizeze n termenele stabilite. Statele membre prezint n fiecare an rapoarte privind punerea n aplicare a planurilor naionale de reform (rapoarte de punere n aplicare).

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JO L 205, 6.8.2005, p. 28. JO L 205, 6.8.2005, p. 21.

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Pe baza analizei Comisiei, n 2007 i n 20083 au fost prezentate mai multe recomandri specifice fiecrei ri. Pentru a asigura aplicarea Strategiei de la Lisabona pentru cretere economic i ocuparea forei de munc ntr-un mod coerent i integrat, aceste recomandri sunt adoptate ntr-un singur instrument. Aceast abordare reflect structura integrat a PNR-urilor i a rapoartelor de punere n aplicare, precum i coerena necesar ntre orientrile privind ocuparea forei de munc i orientrile generale ale politicilor economice menionate la articolul 99 alineatul (2), astfel cum este subliniat la articolul 128 alineatul (2). Consiliul European de primvar din 2008 a lansat a doua etap a Strategiei de la Lisabona rennoite, care se va ncheia n 2010. Consiliul a adoptat n luna mai 2008 o recomandare privind orientrile generale ale politicilor economice ale statelor membre i ale Comunitii (n perioada 2008-2010)4 i n luna iulie 2008 o decizie privind orientrile politicilor de ocupare a forei de munc ale statelor membre5, acestea formnd mpreun Orientrile integrate pentru cretere economic i ocuparea forei de munc. Ulterior statele membre i-au confirmat PNR-urile, le-au actualizat sau au ntocmit altele noi, pe care le-au transmis Comisiei nainte de luna octombrie 2008, nsoite de rapoarte de punere n aplicare. Pentru a asigura o mai bun coordonare a reformelor i a consolida procesul de supraveghere multilateral n cadrul Consiliului, Consiliul European de primvar din 2008 a cerut statelor membre s defineasc msurile pe care le vor adopta n urma recomandrilor specifice, nsoite de calendare de aciune (planuri de aciune). n contextul actualei ncetiniri a creterii economice, Comisia a propus un Plan european de redresare economic (denumit n continuare Planul de redresare)6, care a fost aprobat n decembrie 2008 de Consiliul European. Acest plan prevede msuri coordonate de sprijinire a bugetului, n cadrul Pactului de stabilitate i de cretere, n vederea ncurajrii cererii i a restabilirii ncrederii, innd seama de poziiile de plecare ale statelor membre i de eforturile deja depuse ca rspuns la dificultile economice. Planul de redresare prevede ca sprijinul bugetar s fie nsoit de o accelerare a reformelor structurale iniiate n baza Strategiei de la Lisabona n vederea stimulrii economiei, precum i a susinerii potenialului de cretere pe termen lung al Uniunii, n special prin promovarea tranziiei ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i bazat pe cunoatere. Planul de redresare aprobat de Consiliul European a invitat statele membre s prezinte programe de stabilitate sau de convergen actualizate, pe care Comisia le-a evaluat innd cont de necesitatea de a contracara deteriorarea fiscal, mbuntind procesul de formulare a politicii bugetare i asigurnd sustenabilitatea pe termen lung a finanelor publice.

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JO L 139, 29.5.2008, p. 57 (2008/399/CE). JO L 137, 27.5.2008, p. 13. JO L 198, 26.7.2008, p. 47. COM(2008) 800.

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Recomandrile specifice pentru fiecare ar ar trebui actualizate innd seama de principiile enunate n planul de redresare i de progresele realizate n punerea n aplicare a acestora n perioada care a trecut de la adoptarea lor. Aceste reforme ar trebui puse n aplicare n cel mai scurt timp. Comisia va acorda asisten n acest sens n cadrul parteneriatului de la Lisabona, va monitoriza i va prezenta periodic rapoarte privind progresele nregistrate. n vederea aplicrii integrale a Strategiei de la Lisabona pentru cretere economic i ocuparea forei de munc, aceast recomandare ar trebui s conin de asemenea recomandri specifice pentru statele membre din zona euro. Parlamentul European a adoptat o rezoluie cu privire la aceast recomandare,

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RECOMAND statelor membre s ia msuri n conformitate cu orientrile din anex. Adoptat la Bruxelles,

Pentru Consiliu, Preedintele

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CUPRINS
RECOMANDARE A CONSILIULUI....................................................................................... 2 BELGIA ..................................................................................................................................... 7 BULGARIA ............................................................................................................................... 9 REPUBLICA CEH ................................................................................................................ 11 DANEMARCA ........................................................................................................................ 13 GERMANIA ............................................................................................................................ 15 ESTONIA................................................................................................................................. 17 IRLANDA................................................................................................................................ 19 GRECIA ................................................................................................................................... 21 SPANIA ................................................................................................................................... 23 FRANA.................................................................................................................................. 25 ITALIA..................................................................................................................................... 27 CIPRU ...................................................................................................................................... 29 LETONIA................................................................................................................................. 31 LITUANIA............................................................................................................................... 34 LUXEMBURG......................................................................................................................... 36 UNGARIA ............................................................................................................................... 38 MALTA.................................................................................................................................... 40 RILE DE JOS...................................................................................................................... 42 AUSTRIA................................................................................................................................. 44 POLONIA ................................................................................................................................ 46 PORTUGALIA ........................................................................................................................ 48 ROMNIA............................................................................................................................... 50 SLOVENIA.............................................................................................................................. 52 SLOVACIA.............................................................................................................................. 54 FINLANDA ............................................................................................................................. 56 SUEDIA ................................................................................................................................... 58 REGATUL UNIT..................................................................................................................... 59 STATELE MEMBRE DIN ZONA EURO .............................................................................. 61

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BELGIA
1. Creterea PIB-ului a ncetinit sensibil, fiind de 1,3% n 2008. Aceast scdere s-a datorat slbirii cererii externe i nregistrrii unei cereri interne moderate, determinate n mare msur de rata ridicat a inflaiei i de impactul crizei financiare. Se preconizeaz o deteriorare i mai accentuat a situaiei economice n 2009. Se estimeaz c, n 2008, rata inflaiei s-a situat n jurul valorii de 4,5%, aproape dublu fa de rata nregistrat n 2007, lucru care se datoreaz n mare parte creterii preurilor interne la energie. Scderea preurilor la energie la nivel mondial ar trebui s determine reducerea inflaiei n 2009. Se prevede pentru 2008 un deficit al finanelor publice de aproximativ 0,9% din PIB i o datorie public brut de aproximativ 88% din PIB. Deficitul de cont curent a sczut n 2008 i se ateapt o accentuare a acestei scderi n 2009. Creterea gradului de ocupare a forei de munc a fost pozitiv n 2008, iar rata omajului a sczut la 6,9%. Cu toate acestea, perspectiva pentru 2009 este mult mai puin ncurajatoare, profilndu-se o cretere a omajului. Sectoarele cele mai afectate de criz sunt industria automobilelor i industria siderurgic, dar i sectorul financiar. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Belgia a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Belgia a anunat recent msuri, inclusiv asisten financiar pentru IMM-uri. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Belgia ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Belgia a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost anunate msuri menite s reduc suplimentar presiunea fiscal asupra veniturilor salariale prin creterea valorii veniturilor scutite de impozite pentru lucrtorii cu venituri mici sau medii, cu toate c este posibil s fie n continuare nevoie de msuri suplimentare. Trebuie depuse eforturi suplimentare pentru a mbunti funcionarea pieei muncii, n special pentru lucrtorii n vrst i pentru grupurile defavorizate, pentru a asigura sustenabilitatea pe termen lung a finanelor publice, a spori concurena pe pieele gazului i electricitii i a ameliora rezultatele din domeniul cercetrii i dezvoltrii. Belgia este o economie axat pe exporturi, prin urmare este deosebit de important s i pstreze competitivitatea. n acest context, este extrem de important ca evoluia costurilor salariale unitare s fie corelat cu cea practicat de cei mai importani parteneri comerciali. Cu toate acestea, competitivitatea costurilor s-a deteriorat n 2008. Creterea concurenei pe pieele gazului i electricitii ar fi benefic.

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Continuarea investiiilor n cercetare i dezvoltare este important pentru a accelera creterea productivitii i a promova competitivitatea. Participarea redus pe piaa muncii, creterea cheltuielilor legate de mbtrnirea populaiei i o datorie public important pericliteaz sustenabilitatea pe termen lung a finanelor publice, evideniind necesitatea de a crete excedentele primare i de aplica politici care sprijin creterea economic i ocuparea forei de munc. O abordare integrat n ceea ce privete aplicarea reformelor structurale ar putea accelera obinerea de rezultate concrete n Belgia. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, adoptat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Belgiei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Belgiei: s reduc suplimentar presiunea fiscal asupra veniturilor salariale, n special prin reducerea sarcinii fiscale asupra lucrtorilor cu venituri mici, viznd totodat pe termen mediu o mai mare limitare a cheltuielilor, n msur s contribuie la consolidarea fiscal; s amelioreze concurena pe pieele gazului i electricitii prin adoptarea unui cadru normativ mai favorabil concurenei, cu autoriti de reglementare deplin independente i eficiente, i s continue msurile adoptate n legtur cu operatorii de transport i distribuie; s accelereze, n cadrul unei abordri integrate a flexicuritii, punerea n aplicare a unor msuri coordonate care s mbunteasc eficiena pieei muncii, s reexamineze ajutoarele de omaj pentru a permite o revenire rapid a lucrtorilor aflai n omaj pe piaa muncii, s mreasc participarea pe piaa muncii (n special a lucrtorilor n vrst i a persoanelor provenite din imigraie), s reduc disparitile regionale i s sporeasc participarea la nvarea de-a lungul vieii n toate regiunile.

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BULGARIA
1. Impulsionat de cererea intern puternic, nivelul PIB n Bulgaria a cunoscut o cretere accelerat, ajungnd la 7% n primele nou luni ale anului 2008, ceea ce a situat valoarea PIB pe cap de locuitor la aproximativ 40% din media european. Se ateapt o cretere semnificativ mai moderat n 2009, condiiile mai stricte de creditare avnd un efect de descurajare a investiiilor interne i a consumului privat. Inflaia a atins n 2008 o valoare record de 12%, favorizat de cererea intern i de creterea puternic a salariilor, care a depit considerabil creterea productivitii, fiind probabil ca valoarea acestei rate s rmn n continuare deasupra mediei UE. Situaia bugetar este n continuare solid, cu un excedent bugetar n 2008 de peste 3% din PIB, datorat att unui echilibru favorabil al componentelor creterii, ct i unei colectri mai eficiente a impozitelor. Cu toate acestea, creterea intern puternic a accentuat dezechilibrele macroeconomice deja importante. Deficitul de cont curent se situeaz la un nivel ridicat, respectiv la aproape 25% din PIB, i este puin probabil c se va redresa semnificativ avnd n vedere situaia la nivel mondial i competitivitatea tot mai sczut a Bulgariei. Rata de ocupare a forei de munc a crescut cu peste 3% n 2008, ns aceast rat de cretere va ncetini n urmtorii doi ani. Rata omajului a sczut la 6% n 2008, ns se preconizeaz o uoar cretere a acesteia n 2009. Deteriorarea recent a climatului de afaceri i cererea redus n anumite sectoare, n special n industria prelucrtoare, de construcii i n comerul cu amnuntul, vor reduce probabil semnificativ gradul de ocupare a forei de munc n aceste sectoare i n sectoarele economice conexe. Pentru a rspunde dezechilibrelor macroeconomice, Bulgaria a anunat recent msuri, inclusiv mbuntirea concurenei n sectorul energetic i al vnzrilor cu amnuntul. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Bulgaria ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. n acest context, Bulgaria ar trebui s aplice n continuare o politic fiscal auster i s caute urgent soluii la dezechilibrele sale macroeconomice. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Bulgaria a continuat s pun n aplicare programul su naional de reform, cu toate c progresele nregistrate au fost modeste. Recent, ca urmare a unor decizii judicioase ale guvernului, a fost accelerat adoptarea de msuri n acest sens. Bulgaria a continuat s aplice o politic fiscal prudent, cu toate c eficiena cheltuielilor publice are nc nevoie de mbuntiri. Au fost, de asemenea, ntreprinse msuri ncurajatoare pentru a mbunti organizarea i calitatea educaiei, ns aceasta trebuie modernizat suplimentar pentru a ameliora guvernana i rezultatele obinute. Sunt necesare eforturi suplimentare pentru a mbunti ntr-un mod radical eficiena i eficacitatea administraiei publice; ntrzierea analizei anunate a funcionrii acesteia, pe care Banca Mondial era dispus s o efectueze,

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ncetinete aplicarea reformelor. Rmn, de asemenea, de realizat progrese importante n ceea ce privete reducerea birocraiei, realizarea de investiii suplimentare n competene i reforma sistemului public de cercetare i dezvoltare. 6. n contextul crizei financiare i economice mondiale, este imperativ ca Bulgaria s i rezolve vulnerabilitile macroeconomice (inflaia ridicat i un deficit de cont curent important) aplicnd n continuare o politic fiscal auster i accelernd aplicarea reformelor structurale pentru a-i ntri competitivitatea. Bulgaria trebuie s accelereze ritmul de punere n aplicare a reformelor pentru a putea s fac tranziia de la o economie bazat esenial pe costuri mici ctre o economie mai productiv, bazat pe cunoatere. Avnd n vedere contextul economic i monetar actual, aceste reforme sunt, de asemenea, eseniale pentru meninerea competitivitii economiei bulgare. Punerea n aplicare eficient a reformelor necesare depinde ntr-o msur decisiv de capacitatea Bulgariei de a mbunti urgent eficiena i eficacitatea administraiei sale publice. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, adoptat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Bulgariei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Bulgariei: s continue s consolideze de urgen eficiena i eficacitatea administraiei sale publice, n special concentrndu-se asupra posturilor cheie la nivel guvernamental, inclusiv asupra autoritilor din domeniul concurenei, a autoritilor de supraveghere i de reglementare, precum i a celor din justiie, i s ia n continuare toate msurile necesare pentru a asigura efectuarea unor verificri financiare eficiente i gestionarea corect a fondurilor structurale; s aplice n continuare o politic fiscal auster, s mbunteasc eficiena i calitatea cheltuielilor publice, s coreleze evoluiile salariale cu creterea productivitii i s susin concurena efectiv; s adopte i s pun rapid n aplicare noi msuri care s reduc substanial birocraia la nivel central i local i s diminueze ntrzierile procedurale pentru a mbunti mediul de afaceri, ceea ce va sprijini, de asemenea, eforturile de combatere a corupiei; n cadrul unei abordri integrate a flexicuritii, s se concentreze asupra ameliorrii calitii ofertei de for de munc i a gradului de ocupare a forei de munc ntrind eficacitatea i eficiena politicilor active pe piaa forei de munc i asigurnd o mai bun direcionare a acestora, precum i moderniznd i adaptnd suplimentar sistemul de nvmnt pentru a adapta mai bine nivelul calificrilor la nevoile pieei muncii, dar i asupra reducerii abandonului colar.

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REPUBLICA CEH
1. Se estimeaz valori mai moderate ale creterii PIB n 2008, respectiv aproximativ 4,2%, o accentuare a ncetinirii sale fiind ateptat n cursul anului 2009. Inflaia a atins o valoare record la jumtatea anului 2008, ajungnd la 6,3%, ns n prezent se prevede o scdere a ratei acesteia, pe fondul atenurii efectului creterii anterioare a taxelor i impozitelor i a descreterii preurilor la energie. Deficitul bugetar a fost redus n decurs de civa ani, ajungnd la 1,2% din PIB n 2008. Deficitul de cont curent a fost de aproximativ 1% din PIB n 2008 i s-a nregistrat un excedent comercial important. Rata de ocupare a forei de munc a crescut n fiecare an cu peste un punct procentual ncepnd din 2005, ajungnd la 66,6% n 2008. Rata omajului a sczut la 4,3% n al treilea trimestru al 2008, valoarea cea mai mic din ultimii 12 ani. Conform previziunilor actuale, se ateapt o scdere moderat a creterii ratei de ocupare a forei de munc i o cretere a omajului. n contextul scderii cererii pentru exporturi, se estimeaz c omajul i va afecta n mod special pe lucrtorii din industria automobilelor i din alte industrii axate pe export. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Republica Ceh ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 6 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Republica Ceh a continuat s pun n aplicare programul su naional de reform. Au fost lansate o serie de reforme destinate s mbunteasc sustenabilitatea pe termen lung a finanelor publice, s susin creterea investiiilor n cercetare i dezvoltare, s reformeze sistemul educaional, s asigure o mbtrnire activ i s dezvolte o abordare a reformei pieei muncii bazate pe flexicuritate. Trebuie depuse eforturi suplimentare pentru a mbunti accesul la fonduri, pentru a crete i mai mult volumul investiiilor n cercetare i dezvoltare, pentru a consolida aplicarea legislaiei privind drepturile de proprietate intelectual i pentru a integra grupurile defavorizate pe piaa muncii. Republica Ceh este printre statele membre cu un ritm de mbtrnire a populaiei dintre cele mai rapide din UE, ceea ce va avea un impact semnificativ asupra sistemelor de pensii i de asisten de sntate. Printre principalele dificulti structurale se numr, prin urmare, asigurarea sustenabilitii pe termen lung a finanelor publice i ncurajarea tranziiei ctre o economie bazat pe cunoatere. Soluionarea acestor dificulti structurale va mbunti potenialul de cretere, va crea locuri de munc i va face economia mai rezistent la ocuri externe. Pentru aceasta este nevoie de reforme suplimentare n domeniile cercetrii i dezvoltrii, inovrii, educaiei i formrii, de o abordare mai integrat, bazat pe flexicuritate, a reformei pieei muncii i de o mbuntire suplimentar a condiiilor n care ntreprinderile i desfoar activitatea. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n

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domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, adoptat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 6. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Republicii Cehe s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Republicii Cehe: s mbunteasc sustenabilitatea pe termen lung a finanelor publice i s continue reforma sistemului de pensii i de asisten de sntate; s sporeasc eforturile de mbuntire a colaborrii ntre sectorul de afaceri, universiti i instituiile publice de cercetare i dezvoltare, s promoveze creterea ofertei de for de munc pentru cercetare i dezvoltare i s sporeasc volumul i eficacitatea investiiilor publice n cercetare i dezvoltare pentru a putea atinge obiectivele stabilite n materie de cheltuieli n cercetare i dezvoltare; n cadrul unei abordri integrate bazate pe flexicuritate, s modernizeze n continuare protecia forei de munc, s mbunteasc eficiena i echitatea n sistemul de nvmnt i de formare, n special capacitatea sa de adaptare la nevoile pieei forei de munc, i s ofere stimulente pentru investiiile n formare, n special pentru lucrtorii n vrst i pentru cei slab calificai.

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DANEMARCA
1. Creterea PIB a ncetinit considerabil n 2008. Ajustarea descendent a preurilor locuinelor a slbit cererea intern, afectnd consumul privat i activitatea de construcii. Condiiile mai stricte de finanare vor determina probabil o scdere mai rapid a preurilor pentru locuine, agravnd astfel impactul ncetinirii creterii economice mondiale asupra economiei. Inflaia, determinat de creterea preurilor la energie i la produsele alimentare, a avut o rat medie de 3,5% n 2008, ns a nceput s ncetineasc. Excedentul bugetar public ar putea fi de peste 3% n 2008. Danemarca ar trebui s nregistreze un excedent de cont curent sczut n 2008 i 2009. Gradul de ocupare a forei de munc a crescut n cursul anului 2008, dar se preconizeaz o scdere a acestuia n 2009. De asemenea, se estimeaz c rata omajului, de 3,5% n 2008, va crete n 2009. Cu toate c acest lucru ar trebui s reduc pe termen scurt presiunea asupra pieei muncii, este n continuare important s fie abordat problema deficitului de for de munc existent i s fie facilitat suplimentar tranziia pe piaa muncii. Una dintre provocrile pe termen mediu n materie de ocupare a forei de munc rmne aceea de a spori efectivele globale de for de munc i adaptarea calificrilor la cerinele pieei, n timp ce pe termen scurt se impune o reform fiscal care s sprijine eforturile n acest sens. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Danemarca a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebuie s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Danemarca a anunat recent msuri, inclusiv investiii n transporturi ecologice i asisten financiar pentru gospodrii. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Danemarca ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Danemarca a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Sau nregistrat progrese suplimentare n cadrul planurilor de reform anterioare, n special n ceea ce privete stimularea ofertei de for de munc. Alte planuri de reform fiscal i privind piaa muncii sunt n curs de elaborare ca rspuns la mbtrnirea populaiei.

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Potenialul de cretere al Danemarcei depinde n mod fundamental de o mai bun utilizare i o calitate superioar a resurselor sale de for de munc, de creterea productivitii muncii i de un randament sporit al investiiilor n capitalul uman, cercetare i inovare. mbtrnirea populaiei a nceput s afecteze oferta de for de munc, evideniind necesitatea de a aplica reforme care s stimuleze participarea i numrul de ore lucrate. O alt provocare const n creterea concurenei pentru a reduce nivelul relativ ridicat al preurilor de consum n Danemarca. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, adoptat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit.

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GERMANIA
1. n Germania, creterea PIB a ncetinit, scznd de la 2,5% n 2007 la 1,3% n 2008, n contextul n care ncetinirea creterii economice la nivel mondial a determinat o diminuare puternic a creterii exporturilor. n plus, este foarte probabil ca existena unor condiii mai stricte de finanare i perspectivele economice sumbre s reduc investiiile. Prin urmare, se ateapt o ncetinire semnificativ a activitii economice n 2009. Pe fondul creterii preurilor la produsele de baz n prima jumtate a anului 2008, inflaia a atins o valoare record de 3,2%, ns se ateapt o scdere a acesteia n 2009. Bugetul de stat a fost aproape echilibrat n 2008 i se preconizeaz un deficit de aproape 3% n 2009. Progresele importante n materie de competitivitate a preurilor realizate n ultimii ani au contribuit la un excedent de cont curent de peste 7% din PIB n 2008. n 2008, rata de ocupare a forei de munc a crescut cu 1,3%, ns se preconizeaz c piaa muncii va avea de suferit de pe urma ncetinirii creterii economice, rata omajului urmnd s creasc n 2009. Industriile automobilelor i construciilor sunt n mod deosebit expuse. Ca urmare a deficitului de for de munc i a schimbrilor demografice, ntreprinderile ar putea ncerca s pstreze personalul calificat, concedierile afectndu-i prin urmare mai ales pe lucrtorii slab calificai i pe cei cu contracte de munc temporar. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Germania a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebuie s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Germania a anunat recent msuri, inclusiv sprijin pentru gospodrii i IMM-uri i investiii n coli i infrastructur. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Germania ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Germania a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost ntreprinse o serie de msuri pozitive pentru a permite dezvoltarea unei societi bazate pe cunoatere, pentru a promova ecoinovarea i reforma pieei muncii. S-au realizat progrese n ceea ce privete obiectivul bugetar pe termen mediu i calitatea finanelor publice. Sunt necesare msuri suplimentare pentru a promova concurena n domeniul serviciilor, pentru a mbunti mediul de afaceri i pentru a reduce omajul structural. Stimularea creterii productivitii i soluionarea problemei ratei ridicate a omajului n rndul lucrtorilor slab calificai, n special n est, ar trebui s contribuie la meninerea unei performane economice solide a Germaniei n viitor. n aceast privin, progresele n materie de cercetare, dezvoltare i inovare au un rol important.

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Cu toate acestea, o mai bun funcionare a pieei serviciilor, n special a serviciilor profesionale, a sectorului energetic i a serviciilor feroviare, precum i mbuntirea mediului de afaceri, ar putea susine i mai mult potenialul de cretere a economiei germane. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, adoptat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Germaniei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Germaniei: s mbunteasc cadrul concurenial n domeniul serviciilor prin ameliorarea procedurilor de achiziii publice, relaxarea normelor restrictive n meseriile i serviciile reglementate i prin asigurarea unei separri reale ntre infrastructura feroviar i serviciile de transport; s continue msurile planificate menite s sporeasc eficiena i eficacitatea serviciilor de plasament i s promoveze integrarea pe piaa muncii a lucrtorilor slab calificai i a celor aflai de mult timp n omaj prin aplicarea unei abordri bazate pe flexicuritate, care asigur att un acces mai bun la calificri, ct i stimulente mai eficiente pentru munc.

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ESTONIA
1. Dup o cretere a PIB de 6,3% n 2007, activitatea economic a cunoscut un regres n 2008. Se preconizeaz o adncire a ncetinirii creterii economice n 2009. Aceast tendin este determinat de scderea consumului privat i a investiiilor, pe fondul inflaiei ridicate i a aplicrii unor condiii mai stricte de creditare. Inflaia este n scdere, corelat cu reducerea creterilor salariale i a preurilor produselor de baz la nivel mondial. Finanele publice s-au deteriorat semnificativ i, n ciuda reducerii importante a cheltuielilor, n 2008 s-a constatat un deficit bugetar, dup ce n 2007 sa nregistrat un excedent de 2,7% din PIB. Deficitul de cont curent a sczut puternic, ajungnd la 10% din PIB n 2008, i se preconizeaz c aceast scdere se va accentua i mai mult. ncetinirea activitii economice afecteaz piaa muncii, reflectndu-se n creterea rapid a ratei omajului. Previziunile actuale indic o cretere a ratei omajului n 2009 faa de valoarea din 2008, de aproximativ 5%. Sectoarele care vor fi probabil cele mai afectate sunt sectorul construciilor, al locuinelor i al vnzrilor cu amnuntul. Se ateapt o ncetinire semnificativ a creterilor salariale i posibile reduceri salariale n sectorul privat. Condiiile de pe piaa muncii sunt n special dificile pentru lucrtorii n vrst i pentru tineri. Ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Estonia a anunat recent msuri, inclusiv investiii n infrastructur i n competene. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Estonia ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. n acest context, Estonia ar trebui s continue consolidarea fiscal. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Estonia a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost luate o serie de msuri pentru a mbunti performanele n domeniul cercetrii i dezvoltrii i al inovrii, pentru a ntri concurena i a ncuraja nvarea de-a lungul vieii. Aciunile ntreprinse au fost mai ezitante n ceea ce privete politica fiscal i reformele structurale menite s faciliteze adaptarea pe piaa muncii (n special politicile active pe piaa muncii), reforme care ar putea contribui la limitarea inflaiei i a creterilor salariale. Avnd n vedere rolul determinant al fondurilor structurale n finanarea msurilor prevzute n planurile naionale de reform, este important s fie ntrit capacitatea administrativ de a pune n aplicare programele necesare. Rezultatele n domeniul exporturilor reprezint un indicator cheie al performanei economice globale a rii. Trebuie ntreprinse urgent reforme structurale care s sprijine realocarea necesar a resurselor ctre sectoarele exportatoare. Trebuie continuate investiiile n cercetare i dezvoltare, n inovare i n educaie pentru a compensa scderea competitivitii costurilor n sectoarele cu utilizare intensiv a forei de munc i pentru a asigura creterea pe termen mediu i lung. Avnd n

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vedere situaia precar a pieei muncii, va fi nevoie s se acorde o importan mai mare politicilor active pe piaa muncii i nvrii de-a lungul vieii pentru a putea ine pasul cu cerinele pieei. Un alt aspect important al restabilirii competitivitii const n garantarea unei evoluii salariale corelate ndeaproape cu productivitatea. Trebuie reduse suplimentar rigiditile pieei muncii. Pentru a spori stabilitatea macroeconomic, este nevoie de o politic fiscal hotrt, de o politic eficient n domeniul concurenei i de mbuntirea eficienei energetice. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Estoniei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Estoniei: s urgenteze punerea n aplicare a noului pachet legislativ privind ocuparea forei de munc i s creasc eficiena serviciilor publice de ocupare a forei de munc, n special printr-o bun direcionare a politicilor active pe piaa muncii, menite s faciliteze tranziia pe piaa muncii.

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IRLANDA
1. Din cauza deteriorrii pieei locuinelor, amplificat de criza financiar, se estimeaz c n 2008 PIB-ul a sczut cu 2% (comparativ cu creterea de 6% din 2007). n plus, Irlanda este n mod deosebit expus prognozelor de ncetinire a creterii economice a principalilor si parteneri comerciali i se anticipeaz ca PIB-ul real s se diminueze i mai mult n 2009. Inflaia este n prezent n scdere, dup o perioad de vrf n care a atins aproape 4%, la mijlocul anului 2008. Finanele publice s-au deteriorat din cauza veniturilor fiscale semnificativ reduse, legate de corectarea preurilor pe piaa imobiliar i de recesiune, n general. n 2008 deficitul bugetar a fost de 6% din PIB, spre deosebire de uoarele excedente nregistrate n ultimii ani, existnd riscul ca acest deficit s creasc n continuare n mod considerabil. Balanele de pli externe au nregistrat dezechilibre n ultimii ani din cauza scderii competitivitii costurilor, i pentru 2008 se prevede un deficit de cont curent (de aproximativ 6% din PIB), acesta urmnd s fie uor mai mic n 2009. Previziunile actuale legate de piaa muncii sugereaz c gradul de ocupare a forei de munc a sczut n 2008 i scderea va continua n 2009. Rata omajului a crescut la 6% n 2008 i se estimeaz c va crete n continuare n 2009. Numrul persoanelor care au cerut alocaie de omaj a crescut cu peste 50% n 2008. Cei mai afectai de omajul n cretere sunt lucrtorii din sectorul construciilor, n special tinerii de sex masculin. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Irlanda a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Irlanda a adoptat recent msuri, incluznd sprijin pentru sectorul locuinelor i sprijin financiar pentru persoanele cele mai vulnerabile. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Irlanda ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Irlanda a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. S-au luat msuri pentru a crete disponibilitatea locurilor n serviciile de ngrijire a copiilor i pentru a mbunti nivelul de competene. Sunt necesare eforturi suplimentare pentru a reforma sistemul de pensii. Evoluiile de pe piaa locuinelor au avut efecte secundare mai pronunate asupra finanelor publice i asupra creterii PIB-ului dect ceea ce se preconiza. Principalele dificulti crora Irlanda trebuie s le fac fa rezult din consecinele ocului nregistrat pe piaa locuinelor i cele ale crizei financiare. Cu toate acestea, economia irlandez a devenit, de asemenea, mai vulnerabil din cauza eroziunii

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progresive a poziiei sale concureniale. n prezent este imperativ reechilibrarea creterii economice i reinstaurarea competitivitii. Pe termen mediu, trebuie continuat reforma sistemului de pensii pentru a se asigura viabilitatea acestuia. Din cauza faptului c situaia bugetar s-a deteriorat, de asemenea, n mod semnificativ, restabilirea sustenabilitii bugetare ar trebui s fie o prioritate. mpreun cu o definire atent a prioritilor n materie de cheltuieli publice i o promovare a reformelor care consolideaz creterea bazat pe o productivitate sporit, prin dezvoltarea i mbuntirea capitalului fizic i uman, aceast msur va crete capacitatea economiei irlandeze de a se adapta i a se rentoarce progresiv la o cretere durabil pe termen mediu. n acest context este nevoie de o concuren consolidat n domeniul comerului cu amnuntul. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Irlandei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Irlandei: s restaureze progresiv sustenabilitatea fiscal; s favorizeze o adaptare rapid ctre creterea durabil pe termen mediu prin msuri menite s stimuleze productivitatea.

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GRECIA
1. Creterea PIB-ului a ncetinit ntr-o oarecare msur n 2008, pentru a ajunge puin sub nivelul de 3%, n principal din cauza scderii cererii externe. Se estimeaz c aceasta va diminua i mai mult n 2009, ca o consecin a reducerii din sectorul locuinelor i a nivelului mai puin dinamic al investiiilor. Inflaia a depit 4% n 2008, cretere determinat de preurile la energie i la alimente, ns se preconizeaz c va scdea n 2009. Deficitul bugetar a ajuns la 3,4% din PIB n 2008, ca urmare a scderii veniturilor i, ntr-o msur mai mic, a exceselor n cheltuieli. Se estimeaz ca n 2008 datoria public brut s se situeze n jurul valorii de 94% din PIB. Deficitul de cont curent va atinge un nivel record de 13,4% din PIB n 2008 i se anticipeaz ca acest nivel s scad n 2009. Gradul de ocupare a forei de munc a crescut n 2008, dar ntr-un ritm mai lent dect n anul precedent. Se estimeaz ca aceast cretere s aib valori negative n 2009. Rata omajului se estimeaz s creasc pn la 9% n 2009. Se ateapt ca, printr-o nsprire a condiiilor de creditare, criza financiar s afecteze n special IMM-urile. Efectele crizei se resimt deja n sectorul construciilor i al transportului maritim. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Grecia a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Grecia a anunat recent msuri care includ sprijinirea financiar a IMM-urilor. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Grecia ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Grecia a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost luate o serie de msuri de reformare a sistemului de pensii. Derapajele fiscale din 2007 au subliniat nevoia de a continua consolidarea fiscala care a nceput n 2004. Grecia a acordat o atenie sporit i binevenit politicilor privind reformarea cu succes a administraiei publice, care depinde n prezent de punerea n aplicare efectiv. Sunt necesare eforturi suplimentare, n special n privina politicilor active privind piaa muncii, i msuri de combatere a muncii nedeclarate pentru ca Grecia s fac fa provocrilor n materie de piaa muncii. Ar trebui accelerat punerea n aplicare a reformelor n domeniul educaiei i formrii. Este imperativ, avnd n vedere mediul internaional nefast, s se intensifice eforturile de remediere a dezechilibrelor macroeconomice i a deficienelor structurale din economia Greciei. Este esenial continuarea reformei structurale pentru consolidarea competitivitii i a potenialului de cretere economic. Grecia trebuie s acorde atenie, n principal, punerii n aplicare a politicilor privind

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investiiile n capital uman, cercetarea, dezvoltarea i inovarea, mbuntirea mediului de afaceri, inclusiv prin nfiinarea ghieelor unice, sporirea eficienei administraiei publice i s depun eforturi n vederea realizrii unui mediu macroeconomic viabil. Un alt aspect important privind restabilirea competitivitii const n asigurarea faptului c evoluia salariilor este aliniat mai ndeaproape cu evoluia productivitii. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Greciei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Greciei: s continue consolidarea fiscal pe termen mediu i s mbunteasc eficiena cheltuielilor primare, s accelereze reformele n curs privind administraia financiar i procesul bugetar, s reduc raportului ntre datorie i PIB i s pun rapid n aplicare reforma sistemului de pensii; s ia msuri pentru a spori concurena n domeniul serviciilor profesionale, s pun n aplicare reformele menite s sporeasc investiiile n domeniul cercetrii i dezvoltrii i s utilizeze fondurile structurale ntr-un mod mai eficient n vederea accelerrii proiectelor de investiii orientate ctre cretere; s pun n aplicare reforma administraiei publice, prin instituirea unor structuri eficiente de reglementare, control i punere n aplicare, cu accent pe simplificarea mediului de reglementare pentru ntreprinderi i pe reducerea birocraiei; n cadrul unei abordri integrate bazate pe flexicuritate, s modernizeze legislaia privind protecia locurilor de munc, s reduc costurilor nesalariale asupra salariilor mici, s consolideze politicile active privind piaa locurilor de munc i s transforme munca nedeclarate n munc legal; s accelereze punerea n aplicare a reformelor n domeniul educaiei i formrii, s sporeasc participarea la nvarea de-a lungul vieii i facilitarea tranziiei ctre viaa activ, n special pentru cei tineri.

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SPANIA
1. PIB-ul real al Spaniei a sczut semnificativ la 1,2% n 2008. Este probabil continuarea deceleraiei n 2009. Aceast evoluie este determinat de actuala scdere din sectorul construciilor de locuine, fiind agravat de criza financiar mondial i de nsprirea condiiilor de creditare i avnd drept rezultat un declin puternic al cererii interne. Inflaia a crescut ntr-un ritm accelerat pn la 4% n 2008, ns se preconizeaz c se va modera n mod semnificativ. n 2008 deficitul public a nregistrat nivelul de 3,4% din PIB, nsemnnd o deteriorare de peste 5 puncte procentuale n comparaie cu 2007. Deficitul de cont curent a crescut pn la aproape 9,5% din PIB n 2008. Rata de ocupare a forei de munc a sczut n 2008 i va continua s scad n 2009, cu toate c angajarea, n special a femeilor, a rmas important. Aceasta a determinat o rat a omajului de peste 11% n 2008, ateptndu-se n continuare o cretere semnificativ pn la un nivel de 16% n 2009. Imigranii, tinerii i lucrtorii cu un nivel sczut de calificare sunt cei mai afectai, n timp ce sectorul construciilor de locuine i cel al automobilelor sunt supuse unor riscuri deosebite. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Spania a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Spania a anunat recent msuri care includ investiii pentru lucrri publice, facilitarea obinerii de resurse financiare pentru IMM-uri i asisten pentru omeri. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Spania ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Spania a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. S-au nregistrat progrese n cadrul programului pentru o mai bun legiferare i n ceea ce privete mbuntirea accesului la serviciile de ngrijire a copiilor, n abordarea aspectelor privind mbuntirea funcionrii sectorului energetic, n special n privina interconexiunii cu rile vecine. Sunt necesare msuri suplimentare pentru reformarea educaiei. Cea mai important provocare pe termen mediu este continuarea reformelor structurale pentru sprijinirea potenialului de cretere economic, corectarea deficitului important de cont curent i facilitarea restructurrii sectorului locuinelor. Esenial n acest sens este provocarea de a mbunti competitivitatea prin sporirea inovrii, consolidarea concurenei, n special n ceea ce privete serviciile, mbuntirea reglementrii pieei nchirierilor i sporirea calitii capitalului uman prin nvarea de-a lungul vieii i continuarea reformei educaiei. Un alt aspect

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important privind mbuntirea competitivitii const n asigurarea faptului c evoluia salariilor este aliniat mai ndeaproape cu evoluia productivitii, n contextul dialogului social. Restructurarea cheltuielilor publice ctre domenii care cresc productivitatea, precum cercetarea, dezvoltarea i inovarea ar sprijini meninerea locurilor de munc i a activitii economice. Concurena sporit n sectorul serviciilor ar ajuta la meninerea inflaiei la cote reduse i la creterea competitivitii bazate pe costuri a exporturilor. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Spaniei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Spaniei: s promoveze o tranziie rapid ctre ocuparea forei de munc, continund ncurajarea mobilitii, mbuntirea nivelului de calificare i contracararea segmentrii pe piaa forei de munc; s asigure aplicarea eficient a reformelor n domeniul educaiei, inclusiv la nivel regional, avnd ca obiective principale reducerea abandonului colar i creterea ratei de absolvire a nvmntului secundar superior; s mbunteasc competitivitatea prin sporirea concurenei n domeniul serviciilor i al energiei electrice prin continuarea eforturilor de eliminare a comercializrii cu amnuntul a energiei electrice la un nivel inferior costurilor i a tarifelor de reea, precum i s continue stimularea eficienei n domeniul cercetrii i dezvoltrii.

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FRANA
1. Creterea PIB-ului Franei a sczut semnificativ la 0,7% n 2008, n special din cauza cererii interne slabe. Investiiile n capital i locuine stagneaz din cauza deteriorrii perspectivelor economice i a nspririi condiiilor de creditare. Se preconizeaz ca performana economic slab s continue i n 2009. Inflaia a crescut n 2008 la o rat de 3,2%, dar va diminua n 2009. Deficitul public a fost de 3,2% din PIB n 2008. ncetinirea global a creterii economice afecteaz exporturile, contribuind la o cretere prognozat a deficitului de cont curent de aproximativ 3,8% din PIB n 2008, tendin care se ateapt s continue. Creterea gradului de ocupare a forei de munc a fost aproape stagnant n 2008 i se ateapt s devin negativ n 2009. omajul s-a situat la circa 8% n 2008, dar ar trebui s creasc n 2009. Actuala ncetinire a creterii economice a nceput s afecteze n mod semnificativ piaa forei de munc din domeniul industriei, n special industria de autovehicule i de construcii, nregistrndu-se pierderi de locuri de munc. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Frana a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic.. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Frana a anunat recent msuri care includ investiii n infrastructur, n producia i eficiena energiei, facilitarea obinerii de resurse financiare pentru IMM-uri i pentru sectorul de construcii. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Frana ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Frana a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost adoptate unele msuri, ca parte a programului global de reform, n special n domenii care sprijin IMM-urile, utilizarea TIC, performanele n cercetare i dezvoltare, politicile de mediu, reforma pe piaa muncii i mbuntirea dialogului social. Sunt necesare eforturi suplimentare pentru a mbunti consolidarea bugetar pe termen mediu, concurena n sectorul energetic i cel al transportului feroviar de marf, iar n privina profesiilor reglementate pentru a moderniza n continuare dreptul muncii i a spori oportunitile de formare profesional. n cazul Franei, provocrile-cheie pe termen mediu vor fi continuarea modernizrii pieei muncii pentru a mbunti funcionarea acesteia i pentru a remedia segmentarea pieei muncii, precum i continuarea mbuntirii cadrului general de concuren n sectorul serviciilor, inclusiv n sectorul comerului cu amnuntul. Aceste provocri trebuie abordate respectnd cu strictee obiectivul anunat de ctre guvern de cretere zero a volumului cheltuielilor de stat. Punerea n aplicare a

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pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Franei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Franei: s accelereze ritmul consolidrii bugetare i al reducerii datoriei pe termen mediu prin aderarea la obiectivele privind cheltuielile i n special s respecte inta de cretere zero a volumului cheltuielilor de stat. Aceste aspecte ar trebui s se conjuge cu o mbuntire suplimentar a sistemului de pensii, pentru a asigura sustenabilitatea pe termen lung a finanelor publice; s mbunteasc n continuare cadrul general de concuren, cu o atenie special asupra: reelelor industriale (gaz, electricitate i transportul feroviar de marf), relaxrii normelor restrictive n cazul meseriilor i profesiilor reglementate, n special n sectorul serviciilor i al comerului cu amnuntul i consolidrii competenelor autoritii n materie de concuren i ale organismului de reglementare n domeniul feroviar; n cadrul unei abordri integrate bazate pe flexicuritate, s continue modernizarea proteciei locurilor de munc n vederea reducerii segmentrii pieei forei de munc ntre diferitele tipuri de contracte i s faciliteze intrarea i tranziia pe piaa forei de munc, n special pentru cei tineri; s mbunteasc oportunitile de nvare de-a lungul vieii pentru a rspunde mai bine nevoilor de pe piaa forei de munc.

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ITALIA
1. n 2008 economia italian a sczut estimativ cu 0,6%. Nivelul ridicat al inflaiei, efectele negative asupra veniturilor i gradul mare de incertitudinea au descurajat consumul privat, n timp ce scderea cererii i nsprirea condiiilor de finanare au condus la niveluri sczute ale investiiilor. Deteriorarea competitivitii costurilor i cererea global mai sczut au avut, de asemenea, consecine asupra exporturilor. Se preconizeaz o scdere suplimentar a PIB-ului cu 2% n 2009. Inflaia a atins o cot de vrf n al treilea trimestru al anului 2008, dar se preconizeaz s diminueze. Deficitul bugetar, dup ce a sczut la 1,6% din PIB n 2007, are din nou o tendin ascendent. Datoria brut este de ateptat s fi depit 105% din PIB n 2008 i s creasc n continuare n 2009 i 2010. Deficitul de cont curent se estimeaz c va depi 2% din PIB n 2008, dar c va rmne stabil n 2009 i 2010. Dei creterea gradului de ocupare a forei de munc este estimat a fi rmas la un nivel uor pozitiv n 2008, este de ateptat s devin negativ n 2009. Din cauza creterii forei de munc ntr-un ritm superior crerii de locuri de munc, rata omajului a crescut n 2008 pentru prima dat n zece ani i se preconizeaz ca aceast tendin negativ s continue n 2009. Persoanele cu un nivel sczut de calificare i lucrtorii cu contracte atipice sunt printre grupurile cele mai vulnerabile n contextul crizei. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Italia a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Italia a anunat recent msuri care vizeaz stimularea consumului privat, n special sprijinirea gospodriilor cu venituri reduse. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Italia ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Italia a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Progresele cele mai vizibile sunt n domeniul ajustrii fiscale. Au fost introduse unele msuri pentru a mbunti mediul de afaceri. O prim serie de msuri au fost adoptate n cadrul unei abordri bazate pe flexicuritate, rmnnd de vzut care va fi impactul noilor msuri n domeniul educaiei i al cercetrii. Sunt necesare eforturi suplimentare n vederea consolidrii concurenei. Economia Italiei a fost marcat pe parcursul ctorva ani de creteri mici de productivitate i de un nivel al datoriei publice care a depit n mod constant PIB-ul. Aceast datorie afecteaz sever sustenabilitatea fiscal. Politicile-cheie necesare pentru abordarea provocrilor legate de productivitate presupun reforme structurale ample, incluznd consolidarea cadrului concurenial, mbuntirea n continuare a

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mediului de afaceri prin eliminarea birocraiei la toate nivelurile guvernului, mbuntirea funcionrii pieei muncii i promovarea cercetrii i dezvoltrii. Ar trebui acordat o atenie mai mare formrii capitalului uman, n timp ce capitalul de munc nefolosit ar trebui mai bine exploatat, n special n zona de sud. Un alt aspect important al restabilirii competitivitii const n asigurarea faptului c evoluia salariilor este aliniat cu evoluia productivitii, prin descentralizarea suplimentar a mecanismului de fixare a salariilor. Pentru a valorifica reformele bugetare realizate n iulie 2008, este important ca pe termen mediu finanele public s se menin pe o linie constant i viabil, n vederea crerii unor condiii mai favorabile pentru investiii i pentru a permite cheltuieli mai importante pentru capitalul uman i infrastructur. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Italiei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Italiei:
s continue consolidarea fiscal pe termen mediu n vederea mbuntirii

sustenabilitii finanelor publice, n special prin reducerea creterii cheltuielilor primare curente i creterea eficienei cheltuielilor publice, asigurndu-se c viitorul cadru privind federalismul fiscal este pe deplin compatibil cu acest obiectiv;
s introduc rapid i s pun n aplicare reforme globale pentru: consolidarea

cadrului concurenial pe piaa bunurilor i serviciilor, n special privind comerul cu amnuntul i distribuia de combustibili, serviciile profesionale i financiare, aprovizionarea cu gaz, transportul aerian i serviciile publice locale; i eliminarea birocraiei la toate nivelurile guvernului, reformnd organizarea administraiei publice i mbuntind productivitatea n acest sector; s abordeze provocrile legate de productivitate, s mbunteasc eficiena i rezultatele sistemului de educaie, inter alia prin monitorizarea mai atent a standardelor de calitate, n acelai timp acordnd atenie aspectelor legate de echitate; n cadrul unei abordri bazate pe flexicuritate i n vederea reducerii disparitilor regionale, s realoce cheltuielile sociale astfel nct s stabileasc un sistem uniform n ceea ce privete ajutoarele de omaj, s asigure funcionarea eficient a serviciilor de ocupare a forei de munc i s promoveze nvarea de-a lungul vieii i combaterea n continuare a muncii nedeclarate.

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CIPRU
1. Creterea PIB-ului real a ncetinit moderat pentru a ajunge la 3,6% n 2008, iar cererea intern i n special consumul privat, au continuat s creasc cu fermitate. Se preconizeaz o frnare semnificativ a creterii economice n 2009, n principal din cauza impactului pe care diminuarea activitii economice a principalilor parteneri comerciali ai Ciprului l va avea asupra turismului i asupra cererii externe de locuine. Gradul din ce n ce mai ridicat de ndatorare a gospodriilor i mediul nesigur ar trebui, de asemenea, s reduc nivelul consumului privat. Rata inflaiei de 4,4% n 2008 a fost de dou ori mai ridicat dect n 2007, n special din cauza preurilor mai ridicate la petrolul importat i la alimente, dar se apreciaz c acest nivel va scdea n 2009. Se estimeaz ca bugetul de stat s fi nregistrat un surplus de 1% din PIB n 2008. Creterile relativ importante ale salariilor au afectat negativ competitivitatea economiei cipriote care, mpreun cu scderea cererii externe, diminuarea veniturilor provenite din turism i preurile considerabil mai mari al materiilor prime, a agravat deficitul de cont curent. Acesta a ajuns la peste 13% din PIB n 2008 i se estimeaz ca va scdea la 12% n 2009. Estimrile actuale privind piaa muncii arat c, n 2008, creterea locurilor de munc a fost de aproximativ 2%, n timp ce rata omajului a sczut pn la nivelul de 3,9%. Creterea gradului de ocupare a forei de munc este prognozat s ncetineasc n cursul anului 2009, ceea ce va conduce la o cretere a omajului. Evoluiile actuale de pe piaa muncii indic faptul c turismul i sectorul construciilor, precum i fora de munc strin din aceste sectoare, n mare msur cu un nivel redus de calificare, vor fi probabil cel mai grav afectai de impactul crizei. Ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Cipru a anunat recent msuri care includ sprijinirea gospodriilor cu venituri reduse. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Cipru ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Cipru a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Politicile microeconomice viznd s dezvolte societatea informaional i s creeze condiiile pentru o dezvoltare durabil, mpreun cu politicile de integrare social, au contribuit, n mare msur, la performanele bune nregistrate de Cipru n 2008. S-au luat msuri pentru a sprijini sustenabilitatea fiscal pe termen lung, n special n materie de pensii. Pentru a se completa aceste eforturi trebuie luate msuri suplimentare pentru reformarea sistemului de asisten medical. Sunt necesare msuri suplimentare dac Cipru dorete mbuntirea performanei n cercetare i dezvoltare. Cipru a adoptat o strategie privind nvarea de-a lungul vieii pe care n prezent trebuie s o pun n aplicare, inclusiv prin aciuni suplimentare de reformare a nvmntului tehnic secundar i a celui profesional, precum i a sistemului de

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ucenicie. n domeniul microeconomiei, cteva noi msuri au ajutat la remedierea concurenei insuficiente n domeniul serviciilor profesionale. 6. Economia cipriot are un nivel puternic de specializare comercial, care, mpreun cu gradul de deschidere al rii, sporesc vulnerabilitatea fa de ocurile externe. Tranziia actual ctre o economie mai diversificat i bazat pe inovare este important pentru a crete capacitatea de adaptare la concurena din partea economiilor cu costuri mai reduse. Trebuie depuse eforturi pentru a crete productivitatea muncii prin investiii n cunoatere, competene, mediu de afaceri i inovare. Provocarea imediat a politicilor din 2009 va fi creterea competitivitii rii. Date fiind dezechilibrele externe relativ importante, va fi esenial s se alinieze nivelul salariilor cu cel al productivitii. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Ciprului s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Ciprului: s continue eforturile de dezvoltare a oportunitilor de nvare de-a lungul vieii, n special pentru cei cu un nivel de calificare sczut, omeri i grupuri defavorizate, prin punerea n aplicare a recent aprobatei Strategii naionale de nvare de-a lungul vieii, inclusiv a reformelor sistemului de nvmnt profesional, de educaie, formare i ucenicie, inclusiv Noul sistem modern de ucenicie.

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LETONIA
1. Creterea PIB-ului Letoniei s-a deteriorat brusc n 2008, de la peste 10% n 2007 la o valoare estimat de aproximativ 2%. Situaia economic precar i criza financiar au limitat accesul la creditare, antrennd efecte negative asupra consumului privat i asupra pieei locuinelor. Investiiile au fost afectate n mod deosebit i se ateapt ca acestea s se fi diminuat cu aproape 9% n 2008. Este probabil ca PIB-ul s continue s scad semnificativ pentru un anumit timp. Inflaia a crescut ntr-un ritm accelerat pn la 15,3% n 2008, dar va scdea n 2009. Recesiunea profund va avea un efect negativ asupra soldului bugetar, n legtur cu care se estimeaz un deficit de aproape 3,5% din PIB n 2008. Scderea cererii interne a contribuit la compensarea unor dezechilibre externe puternice. Importurile s-au redus semnificativ n 2008, ceea ce a ajutat la reducerea deficitului de cont curent la aproximativ 15% din PIB. Rata de ocupare a forei de munc va scdea considerabil n 2009. omajul este n prezent n cretere i se ateapt s creasc substanial de la valoarea de 6,5% pe care a nregistrat-o n 2008. Pn acum pierderile de locuri de munc au afectat n principal lucrtorii cu un nivel sczut de calificare din sectorul construciilor i al comerului cu amnuntul, ns n prezent sunt afectate din ce n ce mai mult i alte grupuri. O serie de grupuri defavorizate, precum i tinerii vor fi probabil afectai, inversnd evoluiile pozitive din ultimii ani privind angajarea n cadrul acestor grupuri. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n coroborare cu asistena financiar internaional convenit n decembrie 2008, Letonia a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, care ar trebui s ajute i la mbuntirea accesului la resurse financiare i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macrofinanciar.Pe parcursul anului 2008 a devenit clar c Letonia se va confrunta cu o ncetinire pronunat i prelungit a creterii economice. Presiunile asupra pieelor financiare i de capital din Letonia s-au acumulat, precum i n sistemul bancar, conducnd la acceptarea de ctre autoriti a nevoii urgente de asisten financiar internaional. n acest context, la data de 12 decembrie 2008, parlamentul a adoptat un program de stabilizare economic, care ar trebui s ajute la meninerea ncrederii n sistemul financiar la nivel naional i internaional, s contribuie direct i indirect la ntreruperea i inversarea tendinei de deteriorare a competitivitii costurilor i a presiunilor inflaioniste prin reduceri ale costurilor salariale din sectorul public ca ax principal a unei discipline fiscale mult mai stricte, precum i consolidarea potenialului de cretere a economiei printr-o serie de reforme structurale. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Letonia ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. n acest context, Letonia ar trebui s respecte obiectivele privind finanarea public stabilite n Programul de stabilizare economic, s remedieze urgent dezechilibrele macroeconomice i s pun n aplicare pe deplin memorandumul privind balana de pli. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja

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tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. 5. Letonia a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Guvernul a redus cheltuielile planificate i a propus msuri de limitare a creterilor salariale n sectorul public. S-au luat msuri de mbuntire a performanelor n domeniul cercetrii i dezvoltrii. S-au ntreprins aciuni notabile de cretere a ofertei de for de munc pe termen mediu, dar sunt necesare mai multe eforturi pentru a dezvolta o strategie de nvare de-a lungul vieii. Cadrul de reglementare a fost mbuntit n continuare. S-au nregistrat anumite progrese n privina mbuntirii accesului la serviciile de ngrijire a copiilor. Provocarea imediat pentru Letonia din punct de vedere al politicilor economice este asigurarea stabilitii macrofinanciare, deoarece exist un risc de ncetinire pronunat i prelungit a creterii economice. Pe termen mediu trebuie s se faciliteze tranziia de la sectoarele orientate ctre cererea intern ctre sectoarele comerciale, prin investiii n materie de cercetare, dezvoltare, inovare i educaie permind sporirea productivitii. Sunt necesare reforme structurale urgente pentru a asigura n continuare flexibilitatea pieei muncii i a sprijini tranziia, n principal prin msuri mai eficiente de implicare n viaa activ i formare. Politicile privind salarizarea din domeniul public ar trebui s ofere semnalul potrivit pentru moderarea salariilor din sectorul privat, ceea ce va contribui la controlarea inflaiei i la meninerea competitivitii bazate pe costuri a exporturilor. Punerea n aplicare rapid i hotrt a programelor prevzute n cadrul fondurilor structurale va avea un efect pozitiv asupra consolidrii potenialului de ofert al economiei, va sprijini gradul de ocupare a forei de munc i va garanta accesul la finanare al ntreprinderilor. Este esenial s se menin capacitatea administrativ de punere n aplicare a acestor programe. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Letoniei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Letoniei: s continue aplicarea unei politici fiscale restrictive, n cadrul creia prioritatea cheltuielilor este identificat cu atenie, iar msurile privind att impozitele ct i cheltuielile sunt axate pe consolidarea potenialului de ofert al economiei; aceste eforturi ar trebui s fie facilitate prin adoptarea unui cadru fiscal puternic, pe termen mediu, cu plafonarea strict a cheltuielilor; pentru a reduce inflaia i a mbunti competitivitatea, s promoveze o moderare salarial n sectorul public i privat; n cadrul unei abordri integrate bazate pe flexicuritate, s intensifice eforturile de cretere a ofertei de for de munc i a productivitii prin consolidarea msurilor de implicare n viaa activ i prin sporirea capacitii de rspuns a sistemelor de educaie i formare la nevoile pieei muncii, inclusiv prin punerea n aplicare a unei strategii coerente de nvare de-a lungul vieii;

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s integreze mai ndeaproape politicile de cercetare, dezvoltare i inovare, n special prin parteneriate ntre actorii-cheie din sectorul privat i public i prin stimulente suplimentare pentru investiiile provenind din sectorul privat.

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LITUANIA
1. Pentru 2008 se preconizeaz o cretere a PIB-ului cu 3,4%, mult mai puin dect n 2007 (8,9%). Din cauza corectrii nregistrate pe piaa locuinelor, nivelul investiiilor a sczut. Condiiile de creditare mai stricte, care au diminuat venitul real i au sczut ncrederea ntreprinderilor i consumatorilor, vor determina o reducere a cererii interne n 2009. Inflaia a culminat n 2008, atingnd 11%, fiind alimentat de preurile ridicate la materiile prime i de presiunile salariale interne, ns ulterior a nregistrat valori mai mici. Deficitul public crete ntr-un mod accelerat din cauza deteriorrii situaiei economice i a cheltuielilor suplimentare. Deficitul este estimat a fi aproape de valoarea de 3% din PIB n 2008 i s depeasc acest nivel n 2009 dac nu sunt adoptate msuri suplimentare de economisire. Creterile salariale semnificative au pus n pericol competitivitatea extern a rii, care, mpreun cu cererea extern redus, vor diminua creterea exporturilor n 2009. Cu toate acestea, cererea intern moderat va scdea probabil creterea importurilor, conducnd la scderea deficitului de cont curent de la nivelul de 12,6% din PIB pe care l-a nregistrat n 2008. Valorile actuale ale pieei muncii sugereaz c n 2008 creterea locurilor de munc a fost negativ i omajul se preconizeaz c a crescut peste valoarea de 5%. Disponibilizrile masive sunt deja n cretere, afectnd n special persoanele cu un nivel mai sczut de calificare, tinerii cu calificare redus, locuitorii de la sate i lucrtorii n vrst. Diferenele regionale n ceea ce privete nivelul omajului ar putea s devin mai pronunate. La data de 9 decembrie 2008, noul guvern desemnat a adoptat un program guvernamental anticriz care a anunat un numr de msuri fiscale de remediere a dezechilibrelor macroeconomice ale rii i de reducere a deficitul public general ncepnd din 2009. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Lituania ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. n acest context, Lituania ar trebui s respecte obiectivele privind finanarea public stabilite n programul su anticriz. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Lituania a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost puse n aplicare cteva msuri pentru a mbunti gradul de angajare al tinerilor i a oferi formare n domeniul antreprenorial. Sunt necesare eforturi suplimentare pentru a aborda domenii-cheie de politic care mbuntesc stabilitatea macrofinanciar i reduc inflaia. n plus, va fi nevoie de un sprijin suplimentar pentru ncurajarea investiiilor strine directe, mbuntirea performanelor n materie de cercetare, dezvoltare i inovare, precum i a mediului de reglementare, sporirea numrului de servicii de ngrijire a copiilor i mbuntirea sntii i securitii.

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6.

Nivelurile ridicate de cretere economic i de emigraie au pus presiuni asupra pieei muncii i au alimentat creteri ale costurilor forei de munc, erodnd astfel competitivitatea Lituaniei. ncetinirea actual a creterii economice va conduce totui la niveluri crescute de omaj, prin urmare importana politicilor n materie de piaa muncii devine vital. Cu toate acestea, cea mai urgent provocare rmne reducerea dezechilibrelor macroeconomice importante. Pentru a controla inflaia i a opri deteriorarea gradului de competitivitate, evoluiile salariale trebuie s fie aliniate mai ndeaproape cu productivitatea i mediul de afaceri, n timp ce capacitatea administrativ ar trebui consolidat. Mai mult, creterea productivitii trebuie consolidat prin mbuntirea nivelului de competene i ridicarea performanei n materie de inovare, inclusiv prin atragerea investiiilor strine directe. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Lituaniei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Lituaniei: s consolideze stabilitatea macroeconomic prin continuarea politicii fiscale restrictive n cadrul creia prioritatea cheltuielilor este identificat cu atenie; s menin competitivitatea extern prin corelarea evoluiilor salariale cu creterile de productivitate; s se asigure c punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale din cadrul sistemelor de cercetare, dezvoltare i inovare rmne o prioritate care beneficiaz de un angajament financiar suficient, cu o atenie sporit asupra resurselor umane pentru cercetare i dezvoltare i un angajament mai amplu al societilor n favoarea inovrii; s intensifice eforturile de reformare a sistemelor de educaie i formare pentru a asigura calitatea i relevana acestora fa de nevoile pieei muncii i s promoveze nvarea de-a lungul vieii, n special pentru lucrtorii n vrst.

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LUXEMBURG
1. Creterea PIB-ului a ncetinit n 2008, ajungnd a valoarea de aproximativ 1%, mult mai puin dect cea din 2007 (5,2%), din momentul n care a nceput s se resimt ncetinirea creterii economiei mondiale. Se anticipeaz ca aceast tendin de scdere s continue n 2009, fiind generat de niveluri sczute ale cererii externe i ale investiiilor private. Inflaia a crescut ntr-un ritm accelerat i a depit 4% n 2008, ca urmare a preurilor ridicate la energie i produse alimentare, dar se preconizeaz c va scdea n 2009. Este probabil ca ncetinirea economic s fi redus surplusul bugetar la 3,0% din PIB n 2008. Luxemburgul ar urma s anune un surplus de cont curent de peste 8% din PIB pentru anul 2008, dar este probabil ca acesta s diminueze ntr-o oarecare msur n 2009. Gradul de ocupare a forei de munc a continuat s creasc n 2008, iar rata omajului a rmas la nivelul de 4,1%. n 2009 se anticipeaz ca situaia s fie mai puin bun, cu diminuri ale creterii locurilor de munc i sporirea ratei omajului. Luxemburgul se va confrunta cu provocri generate de actuala criz care vor afecta probabil sectorul financiar, transporturile i industria siderurgic, precum i ntreprinderile care lucreaz pentru industria automobilelor. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Luxemburgul a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Luxemburg a anunat recent unele msuri, incluznd reducerea fiscalitii asupra ntreprinderilor i sprijinirea gospodriilor cu venituri reduse. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Luxemburg ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Luxemburgul a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform, nregistrnd unele progrese privind creterea ratei ocuprii locurilor de munc n cazul lucrtorilor n vrst, reducerea abandonului colar, nlturarea barierelor artificiale din sistemul educaional i creterea atractivitii mediului economic. Sunt necesare msuri suplimentare pentru abordarea acestor provocri fundamentale. Datorit faptului c sectorul financiar reprezint peste un sfert din PIB, actuala criz financiar ar putea afecta n mod grav aceast ar. n plus, creterile comparativ rapide ale costurilor salariale unitare vor avea probabil un efect negativ asupra competitivitii. Aceast degradare va continua probabil n anii urmtori, deoarece se preconizeaz o scdere a productivitii n 2008 i 2009. ntr-o perspectiv mai ndeprtat, sistemul de pensii are nevoie de reformare pentru a-i asigura viabilitatea pe termen lung. Gradul de ocupare a forei de munc a populaiei cu domiciliul n Luxemburg rmne sub media european, iar cel al lucrtorilor n vrst este n mod special sczut. De asemenea, Luxemburgul trebuie s-i mbunteasc atractivitatea mediului de afaceri. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei

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i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit.

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UNGARIA
1. Dup o scdere brusc la 1,1% n 2007 (n principal din cauza programului de ajustare fiscal nceput la mijlocul anului 2006), creterea PIB-ului a ncetinit pn la valoarea de 0,9% n 2008, n pofida unei producii agricole importante. n viitor se ateapt o ncetinire puternic a creterii economice, avnd n vedere deteriorarea rapid a mediului extern. Criza financiar a avut efecte negative foarte puternice asupra pieelor financiare i de schimb valutar din Ungaria, ducnd la o ngheare temporar a pieei fondurilor de stat, o scdere dramatic a pieei bursiere i o depreciere puternic a monedei. Inflaia a depit 6% n 2008, ns tendina n scdere de la mijlocul anului 2007 va continua. n ciuda ncetinirii creterii economice, n 2008 deficitul bugetar se estimeaz a se reduce la 3,3% din PIB, datorit ajustrilor suplimentare planificate de autoriti. Deficitul de cont curent a crescut pn la un nivel de aproximativ 7% din PIB n 2008. Gradul de ocupare a forei de munc a sczut cu aproape 1% n 2008 i aceast tendin va continua n 2009. Rata omajului va continua probabil s creasc, de la nivelul de 7,7% nregistrat n 2008. n funcie de intensitatea ncetinirii creterii economice, s-ar putea ca omajul s nu se reduc doar la persoanele cu un nivel redus de calificare sau la grupurile defavorizate. La 19 noiembrie 2008, n contextul unui mprumut comunitar pentru balana de pli viznd s sprijine capacitatea de rspuns a Ungariei la turbulenele pieei financiare, autoritile au semnat un memorandum de nelegere care fixeaz condiiile de politic economic care nsoesc rambursarea acestuia, n special cele privind consolidarea fiscal i reforma guvernanei financiare. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Ungaria ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. n acest context, Ungaria ar trebui s pun n aplicare pe deplin memorandumul privind balana de pli. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Ungaria a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Este posibil ca politica fiscal s aib din nou ca rezultat un nivel de consolidare mai bun dect previziunile pentru anul 2008. Sunt necesare eforturi suplimentare privind reforma structural i cea de pe piaa muncii. Fondurile structurale au un rol-cheie n punerea n aplicare a programului naional de reform i execuia acestora este, n mare parte, n derulare. Ca urmare a turbulenelor de pe piaa financiar, autoritile din Ungaria au adoptat o serie de msuri de restaurare a ncrederii pe pia, incluznd accelerarea reducerii deficitului, consolidarea guvernanei fiscale, precum i o mai bun reglementare i supraveghere a sectorului financiar. Provocarea Ungariei n materie de strategie politic este limitarea impactului negativ al crizei financiare, meninnd totodat stabilitatea financiar i favoriznd credibilitatea politicii economice. n acest scop, trebuie evitat o deteriorare

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suplimentar a competitivitii externe, prin asigurarea corespondenei ntre creterile salariale i cele ale productivitii. Pe termen mediu este primordial s se depun eforturi de mbuntire a stabilitii fiscale i macroeconomice. Acest lucru necesit sporirea eficienei sectorului public i al asigurrii de sntate i mbuntirea funcionrii pieei muncii. n ciuda anumitor progrese nregistrate n acest domeniu, se pot realiza economii suplimentare n termeni de eficien n sectorul public. Rata global a ocuprii forei de munc n Ungaria (57,3%) s-a clasat pe poziia a treia n clasamentul celor mai reduse rate din UE n 2007, participarea tinerilor, persoanelor n vrst i a altor grupuri defavorizate fiind n mod special foarte limitat. Capacitatea de rspuns a sistemului de educaie i de formare la nevoile pieei muncii trebuie s fie dezvoltat n continuare pentru a lupta eficace mpotriva problemelor legate de calificrile inadecvate. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Ungariei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Ungariei: s se bazeze pe progresele semnificative realizate n materie de consolidare fiscal pentru a aplica msurile necesare de asigurare a unei reduceri durabile a deficitului public i a proporiei datoriei publice, acionnd mai mult pe latura cheltuielilor; s continue reforma administraiei publice i a sistemelor de sntate, de pensii i de nvmnt, n scopul asigurrii sustenabilitii fiscale pe termen lung i al mbuntirii eficienei economice. Acest lucru ar trebui s includ etape de ridicare a vrstei efective de pensionare, de punere n aplicare cu rigurozitate a reformei adoptate privind sistemul de pensii de invaliditate i de restructurare n continuare a sistemului de asigurare de sntate; s consolideze n continuare i s orienteze mai bine politicile active pe piaa forei de munc n vederea ameliorrii situaiei nregistrate pe piaa muncii, n special cea cu care se confrunt grupurile sau zonele geografice defavorizate; s continue s mbunteasc nivelul de competene i prin sporirea participrii adulilor la procesul de nvare de-a lungul vieii, s mbunteasc capacitatea de adaptare a sistemului de educaie i formare la nevoile pieei forei de munc i s asigure accesul tuturor la un sistem de educaie i formare de nalt calitate.

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MALTA
1. Pentru 2008 se preconizeaz o cretere a PIB-ului cu 2,1%, mult mai puin dect nivelul de 3,9% atins n 2007. Se estimeaz ca nivelul creterii PIB-ului s scad n 2009. Inflaia a crescut ntr-un ritm accelerat pn la nivelul de 4,7% la mijlocul anului 2008, din cauza preurilor internaionale mai mari la alimente i petrol i poate i din cauza concurenei interne slabe i a dependenei puternice de importurile de energie. Poziia fiscal s-a deteriorat n 2008, deficitul bugetar ridicndu-se la 3,5% din PIB. Scderea cererii mondiale a contribuit la mrirea deficitului de cont curent. Creterea gradului de ocupare a forei de munc a sczut n 2008 i aceast tendin va continua n 2009 odat cu ncetinirea ritmului activitilor economice. Gradul de angajare a femeilor a crescut uor n 2007, la 36,9%, ns rmne cel mai sczut nivel din UE. Dimpotriv, rata ocuprii forei de munc a persoanelor n vrst a sczut (la nivelul de 28,3%) n 2007. omajul va nregistra probabil o cretere de la nivelul de 6,5% n 2008, afectnd n principal lucrtorii cu un grad sczut de calificare din industria prelucrtoare i din turism, dei alte sectoare (serviciile financiare i TIC) sunt n prezent din ce n ce mai mult ameninate. Pentru a rspunde la ncetinirea activitii economice, Malta a anunat recent adoptarea de msuri, incluznd accelerarea investiiilor n infrastructur, mediu i turism, precum i reducerea fiscalitii asupra gospodriilor. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Malta ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Malta a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. S-au realizat progrese n domeniul concurenei i n reformarea pieei muncii. Printre iniiativele pozitive din 2008 figureaz primii pai ctre privatizarea antierelor navale, adoptarea unei abordri integrate privind flexicuritatea i stabilirea unui obiectiv pentru reducerea poverii administrative. Sunt necesare msuri suplimentare pentru mbuntirea sistemului de asigurare de sntate, a mediului de afaceri i a funcionrii pieei energetice. Progresele realizate n materie de continuare a consolidrii bugetare au ncetinit n 2008. Malta este puternic dependent de importurile de energie, resurse naturale, factori de producie i bunuri de consum. Dezvoltarea economic a Maltei se bazeaz pe resursele umane, domeniu n care este nevoie de mbuntiri, n special n ceea ce privete reducerea abandonului colar. Dimensiunile mici ale economiei confer aspectelor legate de concuren o relevan deosebit i impun mbuntiri n mediul de afaceri, precum i o diversificare a surselor de energie. Utilizarea eficient a finanelor publice necesit o reform suplimentar a sistemului de asisten medical. Cu toate c Malta i-a diversificat baza economic, sunt nc necesare progrese suplimentare pentru a remedia actuala dependen puternic de turism i de

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fabricarea produselor electronice. Pentru a-i asigura competitivitatea, este nevoie de reforme structurale suplimentare care s consolideze productivitatea i de alinierea creterilor salariale la creterile de productivitate. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Maltei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Maltei: s consolideze concurena n vederea controlrii inflaiei i a meninerii competitivitii, n special prin reducerea ajutoarelor de stat i prin redirecionarea acestora ctre obiective orizontale, precum i prin ntrirea poziiei autoritii privind concurena; s i intensifice eforturile pentru a atrage mai multe persoane pe piaa forei de munc, n special din rndul femeilor i al lucrtorilor n vrst, printre altele prin facilitarea accesului la serviciile de ngrijire a copiilor; s i intensifice eforturile pentru a combate munca nedeclarat i s ncurajeze participarea pe piaa muncii, inclusiv prin nsprirea condiiilor de acces la sistemul de beneficii.

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RILE DE JOS
1. n rile de Jos, creterea real a PIB-ului a sczut la 1,9% n 2008, de la 3,5% n 2007. n 2009 se estimeaz o diminuare a creterii ca urmare a ncetinirii globale a creterii economice, o reducere a investiiilor i o frnare substanial a consumului privat. Accentuat de creterea anterioar a preurilor la alimente i energie, inflaia s-a ridicat la nivelul de 2,2% n 2008. Surplusul bugetar a sporit la 1,1% din PIB n 2008. n pofida ncetinirii globale, se anticipeaz un surplus de cont curent 8% din PIB pentru rile de Jos n 2008, care se va reduce la 6,5% din PIB n 2009. Creterea gradului de ocupare a forei de munc, la un nivel uor inferior nivelului de 2%, continu n 2008, dar se preconizeaz s devin negativ n 2009. Ca urmare, omajul a sczut n 2008, ns se prognozeaz c va spori n 2009. Pn n prezent angajatorii nu au dorit s recurg la concedieri, fiindu-le team s nu se regseasc n situaia de a nu gsi personal calificat n momentul n care economia se va revigora. Sectorul industrial i cel financiar vor fi probabil cele mai grav afectate. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, rile de Jos au adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, rile de Jos au anunat recent unele msuri, incluznd reducerea fiscalitii asupra IMM-urilor i diminuarea contribuiilor de securitate social ale lucrtorilor. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de rile de Jos ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n privina finanelor publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. rile de Jos a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost adoptate msuri de cretere a ofertei de munc, ns sunt necesare eforturi suplimentare pentru a spori numrul de ore prestate. Au fost realizate anumite progrese n ceea ce privete mbuntirea structurilor guvernamentale i stabilirea unei strategii coerente de cercetare, dezvoltare i inovare, precum i reorganizarea politicilor privind inovarea. Sporirea numrului global de ore prestate i mbuntirea performanelor n materie de cercetare, dezvoltare i inovare vor sprijini obinerea de rezultate economice importante n viitor. Traducerea strategiei pe termen lung n materie de cercetare i dezvoltare ntr-un set de msuri coerente i eficiente de politic pentru a stimula n special cheltuielile din sectorul privat alocate cercetrii i dezvoltrii reprezint o provocare. Trebuie garantat sustenabilitatea finanelor publice, avnd n vedere mbtrnirea populaiei i reducerea ofertei de mn de lucru ca urmare a acestui fenomen. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al

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schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand rilor de Jos s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand rilor de Jos: s adopte msuri suplimentare, incluznd facilitarea tranziiei pe piaa muncii, n cadrul unei abordri bazate pe flexicuritate, pentru a mbunti participarea femeilor, a persoanelor n vrst i a grupurilor defavorizate, n vederea sporirii numrului global de ore prestate.

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AUSTRIA
1. Creterea PIB a ncetinit n 2008, n scdere de la 3,1% n 2007 la 1,7%. Creterea este de ateptat s se diminueze cu peste 1% din cauza scderii exporturilor i a unei scderi brute a investiiilor. Inflaia global a atins aproape 4% la mijlocul anului 2008, dar n prezent este n scdere. Austria a nregistrat un deficit bugetar care s-a limitat la 0,6% din PIB n 2008 i care se va mri semnificativ n 2009. Cu un excedent de cont curent estimativ de peste 3% din PIB n 2008, previzionat a rmne n jurul aceluiai nivel n 2009 i n 2010, soldurile externe sunt solide. Gradul de ocuparea a forei de munc a crescut la un nivel de 1,6% n 2008, dar este de ateptat ca acesta s se micoreze n 2009, iar omajul s creasc. Acele grupuri de pe piaa forei de munc cu perspective de angajare tradiional limitate, n special lucrtorii n vrst i proaspeii absolvent cu un nivel de calificare sczut, sunt susceptibile de a suferi cel mai mult. Locurile de ucenici i locurile de munc pentru lucrtorii temporari din sectorul industrial au fost cel dinti reduse. n prezent, cea mai afectat parte a economiei este sectorul automobilelor. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Austria a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Austria a anunat recent unele msuri, incluznd reducerea impozitrii i sprijinirea financiar suplimentar a gospodriilor, precum i investiii importante n infrastructur, eficien energetic i cercetare i dezvoltare. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Austria ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Austria a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. S-au depus unele eforturile pentru a crete rata de ocupare a forei de munc a lucrtorilor n vrst, nivelul de educaie al tinerilor defavorizai, prin combaterea diferenelor ntre femei i brbai de pe piaa forei de munc, i prin consolidarea educaiei antreprenoriale. Sunt necesare msuri suplimentare pentru a ntri consolidarea fiscal pe termen mediu i pentru a crete nivelul concurenial. Provocarea-cheie a Austriei pe termen mediu este de a se transforma ntr-o economie bazat ntr-o mai mare msur pe cunoatere. n pofida cheltuielilor sporite pentru cercetare, dezvoltare i inovare, aceast tranziie nu s-a materializat nc, sugernd c trebuie acordat o mai mare atenie, de asemenea, n ceea ce privete formarea capitalului uman. Moderarea salarial susinut a consolidat poziia competitiv a Austriei la nivel mondial i a condus la crearea de locuri de munc pentru fora de munc n cretere. Provocarea pentru Austria este asigurarea unei mai bune utilizri a

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resurselor de for de munc, n special a lucrtorilor n vrst, i mbuntirea integrrii, educrii i formrii profesionale a grupurilor defavorizate. Asigurarea viabilitii sistemului de asisten social se bazeaz pe consolidarea fiscal de durat, care trebuie s fie armonizat cu consolidarea cheltuielilor publice n domenii care sunt cruciale pentru dezvoltarea pe termen mediu. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Austriei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Austriei: s mbunteasc n mai mare msur stimulentele acordate lucrtorilor n vrst n vederea meninerii acestora pe piaa forei de munc, prin punerea n aplicare a unei strategii globale care s includ ameliorarea formrii la locul de munc, adaptarea condiiilor de munc, nsprirea condiiilor de pensionare anticipat i mbuntirea rezultatelor n materie de educaie obinute de tinerii din grupurile defavorizate.

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POLONIA
1. Creterea PIB-ului Poloniei a ncetinit de la 6,7% n 2007 la 5% n 2008. Aceast cretere energic a fost n principal determinat de consumul privat i de ritmul dinamic al investiiilor. Creterea PIB-ului va ncetini n continuare n 2009 din cauza reducerii ritmului exporturilor al investiiilor. Inflaia a atins cota maxim de aproximativ 4% n 2008, dar ar trebui s ncetineasc n 2009. Deficitul bugetar este estimat s fi crescut uor la 2,5% din PIB n 2008 i se anticipeaz c se va deteriora n continuare cu circa 1 punct procentual n 2009. Este probabil ca deficitul de cont curent, de 5,6% din PIB n 2008, s rmn la acest nivel n anul 2009. Gradul de ocuparea a forei de munc a crescut cu 3% n 2008 i rata omajului a sczut n continuare la 7,4%. Cu toate acestea, creterea gradului de ocupare a forei de munc va ncetini semnificativ n 2009, cu o rat a omajului estimat s depeasc 8%. Evoluiile actuale de pe piaa forei de munc arat c sectoarele orientate ctre export, industria prelucrtoare, construciile i transportul sunt cel mai grav lovite de ncetinirea activitii economice. Se va pune mai mult accent pe creterea ratei de implicare n viaa activ i pe mbuntirea mobilitii forei de munc ntre sectoare i domenii de activitate, contribuind de asemenea, la restabilirea competitivitii costurilor n cadrul economiei dup perioada de ocupare rapid a forei de munc i de cretere a salariilor. Polonia a anunat recent adoptarea unor msuri, incluznd sprijinirea IMM-urilor i a gospodriilor cu venituri reduse, pentru a rspunde ncetinirii creterii economice. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Polonia ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Polonia a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost luate o serie de msuri pentru a mbunti concurena n industriile de reea, a consolida politicile active pe piaa muncii, a mbunti mediului juridic pentru ntreprinztori, i a stabili legturi ntre educaie i formarea profesional pe de o parte i piaa forei de munc pe de alt parte. Sunt necesare eforturi suplimentare pentru a mbunti controlul asupra cheltuielilor, a stimula performana cercetrii i dezvoltrii, a reforma sistemele de prestaii i a crete gradul de participare la procesul de nvare de-a lungul vieii. Performana economic a Poloniei este estompat de o serie de probleme structurale interconectate, un nivel sczut de productivitate a muncii i o utilizare sczut a forei de munc. Combinarea eforturilor pentru a finaliza reforma sistemelor de asigurri sociale cu o cretere a numrului de lucrtori n vrst ar putea consolida simultan oferta de for de munc i mbunti sustenabilitatea pe termen lung a finanelor publice. Creterea economic i ocuparea forei de munc ar beneficia de intensificarea aciunilor de mbuntire a mediului de afaceri, de dezvoltarea

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infrastructurii, precum i de mbuntirea calitii capitalului uman. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Poloniei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Poloniei: s continue politica de disciplin bugetar pe termen mediu i s introduc mecanisme suplimentare pentru mbuntirea controlului asupra cheltuielilor, n special prin reformarea sistemului de securitate social pentru agricultori; s continue reforma sectorului public de cercetare pentru stimularea cercetrii, dezvoltrii i inovrii, i s ncurajeze cercetarea i dezvoltarea n sectorul privat; s accelereze investiiile n infrastructura sectorului energetic i al transporturilor prin simplificarea i raionalizarea procedurilor privind fondurile structurale i utilizarea lor eficient; s dezvolte o abordare integrat a flexicuritii, prin punerea n aplicare a unei strategii de mbtrnire activ, intensificarea aciunilor de mbuntire a politicii active pe piaa muncii, n special pentru grupurile defavorizate, revizuirea sistemelor de beneficii n vederea mbuntirii stimulentelor pentru a munci, i punerea n aplicare a strategiei de nvare de-a lungul vieii.

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PORTUGALIA
1. Creterea PIB-ului Portugaliei a sczut de la aproximativ 2% n 2007 la 0,2% n 2008. Aceast ncetinire este consecina investiiilor reduse i a rezultatelor slabe nregistrate n sectorul exporturilor. n 2009, se preconizeaz ca cererea intern s continue s scad, ceea ce ar avea ca rezultat accentuarea ncetinirii. n 2008, inflaia a crescut pn la 2,7%, rmnnd ns inferioar mediei zonei euro i, n prezent, cunoate o decelerare ca urmare a recentei tendine de scdere a preurilor la nivel mondial i a unei cereri reduse. Fenomenul de contractare nregistrat n Portugalia n ultimii ani a continuat, deficitul bugetar depind, n 2008, doar cu puin nivelul de 2% din PIB. Deficitul de cont curent s-a accentuat, atingnd 11,8% din PIB n 2008 ca urmare a ncetinirii creterii exporturilor i a preurilor ridicate la materii prime. Este probabil ca, n 2009, deficitul de cont curent s se reduc. Gradul de ocupare a forei de munc n Portugalia a nregistrat o uoar cretere n 2007, rata acesteia stabilizndu-se la aproximativ 68%. omajul a atins valoarea de vrf de 8,1% n 2007, dar a sczut moderat n 2008. Cererea extern sczut ncepe s afecteze gradul de ocupare a forei de munc n importantul sectorul axat pe exporturi. n timp ce economia trece n continuare printr-o perioad de tranziie, omajul structural va continua s creasc, afectnd parial categoriile slab calificate i defavorizate. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Portugalia a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Portugalia a anunat recent unele msuri, inclusiv reducerea fiscalitii asupra ntreprinderilor i sprijinirea financiar a familiilor cu venituri reduse. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Portugalia ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Portugalia a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost luate msuri importante n vederea unei reduceri durabile a deficitului public, reformrii administraiei publice i mbuntirii sustenabilitii finanelor publice. De asemenea, au fost luate msuri pentru atingerea obiectivului privind cheltuielile publice n domeniul cercetrii i dezvoltrii, pentru mbuntirea investiiilor private, precum i pentru soluionarea deficienelor sistemului de inovare. Sistemul educaional a devenit mai eficient i a fost ncheiat un acord privind revizuirea codului muncii cu partenerii sociali, acesta fiind deja aprobat de Parlament. Este necesar s se depun eforturi suplimentare n vederea reorientrii cheltuielilor publice ctre o utilizare care favorizeaz mai mult o potenial cretere economic, monitorizrii rezultatelor i a sporirii concurenei eficace pe pieele energiei.

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6.

Finanele publice s-au consolidat ca urmare a progreselor realizate n domeniul consolidrii fiscale i a reformei administraiei publice. Mediul de afaceri s-a mbuntit, la fel ca i domeniile educaiei i formrii. Cu toate acestea, Portugalia se confrunt n continuare cu o serie de provocri semnificative pentru a asigura o mai bun cretere a productivitii i o poziie extern mai echilibrat. n acest context, Portugalia ar obine avantaje n urma aplicrii i monitorizrii unei abordri strategice mai bine integrate care asigur calitatea cheltuielilor publice, mbuntete funcionarea pieelor, sporete eficiena sistemelor de nvmnt i de formare i stimuleaz competitivitatea. Un alt aspect important privind restabilirea competitivitii const n asigurarea faptului c evoluia salariilor este aliniat cu evoluia productivitii. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Portugaliei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Portugaliei: s i continue eforturile de reorientare a cheltuielilor publice ctre domenii care favorizeaz sporirea potenialului de cretere i a competitivitii externe a rii, meninnd n acelai timp un control ferm asupra cheltuielilor publice n ansamblu, n acest context de consolidare fiscal pe termen mediu i de reform a administraiei publice; s i continue eforturile de mbuntire n mod durabil a eficienei globale a sistemului de nvmnt i de dezvoltare a sistemului de formare profesional adaptat nevoilor pieei forei de munc, prin realizarea complet a cadrului naional de calificri i cu participarea prilor interesate respective; s pun n aplicare legislaia n vederea modernizrii proteciei locurilor de munc, n scopul reducerii nivelului nalt de segmentare a pieei muncii, n cadrul abordrii bazate pe flexicuritate.

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ROMNIA
1. n 2008, creterea PIB-ului Romniei s-a accelerat, atingnd, conform estimrilor, nivelul de 7,8%, ca urmare n special a unei creteri record a consumului privat i a investiiilor. Cu toate acestea, este probabil ca, n 2009, s se nregistreze o ncetinire semnificativ a creterii, ca urmare a condiiilor mult mai stricte de creditare, a scderii ncrederii consumatorilor i investitorilor, precum i a reducerii cererii externe. Inflaia a crescut pn la aproximativ 8% n 2008, ns, n 2009, se ateapt ca aceasta s scad. Deficitul public a atins, conform estimrilor, nivelul de 5,2% din PIB n 2008 i, n absena unei modificri strategice, este probabil ca aceast tendin s continue n 2009. n ciuda unei relaxri ca urmare a scderii cererii interne, se estimeaz ca deficitul de cont curent s rmn ridicat, la 13% din PIB n 2008 i la un nivel de dou cifre n 2009. Se preconizeaz ca gradul de ocupare a forei de munc s rmn sub 60% n 2009, iar omajul s nregistreze o uoar cretere. Rata omajului n rndul tinerilor, de peste 20%, se numr printre cele mai ridicate din UE. Se preconizeaz c ncetinirea creterii economice mondiale va determina un nivel mai ridicat al omajului, n special n anumite sectoare economice, inclusiv n cele care s-au confruntat cu o penurie a forei de munc (sectoarele automobilelor, cel textil i cel petrochimic, precum i domeniul construciilor). omajul va afecta, n special, lucrtorii slab calificai i pe cei tineri. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Romnia pentru a asigura consolidarea fiscal ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. n acest context, Romnia ar trebui s intensifice msurile de continuare a consolidrii fiscale i s caute urgent soluii la dezechilibrele sale macroeconomice. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 6 au un impact imediat i ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Romnia a continuat s pun n aplicare programul su naional de reform, cu toate c progresele nregistrate au fost modeste. Politica sa fiscal a continuat s fie laxist, ceea ce alimentat dezechilibrele macroeconomice i fiscale. Romnia a pus n aplicare o serie de msuri de mbuntire a calitii educaiei i a continuat aplicarea strategiei n materie de cercetare i dezvoltare. Sunt necesare eforturi suplimentare pentru a mbunti ntr-un mod radical eficiena i eficacitatea administraiei publice. Rmn de realizat progrese importante n ceea ce privete reducerea birocraiei i realizarea de investiii suplimentare n dobndirea de competene. n contextul economic actual, prima prioritate a Romniei ar trebui s fie combaterea dezechilibrelor macroeconomice i fiscale care pun n pericol sustenabilitatea traiectoriei creterii economice pe termen mediu i lung. n acelai timp, pe msur ce avantajele sale n materie de costuri se estompeaz, Romnia ar trebui s intensifice reformele structurale pentru a face tranziia de la o economie bazat pe avantaje n materie de costuri la o economice bazat ntr-o mai mare msur pe productivitate, inovare i cunoatere, exploatnd noi surse de cretere. Punerea n

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aplicare eficient a reformelor necesare depinde ntr-o msur esenial de capacitatea Romniei de a mbunti urgent eficiena i eficacitatea administraiei sale publice. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 6. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Romniei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Romniei: s consolideze eficiena, eficacitatea i independena administraiei publice, att la nivel central, ct i local, prin crearea unei capaciti eficace de control reglementar i de aplicare a legii; n vederea meninerii competitivitii pe pieele externe i a limitrii deficitului de cont curent i a inflaiei, s nspreasc n mod semnificativ politica fiscal i s pun urgent n aplicare un cadru fiscal pe termen mediu cu caracter obligatoriu, s revizuiasc structura cheltuielilor pentru a mri cota cheltuielilor care stimuleaz creterea, inter alia, prin reducerea i reorientarea ajutoarelor de stat ctre obiective orizontale i s menin evoluia salariilor n acelai ritm cu creterea productivitii; n contextul unei politici coerente pentru o mai bun legiferare, s pun urgent n aplicare msuri n vederea reducerii n mod semnificativ a procedurilor administrative i s pun capt ntrzierilor nregistrate n obinerea de autorizaii, n vederea mbuntirii mediului de afaceri i reducerii surselor de corupie; s amelioreze calitatea i importana sistemelor de nvmnt i de formare pe piaa forei de munc, inclusiv a nvrii de-a lungul vieii, s reduc abandonul colar i s faciliteze tranziia tinerilor la viaa activ, inclusiv prin formri la locul de munc.

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SLOVENIA
1. Creterea PIB-ului Sloveniei a ncetinit, trecnd de la 6,8% n 2007 la 4% n 2008, i se estimeaz c i va continua ncetinirea n 2009. Inflaia a crescut n mod considerabil n 2007 ca urmare a creterii preurilor energiei i produselor alimentare i a presiunilor puternice ale cererii, ns va nregistra o scdere fa de valoarea maxim de 6%. Se preconizeaz c deficitul de cont curent va crete pn la un nivel de aproximativ 6% din PIB n 2008. Pentru 2009 se estimeaz c acest deficit va nregistra doar o cretere uoar. Se preconizeaz c finanele publice, care au nregistrat un excedent n 2007, au devenit deficitare n 2008. n mod similar activitii economice, n 2008, creterea gradului de ocupare a forei de munc i-a pierdut dinamismul i se preconizeaz c acest lucru va continua i n 2009. Se estimeaz c rata omajului a sczut pn la 4,5% n 2008 i c va crete n 2009. Indicaiile actuale sugereaz o cretere a ratei omajului n serviciile axate pe exporturi i cele cu utilizare intensiv a forei de munc, ceea ce i va afecta n special pe lucrtorii cu contracte pe durat determinat (mai ales lucrtorii tineri i strini) i pe cei slab calificai. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Slovenia a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Slovenia a anunat recent adoptarea unei serii de msuri. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Slovenia ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 au un impact imediat i ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Slovenia a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost adoptate msuri semnificative n vederea consolidrii legturii dintre sistemul de nvmnt i piaa muncii. Trebuie depuse eforturi suplimentare pentru a mbunti sustenabilitatea fiscal pe termen lung, rezultatele n domeniul cercetrii i dezvoltrii i concurena, precum i pentru a dezvolta n continuare flexicuritatea, continund punerea n aplicare a msurilor de eficien energetic. Au fost realizate progrese, de asemenea, n privina valorificrii potenialului ntreprinderilor. Slovenia se confrunt cu o serie de provocri n domeniul reformei sistemului de pensii i al mbtrnirii active n vederea soluionrii implicaiilor bugetare ale mbtrnirii populaiei. Eliminarea rigiditilor structurale pe pieele muncii i a produselor ar contribui la absorbirea ocurilor specifice fiecrei ri i la consolidarea capacitii de ajustare a Sloveniei n cadrul zonei euro. Este, de asemenea, esenial s se limiteze creterea salarial care depete mbuntirea productivitii, n vederea garantrii unei creteri i a unei competitiviti durabile. Punerea n aplicare a

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pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. 7. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Sloveniei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Sloveniei: s reformeze sistemul de pensii i s adopte msuri de promovare a mbtrnirii active, avndu-se n vedere creterea gradului de ocupare a forei de munc n rndul lucrtorilor n vrst i optimizarea sustenabilitii pe termen lung a finanelor publice; n cadrul unei abordri integrate bazate pe flexicuritate, s combat segmentarea pieei muncii n special prin revizuirea proteciei locurilor de munc n cazul contractelor pe durat nedeterminat i a condiiilor oferite de aa-numitele locuri de munc pentru studeni.

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SLOVACIA
1. Creterea PIB-ului Slovaciei a ncetinit, scznd de la 10,4% n 2007 la 7,1% n 2008, n special ca urmare a scderii cererii externe. Creterea a fost sprijinit de o cerere intern dinamic, inclusiv de un consum public i privat puternic i de investiii importante n construcii. n 2009, economia Slovacei va nregistra o cretere mai lent. Inflaia a crescut pn la 4% n 2008, dar va scdea n 2009. Se preconizeaz c deficitul bugetar public va crete pn la un nivel de 2,25% din PIB n 2008. Se estimeaz c, n 2008, deficitul de cont curent a reprezentat 6% din PIB i c va rmne la acest nivel n 2009. Gradul de ocupare a forei de munc a crescut pn la 2,3% n 2008, dar se estimeaz c aceast tendin va ncetini n 2009. Se preconizeaz c rata omajului va fi n continuare ridicat, situndu-se la un nivel de peste 10%. Se ateapt ca ntreprinderile axate pe exporturi, n special din sectorul automobilelor, i salariaii cu contracte atipice s fie cel mai grav afectai de ncetinirea activitii economice. Slovacia a adoptat recent msuri, inclusiv de sprijinire financiar a IMM-urilor, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Slovacia ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 au un impact imediat i ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Slovacia a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost adoptate o serie de msuri n vederea mbuntirii mediului de afaceri i a reformrii sistemului de nvmnt i de formare. Sunt necesare msuri suplimentare pentru mbuntirea spiritului antreprenorial, a concurenei n domeniul furnizrii de energie, pentru crearea unei strategii privind mbtrnirea activ i pentru soluionarea problemei ncadrrii n munc a tinerilor. Printre provocrile pe termen mediu ale Slovaciei figureaz continuarea reducerii omajului, n special a celui pe termen lung, mbuntirea calitii sistemului de nvmnt i de formare, consolidarea capacitii de ncadrare n munc a anumitor categorii, precum i reducerea diferenelor regionale att n privina veniturilor, ct i a ocuprii forei de munc. n domeniul cercetrii, dezvoltrii i inovrii, va fi important s se amelioreze calitatea rezultatelor i gradul de implicare a sectorului privat. n contextul recentei intrri n zona euro, Slovacia trebuie, de asemenea, s pun mai mult accent pe disciplina fiscal n vederea garantrii stabilitii macroeconomice i a mbuntirii capacitii de ajustare a economiei. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit.

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n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Slovaciei s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Slovaciei: s garanteze, pe termen mediu, punerea n aplicare a unor msuri suplimentare de consolidare fiscal n vederea meninerii stabilitii macroeconomice, continund, n acelai timp, realocarea cheltuielilor ctre educaie, cercetare, dezvoltare i inovare, crend stimulente suplimentare destinate sectorului privat n cercetare, dezvoltare i inovare i punnd n aplicare o strategie coerent n acest domeniu, acordndu-se o atenie deosebit reformei instituionale i mbuntirii n mod substanial a cooperrii dintre ntreprinderi i sectorul de cercetare; s pun n aplicare o strategie global pentru o mai bun legiferare, s efectueze evaluri ale impactului i s simplifice n permanen legislaia existent, intensificnd, n acelai timp, reducerea poverii administrative care revine ntreprinderilor, n special IMM-urilor; n cadrul unei abordri bazate pe flexicuritate, s nregistreze progrese n punerea n aplicare a strategiei de nvare de-a lungul vieii i s continue reformarea sistemelor de nvmnt i de formare n vederea obinerii competenelor adecvate, s dezvolte o strategie a mbtrnirii active i s stimuleze accesul omerilor de lung durat i al categoriilor defavorizate la locurile de munc.

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FINLANDA
1. Creterea PIB-ului Finlandei a ncetinit, situndu-se la 1,5% n 2008, ca urmare a scderii cererii externe i a investiiilor. Se estimeaz ca ritmul activitii economice s scad n continuare n 2009. Inflaia s-a accelerat n mod semnificativ n 2008, atingnd nivelul de 3,9% i reflectnd creterea preului produselor alimentare i al combustibilului la nivel mondial i creterile relativ importante ale salariilor. Cu toate acestea, scderea preurilor mondiale la materiile prime ar trebui s determine o scdere semnificativ a inflaiei n 2009. n 2008, Finlanda trebuie s fi nregistrat un excedent bugetar de 4,5% din PIB. Se estimeaz ca excedentul actual al contului curent de 4% din PIB s se modereze ntr-o anumit msur. Rata ocuprii forei de munc a crescut n 2008, dei ritmul acesteia a fost mai lent dect n 2007. Se estimeaz ca aceast tendin s se inverseze n 2009. Se preconizeaz ca recentele condiii stricte de pe piaa muncii s atenueze impactul imediat al ncetinirii creterii economice asupra omajului, care va crete, probabil, n industria exporturilor i n rndul lucrtorilor n vrst i tineri. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Finlanda a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Finlanda a anunat recent msuri, inclusiv de asisten financiar pentru IMM-uri i de stimulare a sectorului construciilor. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Finlanda ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Finlanda a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost depuse eforturi n cadrul planurilor de reform lansate anterior, n special n privina punerii n aplicare a legii revizuite privind concurena i a directivei privind serviciile. Cu toate acestea, trebuie finalizat mbuntirea aplicrii politicii n domeniul concurenei. O serie de reforme sunt n curs de desfurare n vederea soluionrii blocajelor de pe piaa muncii, ns aplicarea msurilor trebuie consolidat pentru a soluiona numrul tot mai mare de disfuncionaliti ale pieei muncii. Cu toate acestea, n prezent are loc revizuirea sistemului de asisten social i a fost lansat o nou strategie n materie de schimbri climatice i energie n vederea garantrii unei dezvoltri economice mai durabile.

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Economia axat pe exporturi a Finlandei a obinut rezultate foarte bune n ultimii ani. Cu toate acestea, creterea economic i competitivitatea sunt afectate de penuria de pe piaa muncii care se va accentua pe termen mediu ca urmare a mbtrnirii rapide a populaiei. Avnd n vedere nivelul deja ridicat al ocuprii forei de munc, principalele provocri vor fi stimularea creterii ratei de participare i reducerea omajului structural provocat de dispariti regionale, sectoriale i de incompatibilitile calificrilor cu piaa muncii. Adoptarea i punerea n aplicare a noii strategii de inovare ar putea contribui, de asemenea, la asigurarea unei creteri durabile pe termen lung. Avnd n vedere c economia Finlandei este foarte mare consumatoare de energie, creterea i potenialul de productivitate ale acesteia ar obine avantaje n urma mbuntirii eficienei energetice. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit.

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SUEDIA
1. Creterea PIB-ului Suediei a ncetinit, scznd de la 2,5% n 2007 la 0,5% n 2008, ca urmare a cererii externe reduse, a scderii rapide a ncrederii consumatorilor i a ntreprinderilor, a prbuirii pieelor bursiere i a declinului pieei locuinelor. Se estimeaz c ncetinirea va continua n 2009. n 2008, inflaia era de 3,3%, dar aceasta ar trebui s scad n 2009. Suedia a nregistrat un excedent bugetar de 2,3% din PIB n 2008. n 2008, Suedia a continuat s nregistreze excedente importante de cont curent (6,2% din PIB). ncetinirea economiei determin scderea creterii ocuprii locurilor de munc. omajul va nregistra probabil o cretere semnificativ fa de nivelul actual de aproximativ 6%. Este probabil ca sectoarele cele mai afectate de criz s fie industria prelucrtoare i construciile, precum i serviciile private i comerul cu amnuntul. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Suedia a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Suedia a anunat recent msuri, inclusiv sprijin pentru sectorul automobilelor i cel al construciilor i reducerea fiscalitii asupra ntreprinderilor. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Suedia ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Suedia a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Ca rspuns la necesitatea concentrrii eforturilor pe concuren, guvernul a comandat un studiu aprofundat al cauzelor lipsei de concuren. n vederea creterii ofertei de for de munc, au fost anunate msuri de reducere suplimentar a taxelor i impozitelor i a contribuiilor angajatorilor, precum i de cretere a productivitii i a capacitii de ocupare a forei de munc. Cu toate c economia Suediei este solid i reforma economic progreseaz, s-ar putea realiza progrese suplimentare n privina consolidrii concurenei i a creterii ratei de ocupare a forei de munc n rndul anumitor categorii. Consolidarea concurenei ar permite intensificarea productivitii i a creterii i reducerea diferenei de preuri ntre Suedia i restul Uniunii. Creterea participrii pe piaa muncii a omerilor de lung durat, a lucrtorilor care revin din concediu medical, a tinerilor i a lucrtorilor provenii din imigraie ar putea permite, de asemenea, relansarea creterii i continuarea mbuntirii sustenabilitii finanelor publice. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit.

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REGATUL UNIT
1. Economia Regatului Unit a ncetinit semnificativ, creterea PIB-ului scznd de la 3% n 2007 la 0,7% n 2008 i se preconizeaz c aceast tendin va continua n 2009. ncetinirea creterii economice reflect impactul crizei financiare actuale i un declin net al pieei locuinelor, care au condus la scderea marcat a cererii interne i, n paralel, reducerea consumului privat i a investiiilor. Inflaia a atins un nivel record de 4% n 2008, dar se ateapt ca aceasta s ating un nivel foarte sczut n 2009. Finanele publice se deterioreaz rapid sub impactul ncetinirii creterii economice i al relaxrii fiscale discreionare semnificative. Se preconizeaz ca deficitul public s creasc pn la 5,7% din PIB n anul financiar 2008-2009 i s continue aceast tendin n urmtorul an financiar. ncepnd cu mijlocul anului 2007, s-a nregistrat o depreciere semnificativ a ratei de schimb. Se preconizeaz c deficitul de cont curent va crete semnificativ n 2009, fa de valoarea sa de 2,3% din PIB n 2008. Rata ocuprii forei de munc a crescut uor n 2008, dar se ateapt ca aceasta s scad odat cu contractarea economiei n 2009. Rata omajului a crescut pn la aproximativ 6% n cursul anului 2008 i se ateapt ca aceast tendin s continue n 2009. Sectoarele cele mai afectate de pierderile de locuri de munc sunt serviciile financiare i construciile, ns este probabil ca efectele s se simt n ansamblul sectorului privat. Categoria tinerilor s-a confruntat cu o cretere mai accentuat a ratei omajului. Avnd n vedere c sectorul financiar ar putea fi afectat n mod deosebit, multe dintre locurile de munc pierdute ar putea fi cele ale lucrtorilor cu nivel ridicat de calificare. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, Regatul Unit a adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a stabiliza sectorul bancar, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. n plus, ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice, Regatul Unit a anunat recent msuri, inclusiv reducerea TVA-ului, acordarea de asisten financiar pentru IMM-uri i accelerarea investiiilor. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de Regatul Unit ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programului de stabilitate actualizat cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 au un impact imediat i ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Regatul Unit a continuat punerea n aplicare a programului su naional de reform. Au fost luate o serie de msuri pentru creterea nivelului de calificare i continuarea mbuntirii perspectivelor de ncadrare n munc ale categoriilor cele mai defavorizate. Au fost anunate msuri pe termen scurt de sprijinire a persoanelor fizice i a angajatorilor n vederea dezvoltrii calificrilor n perioada ncetinirii creterii economice. n plus, s-au realizat progrese satisfctoare n privina aplicrii politicii n domeniul cercetrii, dezvoltrii i inovrii. Cu toate c s-au luat anumite

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msuri pentru creterea ofertei de locuine pe termen mediu, este dificil de stabilit dac aceste msuri vor fi eficace avnd n vedere condiiile actuale ale pieei. 6. Avnd n vedere gradul de ndatorare a gospodriilor britanice, importana sectorului financiar pentru economie i ajustarea important n curs de desfurare pe piaa locuinelor, Regatul Unit este n special expus la deteriorarea puternic a condiiilor de pe pieele financiare mondiale. Este probabil ca potenialul de cretere s fi fost afectat de criza financiar. Reformele structurale au facilitat recuperarea recent n privina productivitii, ns Regatul Unit se confrunt n continuare cu o provocare n acest domeniu. Eforturile de reform permanente, inclusiv aplicarea politicilor n vederea mbuntirii competenelor, cercetrii, dezvoltrii i inovrii, n combinaie cu nscrierea poziiei fiscale a Regatului Unit pe o traiectorie de mbuntire durabil pe termen mediu, constituie elemente eseniale pentru consolidarea potenialului de cretere i a rezistenei economiei britanice la ocurile viitoare. Punerea n aplicare a pachetului de msuri n domeniul energiei i al schimbrilor climatice, aprobat de Consiliul European, va necesita o atenie deosebit. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand Regatului Unit s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand Regatului Unit: s menin o poziie fiscal durabil pe termen mediu, inclusiv prin msuri de consolidare fiscal menite s amelioreze calitatea finanelor publice; s continue punerea n aplicare a planurilor recente de mbuntire substanial a nivelurilor de competene i s stabileasc o abordare integrat n ceea ce privete ocuparea forei de munc i competenele n scopul creterii productivitii i a oportunitilor oferite grupurilor defavorizate.

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STATELE MEMBRE DIN ZONA EURO


1. Criza financiar mondial a afectat puternic zona euro, care se afl n pragul unei recesiuni. Este probabil ca situaia pieei financiare s rmn tensionat pe o perioad mai lung dect se prevzuse iniial. ncrederea a sczut considerabil n rndul gospodriilor i al ntreprinderilor, iar extinderea crizei are efecte negative asupra exporturilor efectuate de rile din zona euro. Inflaia a sczut puternic n a doua jumtate a anului 2008, situndu-se sub valoarea de referin a BCE, i se preconizeaz ca aceast tendin s continue, atingnd nivelul de aproximativ 1% n cursul anului 2009. S-au nregistrat progrese satisfctoare n privina consolidrii finanelor publice n ultimii ani, ns n prezent se preconizeaz ca deficitele bugetare i datoria s creasc, reflectnd ncetinirea creterii economice i impactul pachetelor financiare de salvare asupra finanelor publice. Evoluia pieei muncii a rezistat, pn recent, relativ bine n faa ncetinirii creterii economice datorit, de exemplu, reformelor realizate n acest domeniu, dar va fi afectat n mod negativ n viitorul apropiat prin creterea estimat a ratei omajului cu 2-3 puncte procentuale pn n 2010. Cu toate c unele ri sunt afectate n mai mare msur dect altele, se preconizeaz c niciun stat membru din zona euro nu va fi ocolit. Ca rspuns la criza financiar i n cadrul unei abordri coordonate a UE, multe state membre din zona euro au adoptat msuri de sprijin n favoarea sectorului financiar pentru a-i stabiliza sectoarele bancare, msuri care ar trebui s contribuie i la facilitarea accesului la fonduri i s sprijine astfel economia n sens larg, consolidnd stabilitatea macroeconomic. Punerea n aplicare energic a acestor planuri naionale de salvare este esenial pentru meninerea stabilitii financiare, restabilirea funcionrii normale a pieelor creditelor interbancare i s sprijine accesul ntreprinderilor i al gospodriilor la credite. n plus, avnd n vedere aria extins a ocurilor, riscurile semnificative aferente unei contractri puternice a activitii economice i scderea rapid a inflaiei, s-a procedat la relaxarea politicilor macroeconomice n vederea sprijinirii cererii. BCE a redus n mod considerabil rata principal de refinanare, sprijinind astfel creterea neinflaionist i contribuind la stabilitatea financiar. Politica fiscal trebuie s joace un rol deosebit n conjunctura actual avnd n vedere c piaa interbancar slbit reduce eficacitatea politicii monetare. Comisia va evalua msurile adoptate de statele membre din zona euro ca rspuns la ncetinirea creterii economice n conformitate cu principiile stabilite n Planul european de redresare economic, astfel cum a fost adoptat de ctre Consiliul European. n ceea ce privete finanele publice, Comisia va evalua compatibilitatea Programelor de stabilitate actualizate ale statelor membre din zona euro cu Pactul de stabilitate i de cretere. Mai mult, msurile recomandate la punctul 7 au un impact imediat i ar trebui puse n aplicare rapid, n special pentru a ncuraja tranziia ctre o economie cu emisii sczute de carbon i pentru a spori potenialul de cretere pe termen lung. Statele membre din zona euro au continuat punerea n aplicare a reformelor care rspund la recomandrile destinate zonei euro, iar dimensiunea zona euro se reflect, dei n grade diferite, n strategiile globale de reform, anunate n

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programele naionale de reform ale acestor state. Situaia economic fragil subliniaz necesitatea soluionrii deficienelor structurale care exist n continuare inclusiv pe pieele produselor i a muncii, care sunt eseniale pentru ajustrile necesare n cadrul unei uniuni monetare. 6. Potenialul de cretere al statelor membre din zona euro depinde n foarte mare msur de intensificarea reformelor menite s faciliteze tranziiile pe piaa muncii i s mbunteasc concurena n sectoarele serviciilor. n plus, n special n economiile cu dezechilibre externe importante, evoluia costurilor muncii ar trebui s in seama de poziiile concureniale din zona euro. n lumina evalurii de ctre Comisie a progreselor realizate, Consiliul recomand statelor membre din zona euro s continue punerea n aplicare a reformelor structurale. n special, se recomand statelor membre din zona euro: s asigure punerea n aplicare coerent i la timp a ntregii legislaii UE nou adoptate sau n curs de adoptare n domeniul serviciilor financiare i s adopte msuri de consolidare a cooperrii dintre autoritile naionale n domeniul combaterii, gestionrii i soluionrii crizelor; ca urmare a stimulului fiscal injectat n timpul actualei crize economice, statele membre din zona euro ar trebui s adopte msurile adecvate n vederea sustenabilitii finanelor publice. Dac este necesar, s soluioneze dezechilibrele macroeconomice i s limiteze divergenele persistente n materie de inflaie sau tendinele de cretere dezechilibrat; s depun eforturi pentru ameliorarea calitii finanelor publice prin revizuirea cheltuielilor publice i a sistemului fiscal i prin modernizarea administraiei publice, n scopul consolidrii productivitii i inovrii, contribuind astfel la creterea economic, ocuparea forei de munc i la sustenabilitatea fiscal, sprijinite de o pia unic dinamic i competitiv; s pun n aplicare n mod energic principiile comunitare comune de flexicuritate n conformitate cu circumstanele specifice ale fiecrui stat membru i pe deplin compatibile cu bugete publice solide i durabile; s adopte msuri de promovare a mobilitii forei de munc la nivel transfrontalier, interregional, intersectorial i interprofesional. 8. Pentru a maximiza sinergiile dintre politici, care sunt mai puternice n cadrul unei uniuni monetare i pentru a spori implicarea factorilor politici n reforme, statele membre ale zonei euro ar trebui s continue consolidarea coordonrii politicilor, n contextul Eurogrupului i sporirea eficacitii msurilor de extindere, s pun n aplicare monitorizarea convenit a evoluiei competitivitii i s menin poziii coerente n cadrul forurilor internaionale. Acordurile existente privind reprezentarea extern a zonei euro ar trebui puse pe deplin n aplicare.

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COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES

Brussels, 11.12.2007 COM(2007) 803 final PART V

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE SPRING EUROPEAN COUNCIL INTEGRATED GUIDELINES FOR GROWTH AND JOBS (2008-2010)

including a COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION on the broad guidelines for the economic policies of the Member States and the Community (under Article 99 of the EC Treaty) and a Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States (under Article 128 of the EC Treaty)

(presented by the Commission)

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Explanatory Memorandum......................................................................................................... 3 The state of the EU Economy .................................................................................................... 4 Part 1 - Commission Recommendation on the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (20052008)........................................................................................................................................... 7 Section A Macroeconomic Policies for Growth and Jobs....................................................... 8 A.1 A.2 Macroeconomic policies creating the conditions for more growth and jobs ............... 8 Ensuring a dynamic and well-functioning euro area.................................................. 11

Section B Microeconomic reforms to raise Europe's growth potential................................. 13 B.1 B.2 Knowledge and innovation engines of sustainable growth................................... 13 Making Europe a more attractive place to invest and work....................................... 18

Part 2 The Employment Guidelines (2008-2010) ................................................................ 23 ANNEX.................................................................................................................................... 26 1. 2. 3. Attract and retain more people in employment, increase labour supply and modernise social protection systems............................................................................................ 28 Improve adaptability of workers and enterprises ....................................................... 30 Increase investment in human capital through better education and skills................ 32

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EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM In the Spring Council in 2005, Heads of State and Government renewed the Lisbon Strategy and placed its focus on growth and jobs. They organised the Lisbon Strategy around threeyear cycles, whilst strengthening ownership and accountability by clearly distinguishing between reforms which should be undertaken by Member States and those for which the Community should take the lead. As one of the instruments to implement the Strategy, the Council approved a set of integrated guidelines and adopted the necessary legal instruments based on Articles 99 and 128 of the Treaty. These guidelines are meant to guide Member States, as they implement national reforms, through their National Reform Programmes (NRP). The integrated guidelines will expire at the end of the first three-year cycle, and will therefore need to be renewed for the next cycle. The re-launch of the Lisbon Strategy in Spring 2005 put Europe back on track to create sustainable growth and jobs. During the first cycle of the renewed Lisbon Strategy (2005-2008) Member States have stepped up the implementation of structural reforms, although the pace and intensity differs between them. Whilst most of the upturn of the EU economy is due to cyclical factors, Lisbon-type reforms have helped increase the growth potential of Member States' economies. They have also helped to make the European economy more resilient in dealing with external shocks, such as higher energy and commodity prices and currency fluctuations. Further integration of Member States economies and alignment of business cycles, especially in the euro area, will allow for a monetary policy geared better to Member States needs. Viewed as a whole, therefore, the strategy has helped to speed up the pace of reform, helping Member States to implement sometimes difficult but necessary change to address the challenges of globalisation. The new governance of the Lisbon Strategy, with its emphasis on partnership between the European and the Member States level, has proved its worth. An independent evaluation of the Integrated Guidelines concluded that they constitute a comprehensive and open framework which accommodates the essential policy developments related to growth and employment in Europe. The evaluation also concluded that stakeholders wish to focus on implementation, as the guidelines remain relevant. The integrated guidelines, hence, are fulfilling their role and thus do not require revision. However, more remains to be done to prepare the EU and its Member States for globalisation and to strengthen the foundations for economic success in the medium- to longer term. At the same time they need to keep pace with fast changing social realities (longer working lives, increasingly diverse family structures, new patterns of mobility and diversity) The EU must better adapt its existing policies and instruments, but also build upon new policies such as the Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in order to better respond to the legitimate concerns of people adversely affected by changes in trade patterns and by economic and social change. The goal of making the EU a dynamic, competitive, knowledge based society remains essential. Within this framework, an even higher priority needs to be given to the social dimension, flexicurity policies, energy and climate change and to education and skills as elements to modernise European markets, promote innovation and ensure new opportunities for citizens in a knowledge society. The Lisbon toolbox is already bringing the different strands of policy together to offer a more comprehensive vision of how the EU and Member States can work in harness to tackle the complex issues facing Europe today. The common objective during the next cycle should be to use the Lisbon instruments, including the country-specific recommendations as adopted by Council in 2007 linked to the integrated guidelines, to full effect in order to speed up the effective delivery of outstanding reforms.

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The integrated guidelines for the period 2008-2010 are presented in one comprehensive document with two parts: Part 1 The Broad Economic Policy Guidelines Section A deals with the contribution that macroeconomic policies can make in this respect. Section B focuses on the measures and policies that the Union and the Member States must carry out in order to make Europe a more attractive place to invest and work and to boost knowledge and innovation for growth. Part 2 The Employment Guidelines This part of the integrated guidelines includes the proposal for a Council decision on the Employment Guidelines, on which the European Parliament, the European Social and Economic Committee and the Committee of the Regions will be consulted, in accordance with Article 128 of the Treaty. For Member States both economic, and employment policy, are a matter of common concern (Articles 99 and 126). For the purpose of multilateral surveillance and to ensure closer cooperation of economic and employment policies, Member States report on measures taken under these guidelines through National Reform Programmes (and Annual Implementation Reports). Based on these reports, where it is established that the economic or employment policies of a Member State are not consistent with the Integrated Guidelines, the Council may, using the possibilities under Articles 99 and 128, make recommendations to the Member State concerned. THE STATE OF THE EU ECONOMY Economic conditions have been favourable since 2005 when the Lisbon Growth and Jobs Strategy was re-launched, although recent months have witnessed growing downside risks. Growth picked up to almost 3 % in 2007, increasingly driven by domestic demand and leaving Europe better placed to cope with adverse external shocks. However, recent financial turmoil and the slowdown of the US economy have substantially increased the risks to the downside, and the outlook for 2008-2009 indicates a deceleration in growth. Tighter financial conditions will take their toll on investment growth, in particular of construction investment, while the good performance of the labour market will support private consumption growth. While most of the recent upturn is cyclical in nature, there is some evidence of a structural component linked to past reforms enacted by EU Member States. Structural improvements have been most evident in labour markets, with the unemployment rate declining to below 7% and the employment rate approaching 65%, with particular strong increases recorded amongst women and older workers. Since mid-2005, productivity growth in the EU has picked up and while most of the acceleration in productivity growth can be attributed to cyclical factors, it does seem that the decade long decline in trend productivity growth has been interrupted. It is encouraging that job creation and productivity improvements have occurred simultaneously for the first time in a decade. Notwithstanding the favourable developments over recent years, the recent international turbulences call for action to increase the resilience of the economy and to use the existing scope to improve both labour utilisation and labour productivity. In some countries, unfortunately, reform seems to be slowing down. The EU's employment rate has remained low relative to our competitors. Moreover, the rate of unemployment, especially of long-term

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nature and amongst young people, remains far too high. While many manufacturing enterprises have been sufficiently productive to withstand international competition, productivity growth in several service sectors has stalled. Looking forward the economic and budgetary impact of ageing populations is fast approaching, with the large baby boom cohorts coming towards retirement in many countries. This makes it imperative to reduce public debt at an accelerated pace and to modernise pension and health care systems. An emerging challenge is also to improve capacity of the financial system to respond to shocks in 2007. Financial market transparency, effective competition rules and appropriate regulation and supervision will continue to be crucial for both confidence and performance. As will be social partner enabled wage developments compatible with employment growth and macroeconomic stability. The EU now has an opportunity to pursue, even accelerate, structural reform efforts. The policy challenge is to avoid complacency and to continue addressing the structural weaknesses that are still holding back job creation, innovative activity, the adoption of technological progress, and limit the EU capacity to respond to international shocks. At the same time, there is a need to pursue macroeconomic policies that succeed in ensuring stability, containing inflationary pressures and reducing public budget deficits. INTEGRATED GUIDELIINES FOR GROWTH AND JOBS (2008-2010) Macroeconomic guidelines (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) To secure economic stability for sustainable growth. To safeguard economic and financial sustainability as a basis for increased employment. To promote a growth and employment orientated efficient allocation of resources. To ensure that wage developments contribute to macroeconomic stability and growth. To promote greater coherence between macroeconomic, structural and employment policies. To contribute to a dynamic and well-functioning EMU.

Microeconomic guidelines (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) (12) (13) (14) (15) To increase and improve investment in R&D, in particular by private business. To facilitate all forms of innovation. To facilitate the spread and effective use of ICT and build a fully inclusive information society. To strengthen the competitive advantages of its industrial base. To encourage the sustainable use of resources and strengthen the synergies between environmental protection and growth. To extend and deepen the internal market. To ensure open and competitive markets inside and outside Europe and to reap the benefits of globalisation. To create a more competitive business environment and encourage private initiative through better regulation. To promote a more entrepreneurial culture and create a supportive environment for SMEs.

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To expand, improve and link up European infrastructure and complete priority crossborder projects.

Employment guidelines (17) (18) (19) (20) (21) (22) (23) (24) Implement employment policies aimed at achieving full employment, improving quality and productivity at work, and strengthening social and territorial cohesion. Promote a lifecycle approach to work. Ensure inclusive labour markets, enhance work attractiveness, and make work pay for job seekers, including disadvantaged people and the inactive. Improve matching of labour market needs. Promote flexibility combined with employment security and reduce labour market segmentation, having due regard to the role of the social partners. Ensure employment-friendly labour cost developments and wage setting mechanisms. Expand and improve investment in human capital. Adapt education and training systems in response to new competence requirements. * * Consequently, the Commission: recommends the following broad guidelines for the economic policies of the Member States and the Community, in accordance with Article 99(2) of the EC Treaty, and proposes the following Council Decision on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States, in accordance with Article 128(2) of the EC Treaty. *

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Part 1 Commission Recommendation on the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (2005-2008)

COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION on the broad guidelines for the economic policies of the Member States and the Community

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Section A Macroeconomic Policies for Growth and Jobs


A.1 Macroeconomic policies creating the conditions for more growth and jobs

Securing economic stability to raise employment and growth potential As macroeconomic stability is secured by a sound mix of many economic policies, challenges to stabilisation should be addressed by macroeconomic measures as well as by implementing structural reforms in product, labour and capital markets. Monetary policies can contribute by pursuing price stability and, without prejudice to this objective, by supporting other general economic policies with regard to growth and employment. For new Member States, it will be important that monetary and exchange rate policies contribute towards achieving convergence. Exchange rate regimes constitute an important part of the overall economic and monetary policy framework and should be orientated towards achieving real and sustainable nominal convergence. Participation in ERM II, at an appropriate stage after accession, should help those endeavours. Securing a sound budgetary position will allow the full and symmetric play of the automatic budgetary stabilisers over the cycle with a view to stabilising output around potential. For those Member States that have already achieved sound budgetary positions, the challenge is to retain that position. For the remaining Member States, it is vital to take all the necessary corrective measures to achieve their medium term budgetary objectives in particular if economic conditions improve, thus avoiding pro-cyclical policies and putting themselves in a position in which sufficient room for the full play of automatic stabilisers over the cycle is ensured prior to the next economic downturn. In particular, an annual fiscal adjustment of 0.5% of GDP as a benchmark (more under cyclically favourable conditions) should be achieved in euro area and ERM II Member States. In line with the 2005 reform of the Stability and Growth Pact, for individual Member States the medium-term budgetary objectives (MTO's) are differentiated according to the diversity of economic and budgetary positions and developments as well as of fiscal risk to the sustainability of public finances, also in the face of prospective demographic changes. Moreover, in accordance with the report on the SGP reform endorsed by the European Council on 22 March 2005, introducing or strengthening national fiscal rules and institutions, including monitoring mechanisms can usefully complement the Pact and support its objectives. An additional macroeconomic policy challenge for some Member States is to operate in an environment of robust catching up, which is to varying degrees accompanied by external deficits, rapid credit expansion and financial deepening. Fiscal restraint, effective financial supervision and promoting competitiveness are essential in order to contain external and internal imbalances. A cautious fiscal stance is one important way to keep external deficits within the range where sound external financing can be secured. Fiscal restraint can also limit the risk of surging domestic demand causing persistently higher inflation and the occurrence of macro-financial risks which could cause swings in real exchange rates and a protracted loss of competitiveness. Guideline 1. To secure economic stability for sustainable growth 1. In line with the Stability and Growth Pact, Member States should respect their mediumterm budgetary objectives. As long as this objective has not yet been achieved, they should take all the necessary corrective measures to achieve it. Member States should avoid pro-

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cyclical fiscal policies. Furthermore, it is necessary that those Member States having an excessive deficit take effective action in order to ensure a prompt correction of excessive deficits. 2. Member States posting current account deficits that risk being unsustainable should work towards correcting them by implementing structural reforms, boosting external competitiveness and, where appropriate, contributing to their correction via fiscal policies. See also integrated guideline To contribute to a dynamic and well-functioning EMU (No 6). To safeguard economic and fiscal sustainability as a basis for increased employment Europes ageing population poses serious risks to the long-term sustainability of the European Union economy in the form of an increased debt burden, lower potential output per capita, due to the reduction in the working age population, and difficulties in financing the pension, social insurance and health care systems. As documented in the Commission's Sustainability Report, a substantial sustainability gap for the EU in aggregate is likely to emerge. Several Member States are exposed to high sustainability risk, and a number of others to medium risk. Member States should address the economic implications of ageing by, as part of the well established three pronged strategy for tackling the budgetary implications of ageing, pursuing a satisfactory pace of debt reduction and providing incentives to raise employment rates and increase labour supply so as to offset the impact of future declines in the number of persons of working age. In order to accomplish this further budgetary consolidation is necessary, going beyond recent progress, and resulting in the attainment of the MTO's by all Member States. It is also essential to modernise social protection systems so as to ensure that they are financially viable, providing incentives to the working age population to actively participate in the labour market, while at the same time ensuring that they fulfil their goals in terms of access and adequacy. Action on health prevention and promotion would help to increase healthy life years and ensure the sustainability of health care systems. In particular, improved interaction between social protection systems and labour markets can remove distortions and encourage the extension of working lives against a background of increased life expectancy. Guideline 2. To safeguard economic and fiscal sustainability as a basis for increased employment Member States should, in view of the projected costs of ageing populations, 1. undertake a satisfactory pace of government debt reduction to strengthen public finances; 2. reform and re-enforce pension, social insurance and health care systems to ensure that they are financially viable, socially adequate and accessible; 3. take measures to increase labour market participation and labour supply especially amongst women, young and older workers, and promote a lifecycle approach to work in order to increase hours worked in the economy. See also integrated guideline Promote a lifecycle approach to work (Nos 18, and 4, 19, 21). Promote a growth, employment orientated and efficient allocation of resources Well-designed tax and expenditure systems that promote an efficient allocation of resources are a necessity for the public sector to make a full contribution towards growth and

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employment, without jeopardising the goals of economic stability and sustainability. This can be achieved by redirecting expenditure towards growth-enhancing categories such as Research and Development (R&D), physical infrastructure, environmentally friendly technologies, human capital and knowledge. Member States can also help to control other expenditure categories through the use of expenditure rules and performance budgeting and by putting assessment mechanisms in place to ensure that individual reform measures and overall reform packages are well-designed. A key priority for the EU economy is to ensure that tax structures and their interaction with benefit systems promote higher growth through more employment and investment. Guideline 3. To promote a growth- and employment-orientated and efficient allocation of resources Member States should, without prejudice to guidelines on economic stability and sustainability, re-direct the composition of public expenditure towards growth-enhancing categories in line with the Lisbon strategy, adapt tax structures to strengthen growth potential, ensure that mechanisms are in place to assess the relationship between public spending and the achievement of policy objectives, and ensure the overall coherence of reform packages. See also integrated guideline To encourage the sustainable use of resources and strengthen the synergies between environmental protection and growth (No 11). Ensure that wage developments contribute to growth and stability and complement structural reforms Wage developments can contribute to stable macroeconomic conditions and an employment friendly policy mix. This requires that real wage increases are in line with the underlying rate of productivity growth over the medium term and are consistent with a rate of profitability that allows for productivity, capacity and employment-enhancing investment. This requires that temporary factors such as variation in productivity caused by cyclical factors or one off rises in the headline rate of inflation do not cause an unsustainable trend in wage growth and that wage developments reflect local labour market conditions. In countries with declining market shares, real wages would need to grow below productivity in order to restore competitiveness. These issues need to be taken into account in the continued dialogue and information exchange between monetary and fiscal authorities and the social partners via the Macroeconomic Dialogue. Guideline 4. To ensure that wage developments contribute to macroeconomic stability and growth And to increase adaptability, Member States should encourage the right framework conditions for wage-bargaining systems, while fully respecting the role of the social partners, with a view to promote nominal wage and labour cost developments consistent with price stability and the trend in productivity over the medium term, taking into account differences across skills and local labour market conditions. See also integrated guideline Ensure employment-friendly labour cost developments and wage-setting mechanisms (No 22).

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Promote coherent macroeconomic, structural and employment policies The role of sound macroeconomic policies is to provide conditions conducive to employment creation and growth. Structural reforms, consistent with sound fiscal positions in the short and medium term, are essential to increase productivity and employment in the medium-term, thus leading to the full realisation and strengthening of growth potential. They also contribute to fiscal sustainability, macroeconomic stability and resilience to shocks. At the same time, appropriate macro-economic policies are key for reaping the full growth and employment benefits of structural reforms. A key feature of Member States overall economic strategy is to ensure that they have a consistent set of structural policies that support the macroeconomic framework and vice versa. In particular, market reforms need to improve the overall adaptability and adjustment capacity of economies in response to changes in both cyclical economic conditions and longer-term trends such as globalisation and technology. In this regard, reform of tax and benefit systems are important in order to make work pay and avoid any disincentive for labour market participation. Guideline 5. To promote greater coherence between macroeconomic, structural and employment policies Member States should pursue labour and product markets reforms that at the same time increases the growth potential and support the macroeconomic framework by increasing flexibility, factor mobility and adjustment capacity in labour and product markets in response to globalisation, technological advances, demand shift, and cyclical changes. In particular, Member States should: renew impetus in tax and benefit reforms to improve incentives and to make work pay; increase adaptability of labour markets combining employment flexibility and security; and improve employability by investing in human capital. See also integrated guideline Promote flexibility combined with employment security and reduce labour market segmentation, having due regard to the role of the social partners (No 21; No 19). A.2 Ensuring a dynamic and well-functioning euro area

Since the creation of the euro area almost ten years ago, the euro has embedded economic stability in euro area countries, shielding them from exchange rate turbulence. Subdued growth performance and persistent divergences in growth and inflation raise questions as to whether internal adjustment in the euro area is working smoothly, suggesting that economic policies and governance structures may not yet have fully adjusted to draw the full benefit from the monetary union. Since euro-area countries can no longer make independent use of monetary or exchange rate policies, [further] reforms are key to develop alternative mechanisms to help their economies adjust to economic shocks and competitiveness challenges. The policy mix in the euro area needs to support economic growth while safeguarding longterm sustainability and stability. At the current juncture, it is important that the policy mix underpins confidence among consumers and investors, which also implies commitment to medium-term stability. Budgetary policy has to ensure a fiscal position which can support price stability, and is consistent with the need to prepare for the impact of ageing populations on the one hand and to accomplish a composition of public expenditure and revenues that fosters economic growth on the other. Euro-area Member States committed accelerate adjustment towards the MTO so that most of them would achieve their MTOs in 2008 or 2009

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and all of them should aim for 2010 at the latest. Due to the high share of the public sector in economic activity in the euro area, the quality of public finances has a considerable influence on economic performance. Therefore, it is crucial that resources are spent in a growthsupportive manner and distortions arising from the financing of public activity are minimised. Comprehensive structural reforms will allow the euro area to raise its growth potential over time and ensure that stronger growth does not build up potential for higher inflation. Reforms catering for more adaptable labour markets, more competition on product markets and deeper financial market integration accompanied by growth and stability-oriented macroeconomic policies are particularly salient for euro area Member States as they have an important impact on their capacity to adequately adjust to shocks. To contribute to international economic stability and better represent its economic interests, it is critical for the euro area to play its full role in international monetary and economic policy cooperation. While the appointment of a Eurogroup President for a two-year term of office as of 2005 has brought greater stability to the external representation of the euro area, further steps are needed to improve the external representation of the euro area, so that the euro area can take a leading strategic role in the development of the global economic system that is commensurate with its economic weight. Spill-over effects are most powerful and the need for a common agenda is strongest in the euro area. Sharing a common currency and a common monetary policy offers an extra dimension to coordination that could strengthen the role of the euro area in delivering growth and jobs for the whole EU. The Commission will present a comprehensive review of the functioning of EMU to mark its tenth anniversary, with ideas on how policies, coordination and governance can help the euro area to work to best effect. Guideline 6. To contribute to a dynamic and well-functioning EMU, euro area Member States need to ensure better co-ordination of their economic and budgetary policies, in particular: 1. pay particular attention to fiscal sustainability of their public finances in full compliance with the Stability and Growth Pact; 2. contribute to a policy mix that supports economic recovery and is compatible with price stability, and thereby enhances confidence among business and consumers in the short run, while being compatible with long term sustainable growth; 3. press forward with structural reforms that will increase euro area long-term potential growth and will improve its productivity, competitiveness and economic adjustment to asymmetric shocks, paying particular attention to employment policies; and 4. ensure that the euro areas influence in the global economic system is commensurate with its economic weight.

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Section B Microeconomic reforms to raise Europe's growth potential


Structural reforms are essential to increase the EUs growth potential and support macroeconomic stability, because they increase the efficiency and adaptability of the European economy. Productivity gains are fuelled by competition, investment and innovation. Raising Europes growth potential requires making progress in both job creation and productivity growth. After lagging US productivity growth for more than a decade, productivity growth in the EU has accelerated since mid-2005. Sustaining this improvement is a major challenge facing the Union, especially in the light of its ageing population. Population ageing alone is estimated to reduce by nearly half the current rate of potential growth. A continuation of the productivity upswing, and increasing the hours worked are thus indispensable to maintain and increase future living standards, and to ensure a high level of social protection. B.1 Knowledge and innovation engines of sustainable growth

Knowledge accumulated through investment in R & D, innovation, education and life long learning, is a key driver of long-run growth. Policies aimed at increasing investment in knowledge and strengthening the innovation capacity of the EU economy are at the heart of the Lisbon strategy for growth and employment. This is why national and regional programmes for the period 2007-2013 have been increasingly targeted on investments in these fields in accordance with the Lisbon objectives. Increase and improve investment in R & D, with a view to establishing the European Knowledge Area A high level of R&D is crucial for our future competitiveness. R&D affects economic growth through various channels: first, it can contribute to the creation of new markets or production processes; second, it can lead to incremental improvements in already existing products and production processes; and third, it increases the capacity of a country to absorb new technologies. The EU is currently spending about 1.85% of GDP on R&D (although ranging from below 0.5 % to nearly 4 % of GDP across Member States). The level of R&D spending has remained slightly decreased since 2000. Moreover, only around 55 % of research spending in the EU is financed by the business sector. Low levels of private R&D investments are identified as one of the main explanations for the EU/US innovation gap. More rapid progress towards establishing the European Research Area, including meeting the collective EU target of raising research investment to 3 % of GDP is needed. Member States are invited to report on their R&D expenditure targets for 2010 and the measures to achieve these in their National Reform programmes and the annual Progress Reports paying attention in particular to integrating the European dimension within their national R&D policies. The main challenge is to put in place framework conditions, instruments and incentives for companies to invest more in research. Public research expenditure must be made more effective and the links between public research and the private sector have to be improved. Poles and networks of excellence should be strengthened, better overall use should be made of public support mechanisms to boost private sector innovation, and a better leverage effect of public investments and a modernised management of research institutions and universities should be ensured. It is also essential to

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ensure that companies operate in a competitive environment since competition provides an important incentive to private spending on innovation. In addition, a determined effort must be made to increase the number and quality of researchers active in Europe, in particular by attracting more students into scientific, technical and engineering disciplines, and enhancing the career development and the transnational and intersectoral mobility of researchers, and reducing barriers to mobility of researchers and students. The international dimension of R & D should be strengthened in terms of joint financing, development of a more critical mass at the EU level in critical areas requiring large funds and through reducing barriers to mobility of researchers and students. Guideline 7. To increase and improve investment in R & D, in particular by private business, the overall objective for 2010 of 3 % of GDP is confirmed with an adequate split between private and public investment, Member States will define specific intermediate levels. Member States should further develop a mix of measures appropriate to foster R & D, in particular business R & D, through: 1. improved framework conditions and ensuring that companies operate in a sufficiently competitive and attractive environment; 2. more effective and efficient public expenditure on R & D and developing PPPs; 3. developing and strengthening centres of excellence of educational and research institutions in Member States, as well as creating new ones where appropriate, and improving the cooperation and transfer of technologies between public research institute and private enterprises; 4. developing and making better use of incentives to leverage private R & D; 5. modernising the management of research institutions and universities; 6. ensuring a sufficient supply of qualified researchers by attracting more students into scientific, technical and engineering disciplines and enhancing the career development and the European, international as well as inter-sectoral mobility of researchers and development personnel. Facilitate innovation The dynamism of the European economy is dependent on its innovative capacity. The economic framework conditions for innovation need to be in place. This implies wellfunctioning financial and product markets as well as efficient and affordable means to enforce intellectual property rights. Innovations are often introduced to the market by new enterprises, which may meet particular difficulties in obtaining finance. Measures to encourage the creation and growth of innovative enterprises, including improving access to finance, should therefore enhance innovative activity1. Technology diffusion, and policies to better integrate national innovation and education systems, can be fostered by the development of innovation

The EU's broad based innovation strategy therefore addresses intellectual property rights, standardisation, the use of public procurement to stimulate innovation, joint technology initiatives, boosting innovation in lead markets, such as cooperation between higher education, research and business, encouraging innovation in regions, innovation in services and non-technological innovation, and improving businesses' access to risk capital.

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poles and networks as well as by innovation support services targeted at SMEs. Knowledge transfer via researcher mobility, foreign direct investment (FDI) or imported technology is particularly beneficial for lagging countries and regions. It is also crucial to strengthen further the integration of the knowledge triangle of R&D, education and innovation. The EU's broad based innovation strategy therefore addresses intellectual property rights, standardisation, the use of public procurement to stimulate innovation, joint technology initiatives, boosting innovation in lead markets, cooperation between higher education, research and business, encouraging innovation in regions, innovation in services and nontechnological innovation, and improving businesses' access to risk capital. It is now imperative to deliver a unitary, affordable Community patent, set up an EU-wide jurisdictional system for patent litigation and facilitate the enforcement of intellectual property rights in the Internal Market. Guideline 8. To facilitate all forms of innovation, Member States should focus on: 1. improvements in innovation support services, in particular for dissemination and technology transfer; 2. the creation and development of innovation poles, networks and incubators bringing together universities, research institutions and enterprises, including at regional and local level, helping to bridge the technology gap between regions; 3. the encouragement of cross-border knowledge transfer, including from foreign direct investment; 4. encouraging public procurement of innovative products and services; 5. better access to domestic and international finance; 6.efficient and affordable means to enforce intellectual property rights. The diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICT), in line with the objectives and actions of the i2010 initiative, is also an important way to improve productivity and, consequently, economic growth. The EU has been unable to reap the full benefits of the Information and communication technologies (ICT), due especially to the continuing underinvestment in ICT, organisational innovation and in digital skills. Wider and more effective use of ICT and the establishment of seamless Single Market in electronic communication services are essential for the future competitiveness of European businesses. . It is also important to reduce and prevent fragmentation of the 'e-Internal Market' by putting in place interoperable e-services between the Member States. Guideline 9. To facilitate the spread and effective use of ICT and build a fully inclusive information society, Member States should: 1. encourage the widespread use of ICT in public services, SMEs and households; 2. fix the necessary framework for the related changes in the organisation of work in the economy; 3. promote a strong European industrial presence in the key segments of ICT;

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4. encourage the development of strong ICT and content industries, and well-functioning markets; 5. ensure the security of networks and information, as well as convergence and interoperability in order to establish an information area without frontiers; 6. encourage the deployment of broad band networks, including for the poorly served regions, in order to develop the knowledge economy. See also integrated guideline Promote flexibility combined with employment security and reduce labour market segmentation, having due regard to the role of the social partners (No 21). To strengthen the competitive advantages of the European industrial base A strong industrial base is of key importance for Europe's economy. The competitiveness of the EU depends on the ability of the economy to reorient activities towards sectors with higher productivity. An approach where innovation, employment, regional and other policies are integrated, supports upgrading the EU industrial base. In order to enhance and sustain economic and technological leadership, Europe must increase its capacity to develop and market new technologies, including ICT and environmental technologies. The synergies from jointly addressing research, regulatory and financing challenges at the European level, where for reasons of scale or scope individual Member States cannot successfully tackle market failures in isolation, should be analysed and exploited. The EU has still not managed to fully realise its technological potential. The pooling of European excellence and the development of public-private partnerships and cooperation between Member States where the benefits for society are larger than those for the private sector will help tap this potential. Guideline 10. To strengthen the competitive advantages of its industrial base, Europe needs a solid industrial fabric throughout its territory. The necessary pursuit of a modern and active industrial policy means strengthening the competitive advantages of the industrial base, including by contributing to attractive framework conditions for both manufacturing and services, while ensuring the complementarity of the action at national, transnational and European level. Member States should: 1. start by identifying the added value and competitiveness factors in key industrial sectors, and addressing the challenges of globalisation; 2. also focus on the development of new technologies and markets: (a) this implies in particular commitment to promote new technological initiatives based on public private partnerships and cooperation between Member States, that help tackle genuine market failures; (b) this also implies the creation and development of networks of regional or local clusters across the EU with greater involvement of SMEs. See also integrated guideline Improve matching of labour market needs (No 20).

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Encourage the sustainable use of resources Lasting success for the Union also depends on addressing a range of resource and environmental challenges which, if left unchecked, will act as a brake on future growth. Recent developments have emphasised the importance of energy efficiency and reducing the vulnerability of the European economy to oil prices variations. An integrated approach to climate and energy policy is needed to increase the security of supply, ensure the competitiveness of the EU economy and the availability of affordable energy, and combat climate change. Member States and the Community must both contribute to achieving the EU targets of at least a 20 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 20 % share of renewable energies as well as a 20 % improvement in energy efficiency by 2020. Member States should continue the fight against climate change in order that the global temperature increase does not exceed 2C above pre-industrial levels, and implementing the Kyoto targets in a costeffective way. Member States should halt the loss of biological diversity between now and 2010, in particular by incorporating this requirement into other policies, given the importance of biodiversity for certain economic sectors. The use of market-based instruments, so that prices better reflect environmental damage and social costs, plays a key role in this context. Encouraging the development and use of environment-friendly technologies, the greening of public procurement with particular attention to SMEs, and the removal of environmentally harmful subsidies alongside other policy instruments can improve innovative performance and enhance the contribution to sustainable development. For example, EU companies are amongst the world leaders in developing new renewable energy technologies. In a context of continued upward pressure on energy prices, and accumulating threats to the climate, it is important to push energy efficiency improvements as a contribution to both growth and sustainable development. Guideline 11. To encourage the sustainable use of resources and strengthen the synergies between environmental protection and growth, Member States should: 1. give priority to energy efficiency and co-generation, the development of sustainable, including renewable, energies and the rapid spread of environmentally friendly and ecoefficient technologies, (a) inside the internal market on the one hand particularly in transport and energy, inter alia, in order to reduce the vulnerability of the European economy to oil price variations, and (b) towards the rest of the world on the other hand as a sector with a considerable export potential; 2. promote the development of means of internalisation of external environmental costs and decoupling of economic growth from environmental degradations. The implementation of these priorities should be in line with existing Community legislation and with the actions and instruments proposed in the Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP), inter alia, through, (a) the use of market based instruments, (b) risk funds and R & D funding, (c) the promotion of sustainable production and consumption patterns including the greening of public procurement, (d) paying particular attention to SMEs, and (e) a reform of subsidies that have considerable negative effects on the environment and are incompatible with sustainable development, with a view to eliminating them gradually; 3. pursue the objective of halting the loss of biological diversity between now and 2010, in particular by incorporating this requirement into other policies, given the importance of biodiversity for certain economic sectors;

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4. continue to fight against climate change, while implementing the Kyoto targets in a costeffective way, particularly in regard to SMEs. See also integrated guideline To promote a growth- and employment-orientated and efficient allocation of resources (No 3). B.2 Making Europe a more attractive place to invest and work

The attractiveness of the European Union as an investment location depends, inter alia, on the size and openness of its markets, its regulatory environment, the quality of its labour force and its infrastructure. Extend and deepen the internal market Whilst the internal market for goods is relatively well integrated, services markets remain, legally or de facto, rather fragmented. The complete and timely implementation of the Services Directive will be a significant step towards a fully operational Internal Market for services The elimination of obstacles through administrative burden reduction to cross-border activities it will help unleash the untapped potential of the services sector in Europe. Finally, the full integration of financial markets would raise output and employment by allowing more efficient allocation of capital and creating better conditions for business finance. The further improvement of the transposition of internal market directives should remain a priority in order to reap the benefits of a Single European market. Furthermore, directives are often not implemented or applied correctly, as illustrated by the high number of infringement proceedings launched by the Commission. Member States need to cooperate more positively with each other and with the Commission to ensure that they deliver the full benefits of internal market legislation to their citizens and businesses. For example, there is considerable scope for further improvements in public procurement practices. Such improvements would be reflected in an increase in the share of public procurement publicly advertised. Moreover, more open procurement would lead to significant budgetary savings for the Member States. Guideline 12. To extend and deepen the internal market, Member States should: 1. speed up the transposition of internal market directives; 2. give priority to stricter and better enforcement of internal market legislation; 3. eliminate remaining obstacles to cross-border activity; 4. apply EU public procurement rules effectively; 5. promote a fully operational internal market of services, while preserving the European social model; 6. accelerate financial market integration by a consistent and coherent implementation and enforcement of the Financial Services Action Plan. See also integrated guideline To improve matching of labour market needs (No 20).

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Ensure open and competitive markets inside and outside Europe An open global trading system is of essential interest for the EU. As the world's leading trader and investor, our openness allows lower cost inputs for industry, lower prices for consumers, a competitive stimulus for business, and new investment. At the same time, it is important for the EU to use its influence in international negotiations to seek openness from others. Therefore the EU remains committed to further breaking down barriers to trade and investment, while it will stand firm against unfair practices in trade, investment and distorted competition. Competition policy has played a key role in ensuring a level playing field for firms in the EU. It can also be beneficial to look at the wider regulatory framework around markets, in order to promote the conditions which allow firms to compete effectively. A further opening of European markets to competition can be achieved by a reduction in the general level of remaining State aid. This movement must be accompanied by a redeployment of remaining State aid in favour of support for certain horizontal objectives. The review of State aid rules has facilitated this. Structural reforms that ease market entry are particularly effective for enhancing competition. These will be particularly important in markets that were previously sheltered from competition because of anticompetitive behaviour, the existence of monopolies, overregulation (for example permits, licences, minimum capital requirements, legal barriers, shop opening hours, regulated prices, etc. may hinder the development of an effective competitive environment), or because of trade protection. In addition, the implementation of agreed measures to open up the network industries to competition (in the areas of electricity and gas, transport, telecommunications and postal services) should help ensure lower overall prices and greater choice whilst guaranteeing the delivery of services of general economic interest to all citizens. Competition and regulatory authorities should ensure competition in liberalised markets. The satisfactory delivery of high quality Services of general economic interest at an affordable price must be guaranteed. Empowered consumers who make informed choices will more quickly reward efficient operators. Further efforts are needed to improve the enforcement of consumer legislation which both empowers consumers and opens up the internal market to more intense competition at retail level. External openness to trade and investment, by increasing both exports and imports, is an important spur to growth and employment and can reinforce structural reform. An open and strong system of global trade rules is of vital importance for the European economy. The successful completion of an ambitious and balanced agreement in the framework of the DohaRound as well as the development of bilateral and regional free trade agreements, should further open up markets to trade and investment, thus contributing to raising potential growth. Guideline 13. To ensure open and competitive markets inside and outside Europe and to reap the benefits of globalisation, Member States should give priority to: 1. the removal of regulatory, trade and other barriers that unduly hinder competition; 2. a more effective enforcement of competition policy;

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3. selective screening of markets and regulations by competition and regulatory authorities in order to identify and remove obstacles to competition and market entry; 4. a reduction in State aid that distorts competition; 5. in line with the Community Framework, a redeployment of aid in favour of support for certain horizontal objectives such as research, innovation and the optimisation of human capital and for well-identified market failures; 6. the promotion of external openness, also in a multilateral context; 7. full implementation of the agreed measures to open up the network industries to competition in order to ensure effective competition in European wide integrated markets. At the same time, the delivery, at affordable prices, of effective services of general economic interest has an important role to play in a competitive and dynamic economy. Improve European and national regulation Market regulation is essential to create an environment in which commercial transactions can take place at a competitive price. It also serves to correct market failures or to protect market participants. Nevertheless, the cumulative impact of legislation and regulation may impose substantial economic costs. It is therefore important that legislation is e well-designed, proportionate and regularly reviewed. The quality of the European and national regulatory environments is a matter of joint commitment and shared responsibility at both the EU and Member State level. The better regulation culture has begun to take root in the EU. In the Commissions approach to better regulation, the economic, social and environmental impacts of new or revised legislation are carefully assessed to identify the potential trade-offs and synergies between different policy objectives. Moreover, existing regulation is screened for simplification potential, including of administrative burdens, and its impact on competitiveness is assessed. Finally, a common approach to measuring the administrative costs of new and existing legislation has been agreed, and an ambitious target has been set to achieve a 25 % reduction in the burden arising from EU legislation and its national transposition by 2012. Member States should set equally ambitious reduction targets for administrative burdens stemming from all levels of national legislation. More generally, Member States should adopt a comprehensive and explicit better regulation strategy, including appropriate institutional structures, monitoring tools and resources. Member States should systematically assess costs and benefits of legislative initiatives and revisions. They should improve the quality of regulation, while preserving their objectives, and simplify existing legislation. They should consult widely on the costs and benefits of regulatory initiatives; particularly where trade-offs between different policy objectives are implied. Member States should also ensure that appropriate alternatives to regulation are given full consideration. This is especially important for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which usually have only limited resources to deal with the regulatory requirements imposed by both Community and national legislation. Hence, special consideration should be given to whether SMEs could be exempted in total or in part from administrative requirements.

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Guideline 14. To create a more competitive business environment and encourage private initiative through better regulation, Member States should: 1. reduce the administrative burden that bears upon enterprises, particularly on SMEs and startups; 2. improve the quality of existing and new regulations, while preserving their objectives, through a systematic and rigorous assessment of their economic, social (including health) and environmental impacts, while considering and making progress in measurement of the administrative burden associated with regulation, as well as the impact on competitiveness, including in relation to enforcement; 3. encourage enterprises in developing their corporate social responsibility. Europe needs to foster its entrepreneurial drive more effectively and it needs more new firms willing to embark on creative or innovative ventures. Learning about entrepreneurship through all forms of education and training should be supported and relevant skills provided. The entrepreneurship dimension should be integrated in the life long learning process from school. Partnerships with companies should be encouraged. The creation and growth of businesses can be encouraged by improving access to finance and strengthening economic incentives. This can include adapting tax systems to reward success, reducing non-wage labour costs and reducing the administrative burdens for start-ups, notably through the provision of relevant business support services (especially for young entrepreneurs) and setting up of single contact points. Particular emphasis should be put on facilitating the transfer of ownership and improving rescue and restructuring proceedings in particular with more efficient bankruptcy laws. The implementation of the proposals which will be part of the upcoming 'Small Business Act' for the EU will contribute to unlocking the growth and jobs potential of SMEs. Guideline 15. To promote a more entrepreneurial culture and create a supportive environment for SMEs, Member States should: 1. improve access to finance, in order to favour their creation and growth, in particular microloans and other forms of risk capital; 2. strengthen economic incentives, including by simplifying tax systems and reducing nonwage labour costs; 3. strengthen the innovative potential of SMEs; 4. provide relevant support services, like the creation of one-stop contact points and the stimulation of national support networks for enterprises, in order to favour their creation and growth in line with Small firms Charter. In addition, Member States should reinforce entrepreneurship education and training for SMEs. They should also facilitate the transfer of ownership, modernise where necessary their bankruptcy laws, and improve their rescue and restructuring proceedings. See also integrated guidelines To promote a growth- and employment-orientated and efficient allocation of resources (No 3) and To facilitate all forms of innovation (No 8, Nos 23 and 24).

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Expand and improve European infrastructure Modern infrastructure is an important factor affecting the attractiveness of locations. It facilitates mobility of persons, goods and services throughout the Union. Modern transport, energy and electronic communication infrastructure are an important factor element of the Lisbon strategy. By reducing transport costs and by widening markets, interconnected and interoperable trans-European networks help foster international trade and fuel internal market dynamics. Moreover, the ongoing liberalisation of European network industries fosters competition and drives efficiency gains in these sectors. In terms of future investment in European infrastructure, the implementation of 30 priority transport projects identified by Parliament and Council in the trans-European network (TEN) transport guidelines, as well as the completion of the quick-start cross-border projects for transport, renewable energy and broadband communications and research (identified under the European Initiative for Growth and the implementation of the other transport projects, supported by the Cohesion Fund) should be a priority. Infrastructure bottlenecks within countries also need to be tackled. Appropriate infrastructure pricing systems can contribute to the efficient use of infrastructure and the development of a sustainable modal balance. Guideline 16. To expand, improve and link up European infrastructure and complete priority cross-border projects with the particular aim of achieving a greater integration of national markets within the enlarged EU, Member States should: 1. develop adequate conditions for resource-efficient transport, energy and ICT infrastructures, in priority, those included in the TEN networks, by complementing Community mechanisms, notably including in cross-border sections and peripherical regions, as an essential condition to achieve a successful opening up of the network industries to competition; 2. consider the development of public-private partnerships; 3. consider the case for appropriate infrastructure pricing systems to ensure the efficient use of infrastructures and the development of a sustainable modal balance, emphasizing technology shift and innovation and taking due account of environmental costs and the impact on growth. See also integrated guideline To facilitate the spread and effective use of ICT and build a fully inclusive information society (No 9).

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Part 2

The Employment Guidelines (2008-2010)

Proposal for a COUNCIL DECISION on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States (under Article 128 of the EC Treaty)

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Proposal for a
COUNCIL DECISION on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 128(2) thereof, Having regard to the proposal from the Commission2, Having regard to the Opinion of the European Parliament3, Having regard to the Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee4, Having regard to the Opinion of the Committee of the Regions5, Having regard to the Opinion of the Employment Committee, Whereas: 1. The reform of the Lisbon Strategy in 2005 has placed the emphasis on growth and jobs. The Employment Guidelines of the European Employment Strategy and the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines have been adopted as an integrated package6, whereby the European Employment Strategy has the leading role in the implementation of the employment and labour market objectives of the Lisbon Strategy. The examination of the Member States' National Reform Programmes contained in the Commission's Annual Progress Report and in the draft Joint Employment Report shows that Member States should continue to make every effort to address the priority areas of attracting and retaining more people in employment, increasing labour supply and modernising social protection systems, improving adaptability of workers and enterprises, and increasing investment in human capital through better education and skills.

2.

2 3 4 5 6

OJ C , , p. . OJ C , , p. . OJ C , , p. . OJ C , , p. . OJ L 205, 6.8.2005, p. 21 (Employment Guidelines) and p. 28 (Broad Economic Policy Guidelines).

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3.

In the light of both the Commissions examination of the National Reform Programmes and the European Council conclusions, the focus should be on effective and timely implementation, paying special attention to the agreed quantitative targets and benchmarks, and in line with the conclusions of the European Council. The Employment Guidelines are valid for three years, while in the intermediate years until 2010 their updating should remain strictly limited. Member States should take the Employment Guidelines into account when implementing programmed Community funding, in particular of the European Social Fund. In view of the integrated nature of the guideline package, Member States should fully implement the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines.

4. 5.

6.

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION: Article 1 The guidelines for Member States' employment policies as set out in the Annex are hereby adopted. Article 2 The guidelines shall be taken into account in the employment policies of the Member States, which shall be reported upon in the National Reform Programmes. Article 3 This decision is addressed to the Member States. Done at Brussels,

For the Council The President

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ANNEX Guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States: promoting the European Social Model Member States, in cooperation with the social partners, shall conduct their policies with a view to implementing the objectives and priorities for action specified below so that more and better jobs support an inclusive labour market. Reflecting the Lisbon strategy and taking into account the common social objectives, the Member States' policies shall foster in a balanced manner: Full employment: Achieving full employment, and reducing unemployment and inactivity, by increasing the demand for and supply of labour through an integrated flexicurity approach is vital to sustain economic growth and reinforce social cohesion. This requires policies that address simultaneously the flexibility of labour markets, work organisation and labour relations, and employment security and social security. Improving quality and productivity at work: Efforts to raise employment rates go hand in hand with improving the attractiveness of jobs, quality at work, labour productivity growth, reducing segmentation and the proportion of working poor. Synergies between quality at work, productivity and employment should be fully exploited. Strengthening social and territorial cohesion: Determined action is needed to strengthen and reinforce social inclusion, fight poverty - especially child poverty-, prevent exclusion from the labour market, support integration in employment of people at a disadvantage, and to reduce regional disparities in terms of employment, unemployment and labour productivity, especially in regions lagging behind. Strengthened interaction is needed with the Open Method of Coordination in Social Protection and Social Inclusion.

Equal opportunities and combating discrimination are essential for progress. Gender mainstreaming and the promotion of gender equality should be ensured in all action taken. Particular attention must also be paid to significantly reducing all gender related gaps in the labour market in line with the European Pact for Gender Equality. This will assist Member States in addressing the demographic challenge. As part of a new intergenerational approach, particular attention should be paid to the situation of young people, implementing the European Youth Pact, and to promoting access to employment throughout working life. Particular attention must also be paid to significantly reducing employment gaps for people at a disadvantage, including disabled people, as well as between third-country nationals and EU citizens, in line with any national targets. Member States should aim towards active social integration of all through promotion of labour force participation and fight poverty and exclusion of those and groups who are most marginalized in society. In taking action, Member States should ensure good governance of employment and social policies and ensure that the positive developments in the fields of economics, labour and social affairs are mutually reinforcing. They should establish a broad partnership for change by fully involving parliamentary bodies and stakeholders, including those at regional and

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local levels and civil society organizations. European and national social partners should play a central role. A number of targets and benchmarks which have been set at EU level in the framework of the European Employment Strategy in the context of the 2003 guidelines should continue to be followed up with indicators and scoreboards. Member States are also encouraged to monitor the social impact of reforms and define their own commitments and targets, for which they should take these into account, as well as the country specific recommendations agreed at EU level. Good governance also requires greater efficiency in the allocation of administrative and financial resources. In agreement with the Commission, Member States should target the resources of the Structural Funds, in particular the European Social Fund, on the implementation of the European Employment Strategy and the Union's social objectives and report on the action taken. Particular attention should be paid to strengthening institutional and administrative capacity in the Member States. Guideline 17. Implement employment policies aiming at achieving full employment, improving quality and productivity at work, and strengthening social and territorial cohesion. Policies should contribute to achieving an average employment rate for the European Union (EU) of 70 % overall, of at least 60 % for women and of 50 % for older workers (55 to 64) by 2010, and to reduce unemployment and inactivity. Member States should consider setting national employment rate targets. In addressing these objectives, action should concentrate on the following priorities: 1. attract and retain more people in employment, increase labour supply and modernise social protection systems, improve adaptability of workers and enterprises, increase investment in human capital through better education and skills. Attract and retain more people in employment, increase labour supply and modernise social protection systems

Raising employment levels is the most effective means of generating economic growth and promoting socially inclusive economies whilst ensuring a safety net for those unable to work. Promoting a lifecycle approach to work and modernising social protection systems to ensure their adequacy, financial sustainability and responsiveness to changing needs in society are all the more necessary because of the expected decline in the working-age population. Special attention should be paid to tackling the persistent employment gaps between women and men, further increasing the employment rates of older workers and young people, as part of new intergenerational approach, and the promoting active inclusion of those most excluded from the labour market. Intensified action is also required to improve the situation of young people in the labour market and to significantly reduce youth unemployment, which is on average double the overall unemployment rate. The right conditions must be put in place to facilitate progress in employment, whether it is first time entry, a move back to employment after a break or the wish to prolong working lives. The quality of jobs, including pay and benefits, working conditions access to lifelong learning and career prospects, are crucial for a flexicurity approach, as are support and

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incentives stemming from social protection systems. To enhance a life cycle approach to work and to promote reconciliation between work and family life policies towards childcare provisions are necessary. Securing coverage of at least 90 % of children between 3 years old and the mandatory school age and at least 33 % of children under 3 years of age by 2010 is a useful benchmarks. The increase in the average employment rate of parents, especially single parents, requires measures to support families. In particular, Member States should take account of the special needs of single parents and families with many children. Furthermore to prolong working lives, the effective average exit age from the labour market by 2010 would require a five year increase at EU level (compared to 59.9 in 2001). Member States should also enact measures for health protection, for prevention and for the promotion of healthy lifestyles with the goal of reducing sickness burdens, increasing labour productivity and prolonging working life. The implementation of the European Youth Pact should also be a contribution to a lifecycle approach to work in particular by facilitating transition from education to the labour market. Guideline 18. Promote a lifecycle approach to work through: - a renewed endeavour to build employment pathways for young people and reduce youth unemployment, as called for in the European Youth Pact, - resolute action to increase female participation and reduce gender gaps in employment, unemployment and pay, - better reconciliation of work and private life and the provision of accessible and affordable childcare facilities and care for other dependants, - support for active ageing, including appropriate working conditions, improved (occupational) health status and adequate incentives to work and discouragement of early retirement, - modern social protection systems, including pensions and healthcare, ensuring their social adequacy, financial sustainability and responsiveness to changing needs, so as to support participation and better retention in employment and longer working lives. See also integrated guideline To safeguard economic and fiscal sustainability as a basis for increased employment (No 2). Active inclusion policies can increase labour supply and strengthen societys cohesiveness and are a powerful means of promoting the social and labour market integration of the most disadvantaged. Every person becoming unemployed must be offered a new start in a reasonable period of time. In the case of young people this period should be short, e.g. at most 4 months by 2010; for adult people at most 12 months. Policies aiming at offering active labour market measures to the long-term unemployed should be pursued, taking into consideration the participation rate benchmark of 25 % in 2010. Activation should be in the form of training, retraining, work practice, a job or other employability measure, combined where appropriate with on-going job search assistance. Facilitating access to employment for job seekers, preventing unemployment and ensuring that those who become unemployed remain closely connected to the labour market and employable are essential to increase participation, and combat social exclusion. This is also in line with a flexicurity approach. Attaining these objectives requires removing barriers to the labour market by assisting with

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effective job searching, facilitating access to training and other active labour market measures, ensuring affordable access to basic services and providing adequate levels of minimum resources to all. This approach should, at the same time, ensure that work pays for all workers, as well as remove unemployment, poverty and inactivity traps. Special attention should be paid to promoting the inclusion of disadvantaged people, including low-skilled workers, in the labour market, including through the expansion of social services and the social economy, as well as the development of new sources of jobs in response to collective needs. Combating discrimination, promoting access to employment for disabled people and integrating immigrants and minorities are particularly essential. Guideline 19. Ensure inclusive labour markets, enhance work attractiveness, and make work pay for job-seekers, including disadvantaged people, and the inactive through: - active and preventive labour market measures including early identification of needs, job search assistance, guidance and training as part of personalised action plans, provision of necessary social services to support the inclusion of those furthest away from the labour market and contribute to the eradication of poverty, - continual review of the incentives and disincentives resulting from the tax and benefit systems, including the management and conditionality of benefits and a significant reduction of high marginal effective tax rates, notably for those with low incomes, whilst ensuring adequate levels of social protection, - development of new sources of jobs in services for individuals and businesses, notably at local level. To allow more people to find better employment, it is also necessary to strengthen the labour market infrastructure at national and EU level, including through the EURES network, so as to better anticipate and resolve possible mismatches. Better transitions between jobs and into employment are an essential part of a flexicurity concept and policies to enhance mobility and matching on the labour market should be promoted. Job-seekers throughout the EU should be able to consult all job vacancies advertised through Member States' employment services. Mobility of workers within the EU should be fully ensured within the context of the Treaties. Full consideration must also be given on the national labour markets to the additional labour supply resulting from immigration of third-country nationals. Guideline 20. Improve matching of labour market needs through: - the modernisation and strengthening of labour market institutions, notably employment services, also with a view to ensuring greater transparency of employment and training opportunities at national and European level, - removing obstacles to mobility for workers across Europe within the framework of the Treaties, - better anticipation of skill needs, labour market shortages and bottlenecks, - appropriate management of economic migration.

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2.

Improve adaptability of workers and enterprises

Europe needs to improve its capacity to anticipate, trigger and absorb economic and social change. This requires employment-friendly labour costs, modern forms of work organisation and well-functioning labour markets allowing more flexibility combined with employment security to meet the needs of companies and workers. This should also contribute to preventing the emergence of segmented labour markets and reducing undeclared work. To successfully meet these challenges an integrated flexicurity approach is needed, covering contractual arrangements; life long learning; active labour market policy; and social security systems (see also Guidelines 18, 19, 23). In today's increasingly global economy with market opening and the continual introduction of new technologies, both enterprises and workers are confronted with the need, and indeed the opportunity, to adapt. While this process of structural changes is overall beneficial to growth and employment, it also brings about transformations which are disruptive to some workers and enterprises. Enterprises must become more flexible to respond to sudden changes in demand, adapt to new technologies and innovate constantly, in order to remain competitive. They must also respond to the increasing demand for job quality related to workers' personal preferences and family changes, and they will have to cope with an ageing workforce and fewer young recruits. For workers, working life is becoming more complex as working patterns become more diverse, irregular and an increasing number of transitions need to be managed successfully throughout the lifecycle. With rapidly changing economies, workers must be prepared for and furnished with lifelong learning opportunities, in order to cope with new ways of working, including enhanced exploitation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and changes in their working status with associated risks of having to face temporary losses of income better accommodated through the provision of appropriate modernised social protection. Member States should implement their own pathways, based on the common principles adopted by the Council. Flexicurity involves four key components that should be taken into account: flexible and reliable contractual arrangements through modern labour laws; collective agreements and work organisation; comprehensive lifelong learning (LLL) strategies to ensure the continual adaptability and employability of workers, particularly the most vulnerable; effective active labour market policies (ALMP) that help people cope with rapid change, reduce unemployment spells and ease transitions to new jobs; and modern social security systems that provide adequate income support, encourage employment and facilitate labour market mobility (this includes broad coverage of social protection provisions, unemployment benefits, pensions and healthcare, that help people combine work with private and family responsibilities such as childcare). Geographical mobility is also needed to access job opportunities more widely and in the EU at large. Guideline 21. Promote flexibility combined with employment security and reduce labour market segmentation, having due regard to the role of the social partners, through: - the adaptation of employment legislation, reviewing where necessary the different contractual and working time arrangements, - addressing the issue of undeclared work,

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- better anticipation and positive management of change, including economic restructuring, notably changes linked to trade opening, so as to minimise their social costs and facilitate adaptation, - the promotion and dissemination of innovative and adaptable forms of work organisation, with a view to improving quality and productivity at work, including health and safety, - support for transitions in occupational status, including training, self-employment, business creation and geographic mobility. See also integrated guideline To promote greater coherence between macroeconomic, structural and employment policies (No 5). To maximise job creation, preserve competitiveness and contribute to the general economic framework, overall wage developments should be in line with productivity growth over the economic cycle and should reflect the labour market situation. The gender pay gap should be reduced. Particular attention should be given to the low level of wages in professions and sectors which tend to be dominated by women and to the reasons which lead to reduced earnings in professions and sectors in which women become more prominent. Efforts to reduce non-wage labour costs and to review the tax wedge may also be needed to facilitate job creation, especially for low-wage employment. Guideline 22. Ensure employment-friendly labour cost developments and wage-setting mechanisms by: - encouraging social partners within their own areas of responsibility to set the right framework for wage bargaining in order to reflect productivity and labour market challenges at all relevant levels and to avoid gender pay gaps, - reviewing the impact on employment of non-wage labour costs and where appropriate adjust their structure and level, especially to reduce the tax burden on the low-paid. See also integrated guideline To ensure that wage developments contribute to macroeconomic stability and growth (No 4). 3. Increase investment in human capital through better education and skills

Europe needs to invest more and more effectively in human capital. Too many people fail to enter, progress or remain in the labour market because of a lack of skills, or due to skills mismatches. To enhance access to employment for men and women of all ages, raise productivity levels, innovation and quality at work, the EU needs higher and more effective investment in human capital and lifelong learning in line with the flexicurity concept for the benefit of individuals, enterprises, the economy and society. Knowledge-based and service-based economies require different skills from traditional industries; skills which also constantly need updating in the face of technological change and innovation. Workers, if they are to remain and progress in work and be prepared for transition and changing labour markets, need to accumulate and renew skills regularly. The productivity of enterprises is dependent on building and maintaining a workforce that can adapt to change. Governments need to ensure that educational attainment levels are improved and that young people are equipped with the necessary key competences, in line with the European Youth Pact. In order to improve labour market prospects for youth, the EU should aim at an average

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rate of no more than 10 % early school leavers; and that at least 85 % of 22-year olds should have completed upper secondary education by 2010. Policies should also aim at increasing the EU average level of participation in lifelong learning to at least 12.5 % of the adult workingage population (25 to 64 age group). All stakeholders should be mobilised to develop and foster a true culture of lifelong learning from the earliest age. To achieve a substantial increase in public and private investment in human resources per capita and guarantee the quality and efficiency of these investments, it is important to ensure fair and transparent sharing of costs and responsibilities between all actors and to improve the evidence base of education and training policies. Member States should make better use of the Structural Funds and the European Investment Bank for investment in education and training. To achieve these aims, Member States must implement the coherent and comprehensive lifelong learning strategies to which they have committed themselves. Guideline 23. Expand and improve investment in human capital through: - inclusive education and training policies and action to facilitate significantly access to initial vocational, secondary and higher education, including apprenticeships and entrepreneurship training, - significantly reducing the number of early school leavers, - efficient lifelong learning strategies open to all in schools, businesses, public authorities and households according to European agreements, including appropriate incentives and costsharing mechanisms, with a view to enhancing participation in continuous and workplace training throughout the life-cycle, especially for the low-skilled and older workers. See also integrated guideline To increase and improve investment in R & D, in particular by private business (No 7). Setting ambitious objectives and increasing the level of investment by all actors is not enough. To ensure that supply meets demand in practice, lifelong learning systems must be affordable, accessible and responsive to changing needs. Adaptation and capacity-building of education and training systems is necessary to improve their labour market relevance, their responsiveness to the needs of the knowledge-based economy and society and their efficiency and equity. ICT can be used to improve access to learning and better tailor it to the needs of employers and employees. Greater mobility for both work and learning purposes is also needed to access job opportunities more widely in the EU at large. The remaining obstacles to mobility within the European labour market should be lifted, in particular those relating to the recognition and transparency and use of qualifications and learning outcomes, notably through the implementation of the European Qualifications Framework. It will be important to make use of the agreed European instruments and references to support reforms of national education and training systems, as is laid down in the Education and Training 2010 Work Programme. Guideline 24. Adapt education and training systems in response to new competence requirements by: - raising and ensuring the attractiveness, openness and quality standards of education and training, broadening the supply of education and training opportunities and ensuring flexible learning pathways and enlarging possibilities for mobility for students and trainees,

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- easing and diversifying access for all to education and training and to knowledge by means of working time organisation, family support services, vocational guidance and, if appropriate, new forms of cost sharing, - responding to new occupational needs, key competences and future skill requirements by improving the definition and transparency of qualifications, their effective recognition and the validation of non-formal and informal learning.

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Guvernul Romniei Programul Naional de Reforme

GUVERNUL ROMNIEI

PROGRAMUL NAIONAL DE REFORME RAPORT DE IMPLEMENTARE

- Octombrie 2008 -

CUPRINS
REZUMAT.....................................................................................................................................4 IMPLEMENTAREA PRIORITILOR PNR N CURSUL ANULUI 2008.......................22 1. MBUNTIREA CAPACITII ADMINISTRATIVE ...............................................22 1.1 mbuntirea capacitii administraiei publice de formulare i implementare a politicilor publice ....................................................................................................................22 1.2 Creterea calitii serviciilor publice ..............................................................................23 1.3 mbuntirea capacitii administrative a autoritilor de reglementare .................26 1.3.1 Consiliul Concurenei ...................................................................................................26 1.3.2 Autoritatea Naional de Reglementare n domeniul Energiei.................................29 1.3.3 Autoritatea Naional pentru Comunicaii ................................................................29 1.3.4 Comisia de Supraveghere a Asigurrilor ...................................................................30 1.3.5 Autoritatea Naional pentru Reglementarea i Monitorizarea Achiziiilor Publice ..............................................................................................................................................31 1.4 Managementul instrumentelor structurale ....................................................................31 1.5 Modernizarea sistemului judiciar ...................................................................................32 1.6 Dezvoltare teritorial i ntrirea coeziunii teritoriale..................................................34 2. MACROECONOMIE.............................................................................................................36 2.1 Stabilitatea macroeconomic i sustenabilitatea finanelor publice ............................36 2.1.1 Stabilitatea macroeconomic .......................................................................................36 2.1.2 Stabilitatea financiar ..................................................................................................40 2.1.3 Sustenabilitatea finanelor publice..............................................................................41 2.2 mbuntirea managementului cheltuielilor guvernamentale....................................43 2.2.1 Managementul cheltuielilor publice............................................................................43 2.2.2 Restructurarea sistemului de asigurri sociale i a sistemului de pensii .................48 2.2.3 Restructurarea sistemului de sntate........................................................................49 3. MICROECONOMIE ..............................................................................................................53 3.1 mbuntirea competitivitii economice.....................................................................53 3.1.1 mbuntirea funcionrii pieelor de energie electric i gaze naturale...............53 3.1.2 Infrastructura de transport .........................................................................................55 3.1.3 Modernizare infrastructurii comunicaiilor i promovarea tehnologiei informaiei ..............................................................................................................................................59 3.2 mbuntirea mediului de afaceri..................................................................................61 3.2.1. Reglementri mai bune pentru ncurajarea investiiilor .........................................61 3.2.2 Facilitarea intrrii/ieirii pe/de pe pia a ntreprinderilor......................................64 3.2.3 Creterea capacitii de participare a IMM-urilor la achiziii publice ...................67 3.2.4 Dezvoltarea infrastructurii de afaceri.........................................................................68 3.2.5 Creterea competitivitii ntreprinderilor.................................................................70 3.2.6 Promovarea cercetrii, dezvoltrii i inovrii ............................................................73 3.2.7 Consolidarea politicilor privind ajutorul de stat .......................................................78 3.3 Managementul durabil al resurselor regenerabile i atenuarea schimbrilor climatice ...................................................................................................................................80 3.3.1 mbuntirea infrastructurii de mediu (ap/ ap uzat).............................................80 3.3.2 Conservarea biodiversitii ............................................................................................81 3.3.3 Managementul deeurilor ..............................................................................................82 3.3.4 Schimbri climatice ........................................................................................................82
2

3.3.5 Protecia atmosferei........................................................................................................83 3.3.6 Creterea eficienei energetice i promovarea resurselor regenerabile ...................83 4. PIAA MUNCII ......................................................................................................................86 4.1 Evoluia principalilor indicatori privind fora de munc .............................................86 4.2 Sistemul de pensii..............................................................................................................86 4.2.1 Creterea nivelului prestaiilor....................................................................................86 4.2.2 Eliminarea inechitilor din sistem prin procesul de recalculare a pensiilor..........87 4.2.3 Dezvoltarea capacitii administrative a Casei Naionale de Pensii i alte Drepturi de Asigurri Sociale ...........................................................................................................88 4.3 Dezvoltarea sistemului de formare profesional continu............................................88 4.3.1 Dezvoltarea Consiliului Naional de Formare Profesional a Adulilor (CNFPA) 88 4.3.2 Consolidarea parteneriatului social prin sprijinirea activitii comitetelor sectoriale .............................................................................................................................89 4.3.3 Creterea accesului omerilor la programe de formare profesional continu ......89 4.4 Dezvoltarea Serviciului Public de Ocupare....................................................................90 4.4.1 Consolidarea capacitii administrative la nivel naional, regional i local ............90 4.4.2 Msuri de stimulare a ocuprii adaptate caracteristicilor clienilor .......................90 4.4.3 Msurile speciale pentru activarea grupurilor sociale vulnerabile i a persoanelor din mediul rural .................................................................................................................91 4.4.4 Asigurarea unei tranziii facile a tinerilor de la coal pe piaa muncii ..................92 4.5. Dezvoltarea unui sistem de protecie social favorabil incluziunii sociale active......92 4.5.1 Dezvoltarea instituional a sistemului de asisten social......................................92 4.5.2 Promovarea echilibrului ntre obligaiile familiale i dezvoltarea unei cariere......92 4.5.3 Msuri pentru reducerea dependenei de sistemul de asisten social ..................93 4.5.4 Iniiative de incluziune social a romilor....................................................................94 4.6 Combaterea muncii nedeclarate......................................................................................95 4.7 Msuri de reatragere a cetenilor romni care lucreaz n strintate i de dezvoltare a unui sistem de management al migraiei forei de munc.............................96 4.8 Dezvoltarea sistemului de management al migraiei forei de munc .........................96 4.9 Definirea poziiei naionale privind flexisecuritatea .....................................................96 4.10 mbuntirea sistemului educaional ..........................................................................98 4.10.1 Asigurarea accesului echitabil i prevenirea prsirii timpurii a colii.................98 4.10.2 mbuntirea calitii nvmntului superior ..................................................101 4.10.3 Extinderea reelei firmelor de exerciiu/ ntreprinderilor simulate .....................103 4.10.4 Formarea continu a cadrelor didactice.................................................................103 4.10.5 Informatizarea educaiei ..........................................................................................104 4.10.6 Promovarea educaiei continue pentru cadrele didactice .....................................104 Anexa nr. 1 Indicatori structurali .......................................................................................105 Anexa nr. 2 Plan de aciuni suplimentare pentru implementarea PNR 2008-2009........107 Anexa nr. 3 ntreprinderi mici i mijlocii...........................................................................141 Anexa nr. 4 Ajutorul de stat naional 2004-2006 ...............................................................144

Raport de implementare a Programului Naional de Reforme

REZUMAT
Raportul de implementare a Programului Naional de Reforme (PNR) reflect stadiul implementrii n Romnia a Strategiei Lisabona Revizuite (SLR), n al doilea an de dup aderarea la Uniunea European. n cursul anului 2008, PNR al Romniei a fost revizuit prin includerea unui plan de aciuni suplimentare care trateaz implementarea recomandrilor specifice de ar i a unor msuri de monitorizare a elementelor de supraveghere (points to watch) menionate n Raportul strategic asupra Strategiei Lisabona Relansate, adoptat de Consiliul European de primvar din martie 2008. Documentul a fost elaborat sub coordonarea Departamentului pentru Afaceri Europene din cadrul Guvernului Romniei, pe baza contribuiilor tuturor ministerelor i instituiilor componente ale Grupului de lucru pentru Strategia Lisabona, fiind dezbtut i aprobat la nivel de secretari de stat n Comitetul Lisabona i la nivel de minitri n Guvernul Romniei. Raportul acoper perioada 15 octombrie 2007 15 octombrie 2008 i este structurat pe patru domenii de intervenie (administraie public, macroeconomie, microeconomie i piaa muncii) i prezint, n mod sistematic, aciunile relevante ntreprinse de autoritile romneti pentru implementarea reformelor prevzute n PNR revizuit. *** I. MBUNTIREA CAPACITII ADMINISTRATIVE mbuntirea capacitii administraiei publice de formulare i implementare a politicilor publice Autoritile romne au continuat eforturile de mbuntire a procedurilor de elaborare, avizare i prezentare a proiectelor de documente de politici publice prin elaborarea i intrarea n vigoare a unui regulament privind procedurile de elaborare, avizare i prezentare a proiectelor de documente de politici publice, acte normative, precum i a altor documente. n ceea ce privete sistemul de monitorizare i evaluare a politicilor publice, a fost elaborat, de ctre SGG, ghidul pentru monitorizarea politicilor publice. Pentru ntrirea capacitii de evaluare a impactului actelor normative i politicilor publice n cursul anului 2007, au fost instruii aproximativ 100 de specialiti din ministere n domeniul analizei de impact i al tehnicilor de evaluare, iar n prima parte a anului 2008, au fost instruii 20 de specialiti din ministere n domeniul reducerii costurilor administrative. n conformitate cu Concluziile Consiliului European de primvar din 2008, Guvernul Romniei a aprobat la data de 24 septembrie a.c. procentul de 25% pentru reducerea sarcinilor administrative pn n 2012. Strategia pentru o reglementare mai bun la nivelul administraiei publice centrale 2008-2013 a fost finalizat i a fost aprobat n edina guvernului din 24 septembrie 2008. Strategia prevede instituirea unui grup de lucru inter-ministerial permanent care s coordoneze implementarea acesteia. Prima misiune a acestui grup o va reprezenta elaborarea unui plan detaliat de aciune pentru atingerea intei de 25% de reducere a sarcinilor administrative.

Octombrie 2008

Raport de implementare a Programului Naional de Reforme

Creterea calitii serviciilor publice La sfritul anului 2007, s-a ncheiat etapa de simplificare a procedurilor administrative pentru eliberarea de: paapoarte, permise de conducere, certificate de nmatriculare a vehiculelor, numere de nmatriculare, caziere judiciare, autorizaii provizorii de circulaie, numere de nmatriculare prefereniale. Sub coordonarea MIRA, n anul 2008 a continuat aplicarea Cadrului de autoevaluare a modului de funcionare a administraiei publice (CAF) la nivelul autoritilor centrale i locale, care a fost implementat n alte 20 de instituii publice. Pentru eficientizarea activitii serviciilor publice comunitare, MIRA a derulat un proiect privind implementarea sistemului de ghieu unic. n acest moment, dintr-un total de 407 servicii publice comunitare locale de eviden a persoanelor, 230 funcioneaz n sistem de ghieu unic. Au fost elaborate i implementate standarde de calitate i indicatori de performan n 103 uniti locale de monitorizare la nivelul oraelor i n 42 uniti locale de monitorizare la nivelul judeelor. Din perspectiva reformei administrative, s-a constituit Colectivul special pentru elaborarea Codului Administrativ al Romniei, care a demarat activitatea de elaborare a Codului administrativ (va fi finalizat n cursul anului 2008). n luna septembrie 2007, s-a constituit sub coordonarea MIRA Colectivul special pentru elaborarea Codului de Procedur Administrativ al Romniei, care a stabilit structura Codului i a elaborat proiectul de HG pentru adoptarea tezelor prealabile ale Codului de Procedur Administrativ. mbuntirea capacitii administrative a autoritilor de reglementare n conformitate cu prevederile PNR i n acord cu recomandrile specifice de ar, n perioada de referin au fost puse n aplicare mai multe msuri destinate ntririi capacitii de reglementare, aplicare i control a autoritilor de reglementare. Consiliul Concurenei Pentru a rspunde solicitrilor de ntrire a capacitii administrative, CC a creat i operaionalizat n anul 2008 un grup de analiz economic n cadrul Direciei Cercetare Sinteze. CC a continuat aciunile iniiate n 2007 privind pregtirea profesional a inspectorilor de concuren, realizarea de schimburi de bune practici cu specialiti din autoriti de concuren din statele membre i SUA i participarea n cadrul reelei ECN. n aplicarea legislaiei n domeniul concurenei, CC are 30 de cazuri n curs de investigare (9 carteluri, 5 solicitri de dispens, 3 anchete sectoriale, 9 cazuri de abuz de poziie dominant, 3 investigaii privind aciuni ale administraiei publice cu posibil impact anticoncurenial, un caz de concentrare economic care poate conduce la crearea sau consolidarea unei poziii dominante). Autoritatea Naional de Reglementare n domeniul Energiei n anul 2008, ANRE a asigurat pregtirea profesional a personalului: 72 de angajai au participat la sesiuni de instruire pe teme privind reglementarea pieei de energie, a preurilor i tarifelor n domeniul energiei electrice i al gazelor naturale, managementul riscului n comerul cu gaze, practici de reglementare n domeniul energiei, integrarea n reea i funcionarea centralelor eoliene.
Octombrie 2008

Raport de implementare a Programului Naional de Reforme

Autoritatea Naional pentru Comunicaii Pentru consolidarea luptei mpotriva fraudelor pe internet i a mbuntirii managementului resurselor internet n Romnia, prin OUG nr. 106/2008 a fost nfiinat o nou instituie cu atribuii lrgite n domeniul comunicaiilor electronice i tehnologiei informaiei - Autoritatea Naional pentru Comunicaii. n perioada octombrie 2007 - octombrie 2008, ANC a identificat piaa operatorilor de telefonie fix ca fiind relevant i a desemnat 38 de operatori cu putere semnificativ pe pia, stabilind n acelai timp meninerea sau impunerea de noi obligaii n sarcina acestora. Comisia de Supraveghere a Asigurrilor n anul 2008, CSA s-a axat pe mbuntirea pregtirii personalului (prin proiectul Phare 2005) i elaborarea mecanismelor de implementare a standardelor de solvabilitate i contabilitate (prin proiectul Phare 2006 aflat n curs de semnare. Autoritatea Naional pentru Reglementarea i Monitorizarea Achiziiilor Publice n vederea creterii capacitii autoritilor publice de a lansa licitaii publice i de a aplica proceduri de achiziii publice, la nivelul Autoritii Naionale pentru Reglementarea i Monitorizarea Achiziiilor Publice (ANRMAP) a fost creat un birou help-desk pentru a sprijini autoritile contractante n rezolvarea situaiilor cu care se confrunt. n scopul promovrii unor modaliti concrete de aplicare a prevederilor legislative i a bunelor practici n domeniu, ANRMAP a elaborat o nou versiune a ghidului pentru atribuirea contractelor de achiziii publice. Managementul instrumentelor structurale n vederea creterii capacitii administrative necesare implementrii Fondurilor structurale i de coeziune, pn la sfritul anului 2007, la nivelul AM/OI, au fost angajate 340 persoane, reprezentnd o cretere de 23,4% fa de anul anterior. n paralel, s-a urmrit pregtirea personalului din aceste structuri, 6.107 persoane beneficiind, n cursul anului 2007, de instruiri generale i specifice n domeniul instrumentelor structurale. n anul 2008, s-au derulat mai multe aciuni de sprijinire a potenialilor beneficiari pentru accesarea i implementarea fondurilor structurale. Astfel, au fost ntreprinse 118 aciuni de instruire, informare i publicitate la nivel local, n urma crora au fost instruii 3.579 poteniali beneficiari ai programelor operaionale. Modernizarea sistemului judiciar n perioada octombrie 2007 octombrie 2008, Ministerul Justiiei a continuat s implementeze proiectele pentru reabilitarea/construirea sediilor de instan, informatizarea sistemului judiciar i pregtirea profesional a magistrailor n domeniul economic i financiar. De asemenea, a fost iniiat proiectul de nfrire instituional Phare 2006 destinat testrii introducerii funciei de manager de instan pentru eficientizarea sistemului judiciar.

Octombrie 2008

Raport de implementare a Programului Naional de Reforme

Dezvoltarea teritorial i ntrirea coeziunii teritoriale La sfritul anului 2007, a fost elaborat Conceptul Strategic de Dezvoltare Teritorial Romnia 2030 (CSDTR). Prin OG nr. 27/2008 pentru modificarea i completarea Legii nr. 350/2001 privind amenajarea teritoriului i urbanismul au fost stabilite instrumentele specifice de implementare a CSDTR. n luna decembrie 2007, a fost elaborat Studiul de fundamentare pentru Planurile de Amenajare a Teritoriilor Zonale Regionale PATZR pentru regiunile de dezvoltare 1-8. MDLPL a ntreprins msuri pentru configurarea reelei policentrice a teritoriului, a acordat asisten tehnic n procesul de cooperare urban-rural i a susinut asocierea naional a zonelor metropolitane i a sistemelor urbane. II. MACROECONOMIE Stabilitatea macroeconomic i sustenabilitatea finanelor publice Creterea economic s-a accelerat semnificativ n primele 6 luni ale anului 2008, cnd produsul intern brut s-a majorat cu 8,8 %, pentru ntreg anul preliminndu-se o rat de cretere de 9,1%. Ca i n anul precedent, cererea intern pentru investiii (formarea brut de capital fix) a constituit principalul factor a creterii economice n anul 2008. n primele 6 luni ale anului 2008, formarea brut de capital fix a crescut cu 31,1%, pentru ntreg anul preliminndu-se o majorare cu 27,0% fa de anul 2007. Chiar dac i menine contribuia negativ la creterea real a PIB, exportul net va fi favorizat de reducerea diferenei - n termeni reali - ntre creterea exporturilor de bunuri i servicii i cea a importurilor, de la 8-10 puncte procentuale n anii precedeni la circa 6 puncte procentuale n anul 2008. n prima parte a anului 2008, rata anualizat a inflaiei i-a continuat creterea manifestat nc din partea a doua a anului trecut, situndu-se n luna iulie la un nivel de 9,04%. Luna august a marcat, ns, o schimbare de trend n evoluie, astfel nct rata inflaiei a ajuns la 8,02%. La sfritul anului 2008, nivelul inflaiei se estimeaz s ajung la circa 6,0%, n timp ce media anual se va situa n jur de 7,6%. Evoluia comerului exterior a nregistrat n ultima parte a anului 2007 o schimbare semnificativ, respectiv dinamica exporturilor a fost superioar celei a importurilor. Aceast evoluie a continuat n anul 2008, ceea ce a determinat creterea exporturilor de bunuri n primele 7 luni 2008 cu 18,5%, n timp ce importurile de bunuri s-au majorat cu 15,2%. Ca urmare, deficitul comercial a fost cu 10,4% mai mare dect cel nregistrat n aceeai perioad din 2007. Exporturile de bunuri pe ntregul an 2008 au fost estimate cu o cretere de 18,4%, ca urmare a evoluiei favorabile nregistrat n primele 7 luni ale anului, n timp ce importurile de bunuri au fost preliminate pentru anul 2008 cu o cretere de 15,3%, innd cont, n principal, de dependena dezvoltrii rii de resursele energetice i de materii prime din import, precum i de amplificarea procesului investiional care necesit transfer de tehnologie din exterior. Ca urmare a acestor evoluii, ponderea deficitului comercial FOB-FOB n PIB se va diminua cu 0,6 puncte procentuale fa de 2007, ajungnd la 14%. Deficitul de cont curent ca pondere n PIB urmeaz s fie de 13,4%, tendina de diminuare fiind susinut de evoluia favorabil a comerului exterior cu bunuri i servicii, dar i de meninerea contribuiei pozitive a excedentului transferurilor curente. Se constat o mbuntire permanent a ponderii investiiilor strine directe n PIB, ajungnd astfel n semestrul I 2008 la cca. 9% fa de numai 7,5% n aceeai perioad a anului 2007. Evoluia nregistrat de investiiile strine directe atrase n economie n primul semestru al anului 2008 confirm nc o dat poziia de lider a Romniei n zona Europei de Sud-Est ca destinaie atractiv pentru capitalul strin.
Octombrie 2008

Raport de implementare a Programului Naional de Reforme

n semestrul I 2008, investiiile strine directe au nregistrat o valoare de 4,9 miliarde euro, fiind n cretere cu 38,1% fa de cea din semestrul I al anului 2007. n ceea ce privete sustenabilitatea finanelor publice, liniile majore de aciune au vizat creterea eficienei activitii de administrare a veniturilor bugetare, mai bun colectare a veniturilor bugetare, servicii de asisten mbuntite, simplificarea i modernizarea procedurilor i mbuntirea cadrului legislativ privind administrarea veniturilor bugetare, n special n ceea ce privete politica de recuperare a arieratelor. n acest sens, au fost create premise pentru ca pn la finele anului 2008 s fie posibil accesul contribuabililor la contul fiscal propriu, s-au creat legturile centrului cu locaiile din teritoriu i au fost diversificate mijloacele puse la dispoziia contribuabililor pentru ndeplinirea obligaiilor declarative. Implementarea acestor msuri strategice a condus la creterea veniturilor bugetare cu 1,7 puncte procentuale din PIB, n anul 2008. mbuntirea managementului cheltuielilor guvernamentale Direciile de aciune n perioada de referin au vizat mbuntirea procesului de planificare strategic i corelare cu procesul bugetar, ntrirea disciplinei bugetare, monitorizarea cheltuielilor de personal ale instituiilor publice finanate integral de la bugetul de stat, bugetul asigurrilor sociale de stat i bugetele fondurilor speciale, precum i o mai bun administrare a datoriei publice guvernamentale prin contractarea mprumuturilor de pe piaa intern. (lansarea de emisiuni de titluri de stat de tip benchmark) Dinamica veniturilor bugetare n anul 2008 a fost influenat att de poziia ciclului economic (cretere economic i o rat a inflaiei mult mai ridicate comparativ cu proieciile) ct i de msurile de mbuntire a colectrii i de reform a administraiei fiscale. Veniturile fiscale au crescut cu 1,7 puncte procentuale, la 13,4% din PIB n anul 2008, n condiiile unei performane mbuntite a impozitului pe venit i profit (cretere cu 0,5 puncte procentuale, ajungnd la 4,8% din PIB) i a unei dinamici superioare a TVA (cretere cu 1,3 puncte procentuale de la nivelul de 4,6% n 2007) i la veniturile din contribuiile de asigurri sociale i de sntate (cu 0,5 puncte procentuale). ncasrile din impozitul pe venit (cu 37,4% mai mari comparativ cu ncasrile pe primele 8 luni ale anului 2007) se explic n principal prin creterea numrului de angajai cu circa 2% i a salariului mediu brut pe economie, n perioada de referin, fa de aceeai perioad a anului trecut. n ceea ce privete cheltuielile bugetare, acestea au totalizat 112,6 miliarde lei, reprezentnd 23,7% din PIB, fa de 19,9% n primele 8 luni ale anului 2008. Creterea nregistrat s-a datorat, n mare parte, majorrii cheltuielilor curente (cu 3,1 puncte procentuale ca pondere n PIB) i a cheltuielilor de capital, cu 0,8 puncte procentuale. Pentru evitarea situaiilor repetate n care la sfritul anului se nregistra deficit bugetar foarte mare dup multe luni cu excedent bugetar, s-a decis distribuirea uniform a cheltuielilor pentru perioada rmas pn la sfritul anului. Exerciiul bugetar n primele 8 luni ale anului 2008 s-a ncheiat cu un deficit de 1,08% din PIB, spre deosebire de anul trecut cnd s-a nregistrat un uor surplus (0,14% din PIB). mbuntirea planificrii i execuiei bugetare, precum i a calitii finanelor publice s-a realizat prin revizuirea compoziiei cheltuielilor publice i prin reducerea i redirecionarea ajutorului de stat ctre obiective orizontale. Astfel ministerele au elaborat Planul Strategic Instituional prin care se evideniaz relaia dintre politicile publice, programe i resursele alocate. Proiectul de buget de stat pentru anul 2009 este elaborat pe baza informaiilor prezentate n componenta de programare bugetar a planurilor strategice. Totodat, Programului naional de investiii n infrastructur pentru perioada 2009-2013 include proiecte aflate n derulare i

Octombrie 2008

Raport de implementare a Programului Naional de Reforme

proiecte noi de investiii n domeniul infrastructurii, elaborate pe baza propunerilor autoritilor administraiei publice locale. Monitorizarea cheltuielilor de personal ale instituiilor publice finanate integral de la bugetul de stat, bugetul asigurrilor sociale de stat i bugetele fondurilor speciale se realizeaz prin limitarea cheltuielilor de personal i ncadrarea instituiilor n numrul maxim de posturi aprobate n condiiile legii, prin bugetele proprii i prin anexele la acestea. Sistemul de negociere i stabilire a salariilor n luna august 2008, a fost ncheiat Acordul tripartit pentru asigurarea creterii salariului minim brut n perioada 2008 2014 ntre Guvernul Romniei, confederaiile sindicale i confederaiile patronale reprezentative la nivel naional. Argumentele care au stat la baza ncheierii acestui acord tripartit sunt: (a) asigurarea unui mediu de afaceri favorabil i stabilitatea macroeconomic sunt condiii indispensabile pentru progresul social; (b) necesitatea ca de rezultatele evoluiilor economice s beneficieze toi cetenii Romniei, inclusiv cei cu venituri reduse, contribuind astfel la diminuarea decalajelor sociale. Restructurarea sistemului de asigurri sociale i a sistemului de pensii Implementarea schemelor de pensii administrate privat, respectiv Pilonul II (pensiile obligatorii) prevede participarea unui numr de cca. 3.692.459 persoane n august 2008, comparativ cu 3.194.961 n luna mai 2008. Sistemul de pensii facultative - pilonul III funcioneaz din iunie 2007. La data de 31 august 2008, erau nregistrai 121.409 participani, comparativ cu 50.887 participani existeni la 31 decembrie 2007. Acetia contribuiau la 9 fonduri de pensii facultative autorizate de ctre CSSPP. n anul 2008, contribuiile sociale s-au redus n trei etape, per total ajungndu-se la 5,3 puncte procentuale. Dinamica veniturilor din contribuiile de asigurri sociale i de sntate a nregistrat o cretere cu 0,5 puncte procentuale din PIB, n primele 8 luni ale anului 2008, ca urmare att a lrgirii bazei de impozitare, prin eliminarea plafonului de 5 salarii medii la plata contribuiilor, includerea bonusurilor, sporurilor i primelor n baza de calcul i transformarea contractelor de mandat n contracte de munc, ct i a mbuntirii colectrii i schimbrii setului de stimulente ale agenilor economici, odat cu diminuarea contribuiilor. Restructurarea sistemului de sntate n privina restructurrii serviciilor din domeniul sntii publice au fost elaborate trei proiecte de hotrri de guvern pentru nfiinarea a trei instituii noi: Agenia Naional de Sntate Public, Asisten Medical i Programe de Sntate (ANSPAMPS), Agenia Naional pentru Infrastructur Sanitar i Dispozitive Medicale (ANISDM) i Autoritatea Naional de Control n Sntate Public (ANCSP), proiectele aflndu-se n prezent n consultare public. Referitor la creterea accesibilitii populaiei la serviciile medicale, au fost dezvoltate programe de sntate pentru: sntatea mamei i a copilului; combaterea bolilor cardiovasculare astfel nct a fost redus timpul de instituire a unui tratament adecvat, ceea ce a condus la reducerea indicelui de mortalitate specific (675/100000 locuitori); prevenirea i controlul n patologia oncologic; tratarea diabetului zaharat; transplantul de organe. n cadrul proiectului de dezvoltare i modernizare a infrastructurii furnizorilor de servicii medicale i a dotrii acestora au fost realizate urmtoarele progrese n perioada de referin:

Octombrie 2008

Raport de implementare a Programului Naional de Reforme

au fost elaborate studiile de prefezabilitate, fezabilitate i procedurile de achiziie public pentru dotarea a 20 de spitale judeene de urgen i 8 spitale regionale de urgen; au fost elaborate studiile de fezabilitate i au fost realizate rapoartele de evaluare i expertizele tehnice pentru reabilitarea a 15 spitale judeene de urgen; au fost achiziionate 7.034 echipamente pentru unitile de primire urgene din 63 de spitale.

III. MICROECONOMIE mbuntirea funcionrii pieelor de energie electric i gaze naturale Diversificarea operatorilor pe pieele de energie electric i gaze naturale a continuat n perioada octombrie 2007 octombrie 2008. Pe piaa de energie electric au fost acordate 5 noi licene de producie i tot attea licene de furnizare, iar pe piaa gazelor naturale a crescut numrul operatorilor cu 1 productor (Carpathian Energy), 1 societate de distribuie i 5 furnizori. ANRE elaboreaz i public, pe site-ul instituiei, rapoarte lunare cu privire la funcionarea pieelor de energie electric i gaze naturale. n scopul asigurrii securitii n aprovizionarea pieelor de energie electric i gaze naturale, n anul 2008 au fost continuate lucrrile pentru realizarea proiectelor de interconectare cu operatorii de transport al energiei electrice din statele vecine: Moldova, Serbia, Ungaria. De asemenea, a continuat dezvoltarea i interconectarea infrastructurii de transport al gazelor naturale: conducta Arad Szeged, tronsonul Negru Vod Mangalia i tronsonul Pecineaga Mangalia. Infrastructura de transport n perioada de raportare s-a continuat programul de construcii autostrzi, respectiv: execuia lucrrilor pe autostrada Bucureti Braov, autostrada Braov Bor i variantele de ocolire orae Piteti i Sibiu); realizarea de aciuni pregtitoare n vederea nceperii lucrrilor tronsoanele Arad Timioara, Deva Ortie, Timioara Lugoj, Cernavod Constana i variantele de ocolire Arad i Constana. execuia lucrrilor modernizarea drumuri naionale i construcia de variante de ocolire orae pe cca. 737 km.

n domeniul feroviar, a continuat programul de reabilitare a infrastructurii feroviare prin execuia de lucrri de reabilitare/modernizare pe linia de cale ferat Bucureti Constana (92 km reabilitai n perioada de raportare). i reabilitare/modernizare a staiilor de cale ferat: Tulcea, Focani, Alba Iulia, Suceava, Braov, Oradea, Bacu, Ploieti Sud i Cluj. S-au executat lucrri hidrotehnice pentru mbuntirea condiiilor de navigaie pe Dunre, canalele navigabile Dunrea Marea Neagr, Poarta Alb - Midia - Nvodari i Canalul Sulina precum i realizarea sistemului de msurtori topohidrografice i semnalizare pe Dunre. Pentru dezvoltarea transportului de mrfuri n tranzit n porturile maritime, au fost finalizate calea ferat ce deservete terminalul de containere i terminalul de barje din portul Constana Sud. n domeniul transportului aerian, s-au executat n perioada de raportare lucrri de modernizare a infrastructurii aeroportuare i s-au achiziionat echipamente aeroportuare pentru Aeroporturile

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Raport de implementare a Programului Naional de Reforme

Internaionale Henri Coand - Bucureti Otopeni, Aurel Vlaicu - Bucureti Bneasa, Traian Vuia - Timioara i Mihail Koglniceanu-Constana. Modernizarea infrastructurii comunicaiilor i promovarea tehnologiei informaiei Pentru reducerea decalajului digital existent la nivelul administraiei naionale, MCTI continu implementarea programului Facilitarea Accesului comunitilor locale la serviciile eAdministraie . care asigur acces la Internet autoritilor administraiei publice locale din comune i din oraele mici. n cadrul portalului e-administraie, 86 de primrii fr posibiliti financiare dein propria pagin pe internet. Proiectul pentru crearea de Reelele Electronice ale Comunitilor Locale (RECL) ofer calculatoare i acces la Internet de band larg precum pentru comunitile dezavantajate din punctul de vedere al accesului la informaie. n total, RECL acoper uniti administrativteritoriale din 38 de judee, 47 orae, 208 comune, cu populaie de aproximativ 1,8 milioane de locuitori, 512 coli i un total de cca. 1200 de noduri conectate la Internet de band larg. Ministerul Comunicaiilor i Tehnologiei Informaiei a lansat n anul 2007 proiectul Hotspot n zone publice pentru furnizarea de servicii Internet ctre populaie. pentru promovarea i dezvoltarea serviciilor de internet cu ajutorul tehnologiilor wireless i punerea la dispoziia populaiei a unui serviciu flexibil de conectare la Internet n zone publice. mbuntirea mediului de afaceri Reglementri mai bune pentru ncurajarea investiiilor Pentru simplificarea procedurilor administrative de autorizare a ntreprinderilor i reducerea timpilor de ateptare n obinerea autorizaiilor , n anul 2008: au fost continuate activitile de inventariere i publicare pe site-ul MEF a taxelor fiscale i nefiscale n Registrul Fiscal; a fost promovat un nou act normativ (care va fi adoptat pn la sfritul anului) care instituie procedura autorizrii tacite pentru 455 de autorizaii inventariate n perioada decembrie 2007 octombrie 2008; au fost iniiate aciuni pentru identificarea i eliminarea unui numr de 25 de autorizaii considerate mpovrtoare pentru mediul de afaceri; a fost eliminat autorizarea persoanelor fizice de ctre primrii i transferat la Oficiul Naional al Registrului Comerului, timpul de nregistrare i autorizare fiind redus de la 15 zile la 3 zile; a fost iniiat proiectul de extindere a funcionalitilor componentei e-guvernare a Sistemului Electronic Naional pentru implementarea: conceptului de One-Stop Shop i a Punctului de Contact Unic Electronic i integrarea Ghieului Virtual de Pli; a fost iniiat simplificarea procedurilor de autorizare de mediu prin care se vor reduce termenele stabilite n derularea procedurii de evaluare a impactului asupra mediului la 120 de zile lucrtoare fa de 240.

Facilitarea intrrii/ieirii pe/de pe pia a ntreprinderilor Au continuat aciunile iniiate n 2007 pentru facilitarea intrrii/ieirii ntreprinderilor n/de pe pia dup cum urmeaz:
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Raport de implementare a Programului Naional de Reforme

desemnarea ASSI ca autoritate naional responsabil pentru implementarea Punctului de Contact Unic prevzut n Directiva Servicii ; operaionalizarea n iunie 2008 a sistemului on-line de autorizare i nregistrare a ntreprinderilor (e-forms), acesta funcionnd n prezent cu 11 tipuri de formulare active; finalizarea sistemului de nregistrare on-line a persoanelor fizice autorizate i a asociaiilor familiale: la data de 3 martie 2008 a fost emis certificatul de acceptan a sistemului, acesta urmnd a fi dezvoltat n conformitate cu prevederile OUG nr. 44/2008; continuarea implementrii Programului multianual privind dezvoltarea spiritului antreprenorial n rndul femeilor manager; continuarea aciunilor de legiferare a procedurii de preinsolven n cadrul unui proiect propus spre finanare din fonduri europene; continuarea activitilor privind evaluarea funcionrii i dezvoltarea dosarului electronic de insolven prin interconectarea sistemului ECRIS cu Sistemul Buletinul Procedurilor de Insolven i cu bazele de date ale Registrului Comerului, precum i interconectarea Buletinului cu registrele de insolven din state membre UE; actualizarea Manualului privind bunele practici n aplicarea procedurii insolvenei, prin analizarea jurisprudenei n materie de insolven; reglementarea cadrului juridic de promovare a investiiilor prin adoptarea OUG nr. 85/2008 pentru stimularea investiiilor.

Creterea capacitii de participare a IMM-urilor la achiziii publice n primele 3 trimestre ale anului 2008, pe portalul www.e-licitaie.ro au fost publicate peste 80.000 de anunuri, 65.000 dintre acestea viznd atribuirea de contracte IMM-urilor. n luna iunie 2008, a fost creat un grup de lucru constituit din reprezentani ai ANRMAP i MIMMCTPL pentru evaluarea participrii IMM-urilor la achiziii publice. Pn n prezent, grupul de lucru a stabilit indicatorii necesari n procesul de evaluare a participrii IMM la achiziii publice, urmnd s defineasc aciuni concrete pentru creterea ratei de reuit a IMMurilor. n acest scop, au fost dezvoltate noi funcionaliti a SEAP pentru stimularea participrii ntreprinderilor, inclusiv IMM-urilor, la diferite forme de licitaie public; Dezvoltarea infrastructurii de afaceri S-a continuat implementarea aciunilor ncepute n anul 2007, urmrindu-se consolidarea rezultatelor sau extinderea domeniilor de servicii livrate, n raport cu nevoile IMM i potenialul de dezvoltare identificate la nivel teritorial: continuarea extinderii reelei de oficii teritoriale pentru informarea ntreprinderilor mici i mijlocii (OTIMMC) cu alte dou noi oficii la Ploieti i Bacu i transferarea de atribuii de implementare a programelor naionale multianuale celor 13 oficii; sprijinirea nfiinrii i dezvoltrii incubatoarelor de afaceri n Trgovite, Timioara, Cluj; alte 3 noi locaii:

dezvoltarea de noi servicii disponibile pe portalului pentru IMM www.businessentrepreneur.ro/e.simplu.ro ; continuarea dezvoltrii Registrului Central al Consultanilor (RCC) i introducerea unui filtru de selecie a consultanilor pe baza criteriilor de competen i experien profesional;
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continuarea susinerii IMM pentru promovarea produselor i serviciilor la export n cadrul unei operaiuni specializate din cadrul POS CCE.

Creterea competitivitii ntreprinderilor n anul 2008, Guvernul Romniei a sprijinit eforturile de cretere a competitivitii operatorii economici din sectorul industrial prin continuarea finanrii de la bugetul de stat a proiectelor pentru dezvoltare tehnologic, creterea calitii produselor industriale, precum i pentru diseminarea i aplicarea rezultatelor activitii de cercetare-inovare. Cele mai importante programe n acest domeniu sunt: Programul de cretere a competitivitii produselor industriale care susine asigurarea nivelului de calitate a produselor industriale la nivelul standardelor Uniunii Europene i implementarea celor mai bune practici la nivel mondial. Implementarea acestuia a contribuit la creterea exportului direct de produse de concepie proprie n medie cu 1% anual, ajungnd la 46% n 2007, respectiv 47% n 2008 din totalul exporturilor de produse industriale; Promovarea investiiilor prin scheme de ajutor de stat iniiate de MEF pentru susinerea IMM i dezvoltare regional destinate dezvoltrii sau modernizrii ntreprinderilor n vederea stimulrii creterii economice i sporirii numrului de locuri de munc; Planul sectorial n domeniul cercetrii n industria prelucrtoare stimuleaz activitile de CDI din sectorul industrial i de aplicare a rezultatelor obinute, n prezent fiind n derulare 31 de contracte, iar 19 teme de cercetare se afl n stadiu de evaluare a proiectelor.

Programele de sprijin financiar destinate IMM au fost orientate n continuare pe stimularea investiiilor n noi echipamente i tehnologii, promovarea standardelor internaionale de calitate, accesul pe noi piee prin promovarea exportului., acestea concentrndu-se pe definirea mai adecvat a activitilor i a criteriilor de eligibilitate i alocarea corespunztoare a surselor financiare, att din fonduri naionale ct i din fonduri structurale, astfel: susinerea investiiilor realizate de ctre ntreprinderile nou nfiinate i microntreprinderi, precum i a investiiilor de modernizare i retehnologizare a IMM urilor implementat n 2007 ca program naional, se continu n 2008 prin lansarea operaiunii Investiii productive i pregtirea pentru competiia pe pia a ntreprinderilor, n special a IMM din cadrul POS CCE; continuarea implementrii Programului pentru dezvoltarea IMM prin fonduri n limita sumelor pltite pentru profitul brut reinvestit descentralizat la nivelul OTIMMC, n conformitate cu Ordinul ministrului MIMMCTPL; continuarea implementrii Programului privind creterea competitivitii IMM urilor prin implementarea i certificarea sistemelor de management al calitii i al mediului printr-o nou schem de finanare, dezvoltat n anul 2008 n cadrul unei operaiuni specializate din POS CCE; demararea procesului de promovare a unui nou cadru strategic de dezvoltare a sectorului IMM pentru perioada 2009 2013.

Facilitarea accesului la finanare Pentru facilitarea accesului IMM-urilor la finanare MEF, ca autoritate de management POS CCE, implementeaz iniiativa JEREMIE n conformitate cu Legea nr. 154/2008 privind

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reglementarea la nivel naional a cadrului financiar general i crearea Fondului de participare JEREMIE, ctre care s-a transferat suma de 100 MEuro pentru gestionarea fondului. Promovarea CDI Guvernul Romniei, prin Autoritatea Naional pentru Cercetare tiinific, s-a concentrat asupra realizrii obiectivelor Strategiei naionale CDI, de promovare intensiv a cercetrii tiinifice, dezvoltrii tehnologice i inovrii, ca surse principale de cretere a competitivitii economice i a bunstrii n plan social. Fondurile publice alocate pentru CDI prin bugetul de stat au atins la sfritul anului 2007 nivelul de cca. 0,5% din PIB i sunt planificate s ating nivelul de cca. 0,7% din PIB n anul 2008. Creterea competitivitii n ntreprinderi, prin dezvoltarea activitilor CD i a capacitii proprii de inovare, a continuat s fie susinut, n special, prin proiectele CDI complexe (realizate att prin programul Parteneriate n domeniile S/T prioritare din Planul Naional CDI II PN II , ct i prin programul Cercetare de excelen - CEEX) i prin proiecte CDI iniiate i conduse direct de ntreprinderi, n cadrul programului Inovare din PN II. Un accent deosebit s-a pus pe creterea competitivitii sistemului CDI, prin dezvoltarea resurselor umane din domeniu, creterea capacitii de cercetare n domenii de frontier, ca i pe creterea productivitii S/T i a nivelului calitativ al rezultatelor de cercetare. n vederea stimulrii concentrrii potenialului de cercetare i reducerii fragmentrii n sistemul CDI, n cursul anului 2008, au fost promovate proiectele de mare complexitate, care concentreaz un volum important de resurse umane i materiale, de nalt nivel. n acelai timp, au fost promovate proiectele pentru infrastructuri mari de cercetare, apreciate ca fiind o premier pentru cercetarea din Romnia, dup 1990. Prin implementarea Strategiei naionale CDI, Romnia asigur, totodat, alinierea la orientrile politicilor CDI din spaiul european i particip activ la procesul de consolidare a Ariei Europene a Cercetrii ERA. Participarea Romniei la Programul Cadru 7 de cercetare al UE pentru perioada 2007-2013 (PC 7) a nregistrat, n perioada 2007-2008, 772 propuneri de proiecte depuse, din care au fost selectate pentru finanare 98 proiecte, n care sunt implicai 119 participani romni. Bugetul solicitat din partea UE pentru cele 98 de proiecte este de cca. 14, 5 MEUR. Domeniile cu cele mai multe propuneri depuse au fost : tehnologia informaiei i comunicaii (TIC) cu cca. 25% din totalul proiectelor depuse i mediu cu cca. 14% (din totalul proiectelor depuse). Domeniile cu cea mai bun rat de succes au fost infrastructurile cercetrii, cu 68,18% i spaiu, cu 40,91%. Romnia susine, n continuare, dezvoltarea noilor forme de parteneriat public-privat n cercetare, reprezentate de platformele tehnologice ca i de iniiativele tehnologice comune. n perioada 2007-2008, Romnia s-a nscris ca membru la 4 din cele ase iniiative tehnologice comune aprobate: ARTEMIS (sisteme informatice integrate), ENIAC (nanotehnologii), IMI (medicamente inovatoare) i CLEAN SKY (aeronautic). Romnia particip, n prezent, la 9 dintre cele 36 proiecte nscrise n foaia de parcurs elaborat, n 2006, de Forumul Strategic European pentru Infrastructurile Cercetrii (ESFRI) i lansate pe parcursul anului 2007 (proiecte multinaionale de investiii pentru realizarea infrastructurilor pan-europene de cercetare). Trebuie evideniat participarea Romniei ca membru fondator la proiectele FAIR (Facility for Ion and Antiproton Research), care se realizeaz n Germania. Pentru proiectul Extreme Light Infrastructure - ELI se analizeaz posibilitatea amplasrii acestei infrastructuri pan-europene de cercetare n ara noastr. Romnia a iniiat procesul de aderare la Centrul European pentru Cercetri Nucleare CERN. Dosarul privind aderarea a fost naintat la organismele competente i urmeaz procedurile de analiz i evaluare specifice acestui proces.

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Consolidarea politicilor privind ajutorul de stat n perioada de referin CC a continuat s ndeplineasc rolul de autoritate naional de contact n domeniul ajutorului de stat n relaia cu Comisia European, ntrindu-i poziia n acest domeniu, prin: crearea reelei interactive de ajutor de stat a furnizorilor i iniiatorilor de ajutoare de stat i definirea punctelor de acces la SANI (sistemul interactiv de notificare a ajutoarelor de stat la COM); asigurarea de consultan de specialitate ctre furnizorii de ajutor de stat n cazul a 16 scheme; asigurarea unui nivel corespunztor de pregtire a personalului de specialitate din CC; elaborarea i aprobarea Raportului ajutoarelor de stat acordate de Romnia n perioada 2004-2006.

Managementul durabil al resurselor regenerabile i atenuarea schimbrilor climatice Pentru infrastructura de mediu (ap/ap uzat), n perioada ianuarie - iunie 2008, au fost realizate 2 obiective pentru reabilitarea reelelor de alimentare cu ap i canalizare i modernizarea sistemului de colectare i epurare a apelor uzate, 3 obiective pentru extinderea reelelor de alimentare cu ap, canalizare i epurarea apelor uzate, 7 obiective de investiii realizate pentru alimentare cu ap i epurare a apelor uzate i 335 proiecte pentru realizarea lucrrilor de reabilitare, extindere reele de canalizare, staii de epurare (reabilitare, extindere, staii noi). Implementarea primei faze a proiectului Sistem integrat de reabilitare a sistemelor de alimentare cu ap i canalizare, a staiilor de tratare a apei potabile i staiilor de epurare a apelor uzate n localitile cu o populaie de pn la 50.000 de locuitori se realizeaz n 59 de localiti din 10 judee ale rii. n domeniul conservrii biodiversitii, au fost stabilite n vara acestui an, 273 situri de importan comunitar. De asemenea, guvernul romn a stabilit 108 arii de protecie special avifaunistic, n vederea constituirii Reelei de situri de interes european Natura 2000. Comisia European consider c numrul ariilor de protecie special avifaunistic este insuficient pentru a respecta prevederile Directivei Psri 79/409/CEE, motiv pentru care Romnia a primit, la data de 23 septembrie 2008, un ultim avertisment. n ceea ce privete managementul deeurilor, n perioada octombrie 2007-septembrie 2008, au fost implementate sau se afl n diferite faze de implementare ultimele proiecte finanate din fonduri de pre-aderare (ISPA i SAPARD), att n ceea privete managementul integrat al deeurilor, ct i msurile de constituire de depozite i de platforme de colectare a deeurilor. n primvara acestui an, au fost depuse mai multe proiecte finanate din instrumentele structurale, respectiv Fondul de Coeziune. Acestea se afl n diferite faze de evaluare. n domeniul schimbrilor climatice, a fost adoptat Ghidul privind adaptarea la efectele schimbrilor climatice, o prioritate pentru anul 2008. Romnia particip la implementarea Schemei europene de comercializare a certificatelor de emisii de gaze cu efect de ser n baza Planului Naional de Alocare adoptat prin HG nr. 60/2008. Strategia Naional a Romniei privind Schimbrile Climatice (2008 - 2012) i Planul Naional de Aciune aferent acesteia au fost elaborate i urmeaz s fie adoptate pn la sfritul anului 2008. Activitile prevzute n Planul Naional de Aciune privind Schimbrile Climatice (20052007), aflate n responsabilitatea MMDD, au fost implementate n proporie de 82%. Pentru asigurarea continuitii la nivel strategic, acestea vor fi integrate n viitorul Plan de Aciune aferent perioadei 2008-2012.
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n domeniul proteciei atmosferei, s-au stabilit msurile la nivel naional pentru reducerea i controlul emisiilor de dioxid de sulf, oxizi de azot, compui organici volatili i amoniac, responsabilitile autoritilor competente pentru punerea n aplicare a acestor msuri i monitorizarea implementrii lor, precum i obligaiile titularilor de activiti care constituie surse de poluare. Creterea eficienei energetice i promovarea resurselor regenerabile n anul 2008, aciunile din sectorul energetic au fost ndreptate att spre derularea unor programe de reducere a intensitii energetice i a costurilor cu energia n sistemul energetic i pentru consumatorii finali casnici, ct i spre mbuntirea cadrului legislativ pentru asigurarea creterii eficienei energetice i promovarea utilizrii resurselor regenerabile de energie. n cadrul Programului naional pentru reducerea costurilor cu energia pentru populaie, prin creterea eficienei energetice au fost selectate pentru a fi finanate de la bugetul de stat 37 de proiecte de reabilitri de puncte termice, nlocuire de cazane, nlocuire de conducte cu conducte preizolate, contorizri. n ceea ce privete implementarea Programului de reabilitarea termic a blocurilor de locuine condominii pn n prezent s-a realizat studiul de fezabilitate pentru 435 de blocuri, 372 dintre acestea avnd i proiectul tehnic finalizat, au fost reabilitate tehnic 14 blocuri i sunt n execuie lucrrile pentru alte 145 de blocuri. n perioada octombrie 2007 - septembrie 2008 au fost adoptate sau naintate spre aprobare o serie de acte normative pentru sprijinirea msurilor de cretere a eficienei energetice i de promovare a produciei i consumului de energie din surse regenerabile: OG nr. 22/2008 privind eficiena energetic i promovarea utilizrii la consumatorii finali a surselor regenerabile de energie vizeaz mbuntirea eficienei energetice la nivelul cererii de energie; HG nr. 750/2008 pentru aprobarea schemei de ajutor de stat regional privind valorificarea resurselor regenerabile de energie sprijin investiiile la nivel regional pentru valorificarea resurselor regenerabile existente, bugetul total alocat fiind estimat la 200 MEuro pentru perioada 2008-2013, din care 20,9 MEuro numai pentru anul 2008; au fost elaborate i naintate spre aprobare de ctre guvern proiectul de HG privind introducerea unor mecanisme de sprijin financiar, de tip bonus, pentru promovarea energiei electrice produs n uniti de cogenerare de nalt eficien i proiectul de HG privind emiterea garaniilor de origine pentru energia electric produs n uniti de cogenerare de nalt eficien.

n anul 2008, au continuat lucrrile pentru dezvoltarea de noi hidrocentrale, fiind deja finalizate studiile de fezabilitate pentru hidrocentralele Tarnia Lputeti i Islaz. Punerea n funciune a Unitii 2 a Centralei nuclearo-electrice de la Cernavod a determinat creterea cu peste 50% a produciei de energie nuclearo-electric n anul 2008, comparativ cu anul 2007. IV. PIAA MUNCII Evoluia principalilor indicatori privind fora de munc n primul semestru al anului 2008, pentru populaia n vrst de munc (15-64 ani), rata de activitate a fost de 62,6%, rata de ocupare a fost de 58,7%, iar rata omajului (BIM) de 6,0%. n semestrul I din anul 2008, rata de ocupare a crescut cu 0,3 pp fa de semestrul corespunztor din anul 2007 (58,4%).
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n cazul tinerilor (15-24 ani), rata omajului (BIM) scade constant, nregistrndu-se un nivel de 18,6% n semestrul I 2008, fa de 20,5% n semestrul I 2007 i fa de 20,1% n anul 2007. omajul nregistrat nu a cunoscut fluctuaii importante i a nregistrat o evoluie descresctoare, tendina fiind de atenuare i aplatizare. La finele lunii iunie 2008, numrul omerilor nregistrai n evidenele Ageniei Naionale pentru Ocuparea Forei de Munc a fost de 337.084 persoane. Rata omajului nregistrat a sczut n iunie 2008 la 3,8% (de la 4,1% n decembrie 2007). Sistemul de pensii Potrivit Legii nr. 250/2007, ncepnd din ianuarie 2008 raportul dintre valoarea punctului de pensie i ctigul salarial mediu brut utilizat la fundamentarea bugetului asigurrilor sociale de stat pe anul 2008 a nregistrat o cretere de 7,5%. ncepnd cu data de 1 octombrie 2008, raportul dintre valoarea punctului de pensie i ctigul salarial mediu brut utilizat la fundamentarea bugetului asigurrilor sociale de stat pentru anul 2008 este de 45%, devenind 697,5 lei. Astfel, pensia medie pe ansamblul sistemului public de pensii (asigurri sociale de stat i agricultori) a fost de 514 lei n iunie 2008, crescnd n termeni nominali de 2,4 ori i de 1,9 ori n termeni reali fa de decembrie 2004. Dezvoltarea sistemului de formare profesional continu Reeaua Serviciului Public de Ocupare de centre de formare profesional a fost extins, n prezent funcionnd 22 centre judeene i 6 centre regionale de formare profesional a adulilor. Rata de participare a omerilor nregistrai la cursuri de formare profesional a crescut de la minimum 12% n 2007, la minimum 15% n 2008. Astfel, n 2008 sunt programate s fie cuprinse la cursuri suportate din bugetul asigurrilor sociale pentru omaj peste 55.000 de persoane. Consolidarea capacitii administrative a Serviciului Public de Ocupare Se afl n faz final de contractare 8 proiecte finanate din Fondul Social European prin POS Dezvoltarea Resurselor Umane, care vizeaz ntrirea capacitii Serviciului Public de Ocupare. Valoarea total a proiectelor se ridic la 30,745 MEuro. Prin implementarea acestor proiecte SPO i va crete capacitatea de furnizare a msurilor active de ocupare i a programelor de formare profesional pentru omeri, va crete calitatea serviciilor de ocupare oferite i se vor mbunti competenele angajailor n oferirea serviciilor ctre clieni. Creterea ratei de ocupare i a gradului de incluziune social Autoritile romne au continuat implementarea msurilor de informare i consiliere pentru asistarea persoanelor aflate n cutarea unui loc de munc n vederea asigurrii unei inserri durabile pe piaa muncii. Ca urmare a implementrii Programului de ocupare a forei de munc de ctre Serviciul Public de Ocupare, pn la data de 30 iunie 2008, au fost angajate 235.990 persoane din cele 421.342 persoane participante la msurile active. De asemenea, autoritile romne au implementat programe speciale de promovare a ocuprii pentru grupurile vulnerabile (persoane de etnie rom, persoane cu dizabiliti, persoane din mediul rural, tineri aflai n risc de marginalizare social). n primul semestru al anului 2008 au fost angajate 8.079 persoane de etnie rom; 603 persoane cu handicap; 115 tineri care au prsit sistemul de protecie a copilului; 34 ceteni strini; 24 persoane eliberate din detenie; 1 imigrant; 1 persoan refugiat.

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Prin implementarea programului De la coal, la via profesional, spre carier, n primul semestru 2008, au fost organizate 1.392 edine de informare i consiliere pentru elevii nvmntului preuniversitar (elevi n clasele terminale), n comparaie cu totalul de 1.782 edine organizate pe ntreg parcursul anului 2007. Ca urmare a implementrii acestui program, n primul semestru al anului 2008 au fost angajai 47.268 tineri. n vederea reducerii fenomenului muncii nedeclarate, n perioada octombrie 2007 septembrie 2008, au fost controlai de Inspecia Muncii peste 99.000 de angajatori, din care 5.916 fiind depistai c foloseau fora de munc fr forme legale de angajare. Ca urmare a acestor campanii, au fost ncheiate i nregistrate la inspectoratele de munc 9.352 contracte individuale de munc pentru persoanele depistate fr forme legale de angajare. Guvernul Romniei va elabora proiectul de Lege privind migraia care s creeze un cadru legislativ adaptat contextului actual de pe piaa forei de munc din Romnia. De asemenea, se afl n curs de elaborare Strategia privind migraia forei de munc pe termen mediu i lung care va corela diferite elemente de politici sectoriale, cu scopul obinerii unor beneficii din gestionarea acestui fenomen. Definirea poziiei naionale privind flexisecuritatea Partenerii sociali au agreat pentru Romnia urmtoarele domenii de politic prioritare n contextul aplicrii principiilor flexicuritii: nvarea pe ntreg parcursul vieii i implementarea politicilor active pe piaa muncii. Este n curs de promovare reforma instituional i informaional a Ministerului Muncii, Egalitii de anse i Familiei. Proiectul de strategie a fost elaborat, stabilind ca prioriti: crearea unui sistem informatic integrat la nivelul MMFES i al instituiilor aflate n subordinea sau sub autoritatea sa i modificarea legislaiei n vigoare pentru simplificarea formalitilor. mbuntirea sistemului educaional Principalele obiective avute n vedere de Ministerul Educaiei, Cercetrii i Tineretului n perioada octombrie 2007-octombrie 2008 au urmrit: asigurarea accesului egal i echitabil la educaie; prevenirea i reducerea abandonului colar i prsirii timpurii a colii; asigurarea calitii educaiei i creterea relevanei educaiei i formrii profesionale pentru cerinele pieei muncii.

n ceea ce privete asigurarea accesului echitabil la educaie, msurile adoptate au vizat grupurile dezavantajate, cu precdere populaia de etnie rom i populaia din mediul rural i au avut n vedere: restabilirea siguranei n exploatarea cldirilor colare, mbuntirea condiiilor igienicosanitare i de confort ale acestora, eliminarea dezavantajelor educaionale n cazul elevilor care frecventeaz astfel de coli, derularea activitilor de tip grdinia de var etc. n cadrul proiectelor Phare 2005 Acces la educaie pentru grupurile dezavantajate au fost promovate programe de remediere colar i de mbuntire a accesului la educaie, programe de nvmnt la distan pentru tinerii din comunitile rome care vor s devin institutori, programe de formare a cadrelor didactice din unitile selectate, programe de formare a mediatorilor colari etc. iar prin Programul A Doua ans au fost implementate msuri de corecie a abandonului colar. Prin Programul Operaional Regional, MDLPL completeaz eforturile Ministerului Educaiei, Cercetrii i Tineretului n sprijinirea reabilitrii infrastructurii i mbuntirii dotrilor unitilor de nvmnt din mediul rural i zone dezavantajate. Prin urmare, i autoritile locale
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din mediul rural pot depune cereri pentru finanarea unor astfel proiecte. Lansarea cererilor de proiecte pentru acest domeniu de intervenie a avut loc n data de 28 februarie 2008 i pn n prezent au fost depuse 24 de proiecte, din care 4 proiecte sunt localizate n mediul rural. Pentru realizarea obiectivului de cretere a relevanei educaiei i formrii profesionale la cerinele pieei muncii, aciunile ntreprinse s-au concentrat asupra nvmntului profesional i tehnic (PT) i asupra nvmntului superior. Programul Phare TVET 2005 a susinut aciunile de cretere a capacitii de rspuns/de adaptare a nvmntului profesional i tehnic la cerinele pieei muncii. Astfel, oferta de PT se fundamenteaz pe instrumente de planificare (PRAI, PLAI) care presupun anticiparea timpurie a nevoilor de formare profesional i implicarea mediului de afaceri n redefinirea finalitilor nvrii. n ceea ce privete nvmntul superior, au fost continuate aciunile de dezvoltare a calificrilor i creare a cadrului legislativ i metodologic necesar pentru dezvoltarea i implementarea Cadrului Naional al Calificrilor n nvmntul Superior. Capacitatea sistemului de educaie i formare de a rspunde schimbrilor intervenite n piaa muncii i asigurarea calitii n educaie depind, n mod esenial, de calitatea i nivelul de pregtire/calificare a resurselor umane din nvmnt i formare profesional continu. mbuntirea calificrilor i competenelor cadrelor didactice reprezint o prioritate pentru Ministerul Educaiei, Cercetrii i Tineretului, ca parte a procesului de asigurare a calitii n educaie, i a fost susinut de Programul Formare continu a cadrelor didactice i de programele Phare 2005 i Phare 2006.

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INTRODUCERE
Raportul strategic asupra Strategiei Lisabona Relansate, dat publicitii de Comisia European la 11 decembrie 2007 i adoptat de Consiliul de primvar din martie 2008, menioneaz pentru Romnia patru recomandri specifice de ar i dou elemente de supravegheat, referitoare la: 1. Consolidarea capacitii administrative, att la nivelul central ct i la nivelurile locale ale administraiei, i crearea unei capaciti eficiente de reglementare, de control i de aplicare a legii; 2. Evitarea politicii fiscale prociclice pentru a limita deficitul de cont curent n cretere i presiunile inflaioniste, meninerea evoluiei salariilor n acelai ritm cu creterea productivitii i mbuntirea planificrii i execuiei bugetare, precum i a calitii finanelor publice; 3. Reducerea procedurilor i ntrzierilor administrative asociate obinerii de autorizaii, n vederea mbuntirii mediului de afaceri; 4. Punerea n aplicare a unei abordri integrate n vederea creterii gradului de ocupare a forei de munc, a ratei de activitate i a nivelurilor de productivitate, n special prin accelerarea reformelor din sistemul de educaie; 5. Consolidarea msurilor de combatere a fragmentrii structurilor de cercetare, garantnd n acelai timp rezultate eficiente pentru majorrile planificate ale finanrilor publice n domeniul cercetrii, prin punerea n aplicare hotrt a strategiei naionale pentru cercetare, dezvoltare i inovare i 6. Monitorizarea permanent a rezultatelor aplicrii strategiei naionale pentru cercetare, dezvoltare i inovare. n vederea implementrii recomandrilor specifice de ar i a actualizrii Programelor Naionale de Reform, fiecare stat membru trebuia s elaboreze, pn n luna septembrie 2008, un plan de aciuni i s stabileasc un mecanism de monitorizare a acestuia. n acest context, n luna martie 2008, Departamentul pentru Afaceri Europene a iniiat procesul de consultare inter-instituional pentru revizuirea PNR n conformitate cu concluziile Consiliului de primvar 2008 i cu recomandrile specifice de ar formulate de Comisia European n Raportul strategic. Prima versiune a Planului de aciuni pentru anul 2008 aferent PNR revizuit a fost elaborat n cadrul Grupului de lucru pentru Strategia Lisabona n perioada martie - mai 2008, iar aciunile fiecrui minister au fost validate i asumate la nivel politic de ctre reprezentanii ministerelor n cadrul unei reuniuni a Comitetului Lisabona, constituit n luna mai 2008 prin decizie a Primului Ministru cu scopul de a asigura monitorizarea PNR . Proiectul Planului de aciuni a fost aprobat prin memorandum de Guvernul Romniei n edina din data de 22 mai 2008, iar ncepnd cu 23 mai, a fost lansat procesul de dezbatere public asupra documentului publicat pe portalul Departamentului pentru Afaceri Europene. La 4 iunie 2008, Secretariatul General al Comisiei Europene (SG COM) a transmis Departamentului pentru Afaceri Europene un set de observaii i sugestii punctuale asupra proiectului de plan aprobat de guvern, care au fost analizate n detaliu n cadrul Grupului de lucru i apoi de ctre fiecare instituie implementatoare n parte, cea mai mare parte a sugestiilor fiind operate n plan. n cursul lunii iunie, proiectul planului de aciuni i sugestiile transmise de ctre SG COM au fost dezbtute n cadrul Comisiilor pentru Dialog Social din toate ministerele, proiectul modificat n urma acestor dezbateri fiind asumat i de ctre partenerii sociali.
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Proiectul de Planului de aciune a fost actualizat n urma dezbaterii publice, a consultrii partenerilor sociali i a lurii n considerare a recomandrilor i sugestiilor SG COM, iar planul de aciune final a fost aprobat de ctre guvern la data de 13 august 2008 sub titlul Planul de aciuni suplimentare pentru implementarea PNR in perioada 2008-2009. n acest context, Raportul de implementare a PNR a fost elaborat n perioada 15 septembrie - 15 octombrie 2008 pe baza unei metodologii construite de DAE, care a fost adoptat de ctre Comitetul Lisabona i ulterior nsuit de Grupul de lucru pentru Strategia Lisabona. Pe baza acestei metodologii, instituiile implicate n implementarea PNR au actualizat mai nti progresele realizate n Planul de aciuni suplimentare i au elaborat apoi textul descriptiv al progreselor, pentru a fi inclus n corpul raportului. Prima versiune a raportului de implementare a fost discutat i aprobat cu modificri n cadrul unei reuniuni a Comitetului Lisabona din data de 17 octombrie.

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IMPLEMENTAREA PRIORITILOR PNR N CURSUL ANULUI 2008 1. MBUNTIREA CAPACITII ADMINISTRATIVE


1.1 mbuntirea capacitii administraiei publice de formulare i implementare a politicilor publice
Procesul de elaborare i implementare a politicilor publice reprezint, n continuare, un domeniu prioritar pentru Romnia, iar autoritile romne au continuat eforturile pentru mbuntirea procedurilor de elaborare, avizare i prezentare a proiectelor de documente de politici publice. ncepnd cu data de 1 februarie 2008, au intrat n vigoare prevederile HG nr.1226/2007 pentru aprobarea Regulamentului privind procedurile, la nivelul Guvernului, pentru elaborarea, avizarea i prezentarea proiectelor de documente de politici publice, a proiectelor de acte normative, precum i a altor documente, n vederea adoptrii/ aprobrii. Unul din elementele de noutate cu impact semnificativ pe care l aduce acest regulament, l reprezint anunarea proiectelor de documente de politici publice, a proiectelor de acte normative, precum i a altor documente n cadrul reuniunii pregtitoare a edinei de guvern. Acestea sunt apoi supuse unui proces de consultare inter-ministerial, anterior supunerii aprobrii n edina de guvern. Perioada de consultare este de minimum 15 zile lucrtoare i poate fi extins, la solicitarea iniiatorului, la maximum 3 luni. De la introducerea noului regulament, 1514 acte normative au fost adoptate de ctre guvern, din care 1135 au fost anunate din stadiul de proiect conform noilor proceduri. Diferena de 379 const n acte normative care, fie se aflau pe circuitul de adoptare anterior introducerii noului regulament, fie au fost introduse pe lista suplimentar direct n edina de guvern. Secretariatul General al Guvernului (SGG), prin Direcia de Politici Publice (DPP), pregtete n perioada urmtoare elaborarea unui raport de evaluare cu privire la implementarea noului regulament. n ceea ce privete proiectarea sistemului de monitorizare i evaluare a politicilor publice, SGG, mpreun cu MEF lucreaz la elaborarea unui sistem de monitorizare i evaluare a politicilor publice la nivelul administraiei publice centrale. La nceputul anului 2008, SGG a elaborat un chestionar pentru evaluarea stadiului actual al activitilor de monitorizare i evaluare la nivelul ministerelor. Pe baza rezultatelor obinute ca urmare a acestei evaluri, a fost elaborat un ghid de monitorizare care n prezent se afl n consultare inter-ministerial. Dup definitivarea acestui ghid se va trece la etapa urmtoare i anume elaborarea unui sistem de monitorizare i evaluare a politicilor publice la nivelul Guvernului. Referitor la instruirea specialitilor din administraia public central n domeniul analizei preliminare a impactului i tehnicilor de evaluare, a continuat procesul de ntrire a capacitii administraiei publice, SGG organiznd o serie de sesiuni de instruire destinate specialitilor din administraia public central. Astfel, pn la sfritul anului 2007, au fost instruii aproximativ 100 de specialiti din ministere: 50 de specialiti n domeniul analizei de impact i 50 de specialiti n domeniul monitorizrii i tehnicilor de evaluare (instruirea axndu-se pe analiza exante a impactului financiar i economic al politicilor publice). n prima parte a anului 2008, s-a derulat proiectul pilot de msurare a costurilor administrative, proiect finanat prin programul MATRA cu sprijinul Guvernului Regatului rilor de Jos, ocazie cu care au fost instruii un numr de 20 persoane din ministere n domeniul reducerii costurilor administrative (utilizarea SCM).

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n cursul anului 2008, Strategia pentru o reglementare mai bun la nivelul administraiei publice centrale 2008-2013 a fost elaborat n cadrul grupului de lucru format din reprezentani ai SGG, DAE, MIMMCTPL, CNP, CL i MIRA. Au fost organizate mai multe ntlniri ale grupului de lucru, ocazie cu care au fost definitivate aspecte tehnice i de form ale documentului. Pe baza rapoartelor grupului de lucru, SGG i conductorul DAE l vor informa direct pe primul-ministru cu privire la stadiul implementrii msurilor cuprinse n strategie. Conform deciziilor luate n cadrul aceluiai grup de lucru i confirmate prin strategie, SGG, MEF i MIMMCTPL, sunt instituiile responsabile pentru msurarea costurilor administrative i reducerea sarcinilor administrative rezultate din legislaia naional nsrcinate, printre altele, cu demararea msurilor necesare adoptrii procentului naional de reducere a sarcinilor administrative. O prim variant a Strategiei a fost prezentat spre consultare pe paginile de internet ale SGG i DAE n luna februarie 2008, iar n luna mai a aceluiai an, au avut loc dou runde de consultri pe text, una cu reprezentani ai societii civile iar cea de-a doua cu reprezentani ai mediului de afaceri. n urma propunerilor rezultate n cadrul acestor ntlniri, proiectul a fost revizuit i anunat n edina pregtitoare a guvernului n luna iulie a acestui an. Observaiile primite de la prile consultate, au fost integrate n textul documentului. Strategia a fost aprobat n edina de guvern din 24 septembrie 2008. Elaborarea planului de aciune pentru reducerea sarcinilor administrative n conformitate cu Concluziile Consiliului European de primvar din 2008, Guvernul Romniei a aprobat la data de 24 septembrie a.c. procentul de 25% pentru reducerea sarcinilor administrative pn n 2012. Strategia pentru o reglementare mai bun la nivelul administraiei publice locale 2008-2013 prevede instituirea unui grup de lucru inter-ministerial permanent care s coordoneze implementarea msurilor coninute de aceasta. O prim ntlnire de lucru a acestui grup va avea loc n luna octombrie a.c., iar prima misiune a acestui grup o va reprezenta elaborarea unui plan detaliat de aciune pentru atingerea intei de 25% de reducere a sarcinilor administrative pn n anul 2012, int asumat de ctre guvern n edina din data de 24/09/2008. Strategia pentru o reglementare mai bun la nivelul administraiei publice locale 2008-2013 prevede ca direcie de aciune msurarea i reducerea sarcinilor administrative generate de legislaia naional i suportate n principal de ctre mediul de afaceri. n prezent, planul de aciune al strategiei conine termene generale cu privire la aceast direcie de aciune. De asemenea, tot n cadrul strategiei se prevede i instituirea unui grup de lucru inter-ministerial permanent care s coordoneze implementarea msurilor coninute de aceasta.

1.2 Creterea calitii serviciilor publice


Implementarea Cadrului de auto-evaluare a modului de funcionare a instituiilor publice (CAF) are ca obiectiv sprijinirea organizaiilor din sectorul public n planificarea unui exerciiu de autoevaluare pentru a identifica, cu exactitate, domeniile care trebuie mbuntite precum i modalitatea de mbuntire a acestora, reuind astfel s rspund ct mai rapid i mai concret nevoilor crescnde i diversificate ale beneficiarilor/cetenilor. Instrumentul de auto-evaluare a modului de funcionare a instituiilor publice a reuit s mobilizeze personalul, implicndu-l n procesul de mbuntire continu a activitii instituiei, avnd la baz principiile managementului calitii totale (orientare ctre client/cetean, rolul nivelului de conducere, abordare managerial bazat pe sistem, abordarea procesului de luare a deciziilor pe baz de fapte, garantarea unor relaii reciproc avantajoase cu partenerii, mbuntire continu i inovaie).

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n perioada octombrie 2007 octombrie 2008, Ministerul Internelor i Reformei Administrative (MIRA), prin Unitatea Central pentru Reforma Administraiei Publice (UCRAP), a continuat s acorde asisten tehnic instituiilor publice, att de la nivel central ct i de la nivel local, n derularea exerciiului de autoevaluare CAF. n perioada menionat, 20 de instituii publice au implementat CAF, iar rezultatele obinute au fost concretizate n planuri de aciuni de mbuntire, constituind n unele cazuri chiar o baz n elaborarea Programului Multianual de Modernizare a instituiei. Pn la 10 octombrie 2008, au fost primite nc 12 cereri de implementare a acestui instrument de autoevaluare, care au fost programate i care vor beneficia de asisten din partea UCRAP pn n luna mai 2009. Simplificarea procedurilor administrative n cadrul administraiei public Pentru a mbunti calitatea serviciilor publice oferite cetenilor, s-a impus necesitatea reorganizrii procedurilor pentru reducerea timpului de ateptare i a duratei de rezolvare a solicitrilor, n special n cadrul serviciilor de eliberare a paapoartelor, a permiselor de conducere i a nmatriculrilor auto, a cazierului judiciar, a registrului auto, precum si a serviciului de eviden al populaiei. La sfritul anului 2007, s-a ncheiat etapa de simplificare a procedurilor administrative pentru eliberarea de: paapoarte, permise de conducere, certificate de nmatriculare a vehiculelor, numere de nmatriculare, caziere judiciare, autorizaii provizorii de circulaie, numere de nmatriculare prefereniale. Datorit creterii gradului de transparen i a accesului cetenilor la informaii, ncepnd cu anul 2007, s-a constatat eficientizarea activitii personalului serviciilor de eliberare a paapoartelor, prin realizarea unei creteri medii anuale cu 2% a numrului de documente eliberate pe unitatea de timp, raportat la anul 2006. nfiinarea ghieului unic n cadrul serviciilor publice comunitare locale de eviden a persoanelor Pentru a eficientiza activitatea serviciilor publice comunitare, MIRA a derulat un proiect privind implementarea sistemului de ghieu unic, care s-a finalizat prin emiterea Ordinului MIRA nr. 1260/2006 pentru aprobarea Metodologiei privind organizarea i funcionarea ghieului unic n cadrul serviciilor publice comunitare locale de eviden a persoanelor. Aplicarea acestei metodologii la nivelul serviciilor publice comunitare locale de eviden a persoanelor permite depunerea documentelor necesare n vederea eliberrii actelor de identitate, crilor de alegtor, paapoartelor simple, permiselor de conducere, certificatelor de nmatriculare a vehiculelor precum i a plcuelor cu numere de nmatriculare. n acest moment, dintr-un total de 407 servicii publice comunitare locale de eviden a persoanelor, 230 funcioneaz n sistem de ghieu unic. Concentrarea furnizrii diferitelor servicii administrative se face ntr-un punct de contact unic. Elaborarea standardelor de calitate i a indicatorilor de performan pentru asigurarea furnizrii serviciilor comunitare de utiliti publice Au fost elaborate i implementate standardele de calitate i indicatorii de performan n cele 103 uniti locale de monitorizare la nivelul oraelor i n cele 42 uniti locale de monitorizare la nivelul judeelor.

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n vederea perfecionrii cadrului legislativ i instituional necesar ntririi capacitii decizionale i manageriale a autoritilor administraiei publice locale cu privire la organizarea, gestionarea, coordonarea i controlul funcionrii serviciilor comunitare de utiliti publice, precum i la optimizarea i eficientizarea gestiunii, administrrii i exploatrii infrastructurii tehnico-edilitare, Direcia Servicii de Interes General din cadrul MIRA a lansat n data de 2 iulie 2008, proiectul Dezvoltarea unui sistem de monitorizare a indicatorilor de performan n sectorul serviciilor comunitare de utiliti publice, finanat prin Programul Operaional Dezvoltarea Capacitii Administrative. Elaborarea Codului Administrativ Din perspectiva reformei administrative, codificarea are o importan deosebit, deoarece furnizeaz autorilor proiectelor de reform o baz clar i ordonat de texte aflate n vigoare (dreptul constant), pregtind astfel reforma i simplificarea ulterioar a actelor normative. Mai mult, codificarea poate fi folosit ca o oportunitate de mbuntire a reglementrilor n orice domeniu de intervenie public. Prin Ordin al ministrului s-a constituit Colectivul special pentru elaborarea Codului Administrativ al Romniei, format din reprezentani ai mediului universitar, ai Ministerului Justiiei i ai Consiliului Legislativ. n cadrul ntlnirilor colectivului special menionat mai sus, derulate n perioada 27.03.2008 24.09.2008, au fost discutate propunerile i observaiile formulate n urma consultrii listei de acte normative supuse codificrii precum i aspecte referitoare la coninutul tezelor prealabile ale codului administrativ. Ca urmare, Codul Administrativ va cuprinde aspecte privind: organizarea i funcionarea administraiei publice centrale i locale; regimul general al funciei publice i al funcionarilor publici; regimul proprietii publice i private a statului i a unitilor administrativ-teritoriale; regimul juridic al rspunderii de drept administrativ.

Grupul special a demarat activitatea de elaborare a Codului Administrativ, care va fi finalizat n cursul anului 2008. Elaborarea Codului de Procedur Administrativ n prezent, legislaia din Romnia abund n reglementri cu privire la aspecte ce vizeaz definirea i modul de funcionare a instituiilor i autoritilor administraiei publice, definirea i modul de organizare i funcionare a serviciilor publice, emiterea de acte administrative de ctre autoritile publice, mecanisme de rezolvare a petiiilor adresate autoritilor de ctre ceteni, mecanisme de asigurare a transparenei administraiei n faa societii civile. Aceast multitudine de reglementri n materie prevede o serie de proceduri speciale i derogri de la dreptul comun, coninnd deseori i contradicii ntre prevederi, fapt ce conduce la o aplicare greoaie i neunitar a acestora de ctre autoriti publice i instane judectoreti i ceteni. Sub coordonarea MIRA, n luna septembrie 2007 s-a constituit, prin ordin al ministrului, Colectivul special pentru elaborarea Codului de Procedur Administrativ al Romniei, care s-a ntrunit de 20 de ori n perioada 2007-2008. n cadrul acestor reuniuni a fost stabilit structura Codului de procedura administrativ i a fost elaborat proiectul de HG pentru adoptarea tezelor prealabile ale Codului de Procedur Administrativ, care, n prezent se afl la Secretariatul General al Guvernului pentru a fi inclus n edina de guvern.

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Proiectul Codului de Procedur Administrativ va asigura: uniformizarea soluiilor legale disparate existente n legislaia actual, precum i reglementarea pentru prima dat a unor situaii juridice semnalate de practica administrativ; coroborarea regulilor, conceptelor i instituiilor juridice specifice administrative cu cele proprii contenciosului administrativ; procedurii

simplificarea mijloacelor de aciune a administraiei publice prin coerena i predictibilitatea procedurilor; asigurarea stabilitii procedurilor administrative i indirect predictibilitatea actului de administraie public.

Structura Codului va fi conceput astfel nct s rspund nevoii de reglementare unitar a unor aspecte eseniale n funcionarea administraiei publice, corelat cu elementele de noutate i cu soluiile legislative identificate anterior. Vor fi tratate etapele necesare a fi parcurse n cadrul procedurii administrative, regimul juridic al competenei, termenele, efectele juridice ale actelor i operaiunilor administrative, regimul general al contractelor administrative, controlul administrativ, precum i cile de atac pe cale administrativ a actelor administrative Adoptarea Codului administrativ i a Codului de procedur administrativ va facilita folosirea unei terminologii unitare pentru aceleai realiti juridice, instituii, principii i concepte juridice, reducndu-se astfel riscul interpretrii lor difereniate sau a posibilelor nenelegeri a terminologiei utilizate.

1.3 mbuntirea capacitii administrative a autoritilor de reglementare


1.3.1 Consiliul Concurenei Consolidarea politicilor privind concurena i ajutorul de stat Pentru atingerea obiectivului de asigurare a funcionrii normale a pieelor n baza mecanismelor concureniale i de aplicare corect a regulilor de ajutor de stat, n perioada analizat, eforturile au fost concentrate pe dezvoltarea capacitii instituionale a Consiliului Concurenei. Pentru a rspunde la recomandrile specifice de ar referitoare la ntrirea capacitii administrative, n anul 2008 Consiliul Concurenei a planificat aciuni prin care s-a urmrit creterea calitii analizelor i studiilor de pia, precum i definirea cu acuratee a pieei relevante. n luna aprilie 2008, Consiliul Concurenei a iniiat formarea unui grup de analiz economic n cadrul Direciei Cercetare Sinteze i a organizat dou concursuri de angajare (aprilie i iunie 2008), n urma crora au fost recrutai 2 inspectori de concuren cu nalt pregtire n domeniul analizei economice i econometrice. Grupul de analiz economic va fi dezvoltat n continuare pn la ocuparea celor 6 posturi prevzute. Un nou concurs de angajare este programat a se desfura n luna octombrie a.c. Pentru formarea profesional a specialitilor Consiliului Concurenei n domeniul analizei economice i econometrie, sunt n derulare cursuri de specializare pe aceste componente desfurate cu profesori de la Academia de Studii Economice, la care particip 50 de inspectori de concuren. Au fost continuate aciunile de dezvoltare a capacitii instituionale, demarate n 2007, dup cum urmeaz:

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pregtirea profesional a experilor Consiliului Concurenei i recrutarea de personal de specialitate. Activitile de pregtire profesional s-au concentrat, n principal, asupra modificrilor intervenite n activitatea Consiliului Concurenei n domeniul concurenei i al ajutorului de stat dup data aderrii la Uniunea European (participarea n ECN i, respectiv, transferul ctre Comisia European a competenei de autorizare a ajutoarelor de stat). n perioada octombrie 2007 - septembrie 2008, au fost desfurate 95 activiti de pregtire profesional solicitate de ctre direciile de specialitate din cadrul CC, n cadrul crora au beneficiat de instruire aproximativ 210 inspectori, reprezentnd cca. 85% din personalul de specialitate al Consiliului Concurenei. S-au realizat schimburi de bune practici n cadrul a 14 seminarii pe teme de:
concuren (6) i ajutor de stat (7) desfurate n cadrul Programului de Twinning

susinut de experi de la autoritatea de concuren din Germania, i respectiv de experi din Ministerul Economiei, Afacerilor i Reformei din Marea Britanie;
analiz economic n cazurile de concuren, susinut de experi din cadrul Comisiei

Federale de Comer SUA. participarea n cadrul Reelei Europene a Concurenei (ECN). Pentru o mai bun participare la lucrrile ECN, s-a decis specializarea pe problematici. Astfel prin Ordinul Preedintelui Consiliului Concurenei nr. 17/2008 au fost desemnai, din cadrul tuturor direciilor de specialitate, reprezentanii Consiliului Concurenei n cadrul grupurilor i subgrupurilor ECN. n perioada analizat, Consiliul Concurenei a participat la 34 reuniuni ECN, formulnd urmtoarele contribuii: 3 rspunsuri la chestionare, din care 2 au fost transmise Comisiei i fac referire la revizuirea legislaiei secundare n domeniul concurenei, iar al treilea, care a fost transmis grupului de lucru ECN iniiator al proiectului, a avut ca obiect Informarea rapid n cazuri de clement; 2 poziii cu privire la 2 studii elaborate de grupurile de lucru ECN prin care au fost comunicate observaii referitoare la procedurile aflate n analiz; 5 note de poziie n cazuri de concentrri economice, transmise ctre COM, considerate relevante pentru Consiliul Concurenei, din prisma afectrii mediului concurenial pe piaa naional; 1 document de poziie al Consiliului Concurenei fa de Carta alb privind aciunile n despgubire transmis ctre COM. 15 rspunsuri la solicitri de informaii ale autoritilor naionale de concuren; 5 cereri de solicitare de informaii. Aplicarea legislaiei n domeniul concurenei Pentru respectarea regulilor antitrust i a celor privind controlul concentrrilor, n calitate de autoritate naional responsabil pentru aplicarea art. 81 i 82 din Tratatul CE, CC a desfurat n perioada octombrie 2007- septembrie 2008, urmtoarele activiti: au fost deschise 15 investigaii ca urmare a unor posibile nclcri a Legii concurenei nr. 21/1996, republicat, din care 8 din proprie iniiativ, viznd: piaa serviciilor de colarizare auto pentru obinerea permisului de conducere din municipiul Bucureti; piaa lacurilor i vopselelor nealimentare din Romnia; piaa serviciului de salubrizare din Municipiul Bucureti;
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piaa distribuiei de piese auto; piaa administrrii fondurilor de pensii private obligatorii: n aceast investigaie este incident i art. 81 din Tratatul CE; 3 investigaii pe pieele locale ale serviciilor de taximetrie. au fost deschise 3 investigaii utile pentru cunoaterea pieei imobiliare i a serviciilor conexe tranzaciilor imobiliare, respectiv cea a comercializrii produselor alimentare, piaa cerealelor de panificaie (anchete sectoriale). Principalele motive care au stat la baza deschiderii de anchete sectoriale au fost semnalele din presa scris i audio-vizual privind anumite disfuncionaliti ale pieelor, caracteristicile i structura cererii i ale ofertei. Anchetele sectoriale au ca scop strngerea, prelucrarea i interpretarea de date cantitative i calitative, identificarea mecanismelor de funcionare ale pieelor, determinarea cauzelor care conduc la o anumit funcionare a sectoarelor, identificarea unor posibile practici anticoncureniale etc. Consiliul Concurenei va valorifica informaiile colectate (date calitative i cantitative), mecanismele de funcionare a pieelor identificate, va analiza disfuncionalitile constatate i practicile anticoncureniale depistate i va propune n consecin msuri legislative sau se va autosesiza cu privire la posibile practici anticoncureniale, deschiznd noi investigaii. au fost finalizate 9 investigaii viznd: 3 carteluri pe piaa lucrrilor de protetic dentar, o pia local a serviciilor de taxi i dispecerat, piaa distribuiei de piese auto; 2 carteluri pe piaa produselor pentru dializ i piaa insulinei, implicnd i acte ale administraiei publice cu impact anticoncurenial; acte ale administraiei publice cu impact anticoncurenial pe piaa serviciilor de investigaie medical paraclinic; o concentrare economic ce ar fi condus la crearea sau consolidarea unei poziii dominante pe piaa produselor din oel; 2 concentrri economice supuse notificrii/puse n aplicare naintea emiterii unei decizii a Consiliului Concurenei pe piaa operaiunilor de leasing din Romnia i pe piaa serviciilor de intermediere n asigurri i reasigurri. Amenzile aplicate de Consiliul Concurenei n perioada octombrie 2007 septembrie 2008 au fost n valoare de 90.660.537 lei (aproximativ 25.000.000 euro 1). sunt n curs de investigare 30 de cazuri: 7 carteluri; 5 solicitri de dispens; 3 anchete sectoriale; 4 cazuri de abuz de poziie dominant; 3 investigaii privind aciuni ale administraiei publice cu posibil impact anticoncurenial; 4 investigaii privind posibile abuzuri de poziie dominant i carteluri; 2 cazuri de cartel implicnd i aciuni ale administraiei publice cu posibil impact anticoncurenial; 1 caz de abuz de poziie dominant implicnd i aciuni ale administraiei publice cu posibil impact anticoncurenial; 1 caz de concentrare economic care poate conduce la crearea sau consolidarea unei poziii dominante. au fost emise 23 de avize i puncte de vedere privind proiecte de acte normative cu posibil impact anticoncurenial, un rol deosebit n vederea asigurrii prevalenei legislaiei n domeniul concurenei l-a avut participarea n cadrul reuniunilor pregtitoare ale edinelor de guvern i colaborarea cu autoritile de reglementare sectorial.

Calculat conform cursului mediu de schimb BNR pentru luna septembrie 2008 (1Euro=3,53 LEI) Octombrie 2008

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a continuat aplicarea celor 24 de protocoale de colaborare (ncheiate cu autoriti de reglementare, asociaii profesionale i alte instituii) n cadrul crora au fost realizate cu instituiile partenere un numr de 18 de aciuni, care au vizat identificarea posibilelor prevederi cu impact anticoncurenial din proiecte de acte normative emise de autoritile de reglementare i alte instituii i organizarea de evenimente cu scopul promovrii culturii concurenei.

1.3.2 Autoritatea Naional de Reglementare n domeniul Energiei Autoritatea Naional de Reglementare n domeniul Energiei (ANRE) este instituia public autonom de interes naional cu personalitate juridic i finanare integral din venituri extrabugetare. ANRE asigur pregtirea continu a personalului n scopul creterii capacitii de analiz, monitorizare i reglementare, la un nivel similar cu cel existent n autoritile de reglementare din domeniu din statele membre. n perioada ianuarie-septembrie 2008, 72 de angajai ai ANRE au participat la sesiuni de instruire avnd ca teme: reglementarea pieei de energie, a preurilor i tarifelor n domeniul energiei electrice i al gazelor naturale, managementul riscului n comerul cu gaze, practici de reglementare n domeniul energiei, integrarea n reea i funcionarea centralelor eoliene etc. La lucrrile Consiliului European al Reglementatorilor din domeniul Energiei (CEER) i ale Grupului European al Reglementatorilor din Domeniul Electricitii i Gazelor (ERGEG) au participat 31 de reprezentani ai ANRE, ceea ce confirm importana acordat cooperrii ntre autoritile statelor membre. Semnarea Memorandumului privind acordul de cooperare ntre reglementatorii din regiunea SudSud Est European asigur premisele atingerii unui nivel adecvat de coordonare i nelegere asupra aspectelor de reglementare de interes major din regiune. De asemenea, schimburile de experien realizate de ANRE cu autoritile de reglementare din Ungaria, Austria, Cehia, Polonia i Olanda contribuie la mbuntirea activitii de supraveghere a pieei de energie electric i gaze naturale. 1.3.3 Autoritatea Naional pentru Comunicaii Sectorul comunicaiilor electronice din Romnia i continu trendul ascendent, cu o valoare de 4,61 miliarde de euro pentru anul 2007, n cretere faa de anul precedent cu 16,7%. n acest context, rolul Autoritii Naionale pentru Comunicaii (ANC) de asigurare a competitivitii i a accesului utilizatorilor finali la servicii de calitate la preuri accesibile devine unul foarte important. Prin OUG nr. 106/2008 privind reorganizarea Autoritii Naionale pentru Reglementare n Comunicaii i Tehnologia Informaiei (ANRCTI), a fost nfiinat o nou instituie cu atribuii lrgite n domeniul comunicaiilor electronice i tehnologiei informaiei, prin consolidarea i armonizarea n sarcina aceleiai instituii att a atribuiilor ANRCTI, care se desfiineaz, ct i a unei pri din atribuiile Institutului Naional de Cercetare-Dezvoltare n Informatic ICI Bucureti, a crei activitate n va fi preluat, parial, de ctre Autoritatea Naional de Comunicaii (ANC). Potrivit noului statut, ANC s-a constituit prin comasarea structurilor i infrastructurii ICI Bucureti, aferente atribuiilor de administrare i gestionare a TLD (top level domain) ".ro" i a SLD (second level domain) ".eu" pentru numele de domenii rezervate de Romnia, cu structurile ANRCTI afectate administrrii resursele limitate de spectru radio i de numerotaie. Restructurarea ANRCTI a fost justificat de necesitatea consolidrii luptei mpotriva fraudelor pe internet i a mbuntirii managementului resurselor internet n Romnia.
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n perioada octombrie 2007 octombrie 2008, n urma analizelor de pia realizate, ANC a identificat piaa serviciilor de terminare a apelurilor la puncte fixe ca fiind una relevant. Pe aceast pia au fost desemnai, prin Decizia preedintelui ANRCTI nr.585/2008, 38 de operatori cu putere semnificativ, stabilindu-se n acelai timp meninerea sau impunerea de noi obligaii n sarcina acestora. Printre obligaiile impuse se numr, dup caz, obligaii de transparen, nediscriminare, eviden contabil separat, acces la reea, precum i msuri de control al tarifelor de interconectare. Realizrile importante n perioada octombrie 2007-octombrie 2008 au fost: identificarea pieei serviciilor de terminare a apelurilor la puncte fixe ca pia relevant; desemnarea a 38 operatori cu putere semnificativ pe pia; instruirea specializat a 20 de angajai .

Avnd n vedere ponderea extrem de important pe care reglementarea ex-ante o are n cadrul activitii ANC, instituia beneficiaz de un program de asisten Phare RO 2005. 1.3.4 Comisia de Supraveghere a Asigurrilor Obiectivul prioritar din strategia Comisiei de Supraveghere a Asigurrilor (CSA) pentru perioada 2007-2011 l constituie mbuntirea capacitii instituionale de supraveghere a pieei asigurrilor. n acest scop, n perioada 2007-2008 CSA s-a axat pe creterea nivelului de pregtire a personalului i elaborarea mecanismelor de implementare a standardelor de solvabilitate (Solvency II) i contabilitate (conform reglementrilor Solvency II i IFRS). Finanarea acestui obiectiv a fost prevzut a se realiza att din surse proprii ct i din programele Phare 2005 i Phare 2006. Proiectul Phare 2005/17 privind gestionarea riscurilor i implementarea conceptului Solvency II, a asigurat asistena tehnic pentru elaborarea mecanismelor de implementare a conceptului Solvency II, instruirea personalului CSA i ntrirea capacitii instituionale a CSA n scopul desfurrii activitilor de supraveghere prudenial i control. Proiectul Phare 2005/17 se afl n faza final de derulare i a asigurat pregtirea personalului CSA n domeniul supravegherii prudeniale i controlului asiguratorilor prin urmtoarele forme: seminarii interne:4 seminarii cu temele Risk based supervision - on/off site, Risk management, Stress testing, Technical reserves and internal models, Actuarial problems, IFRS (IFRS 4, IFRS 7, IAS 39), Solvency II corporate governance, internal control and risk management overview, Reinsurance); participare la grupurile de lucru ale Comisiei Europene; seminarii externe: (CEIOPS Group Insurance, CEIOPS Financial Conglomerates, CEIOPS Members - internal models, consumer protection, QIS4, CEIOPS Risk Management, European Commission Council - Solvency II, Risk management advanced practices - FSI, CEIOPS & CESR & CEBS Credit risk transfer, CEIOPS QIS 4, CEIOPS Group Insurance Supervision, Co-ordiantion Committee for insurance group EUREKO, Netherlandshe Bank); schimburi de experien cu autoritile similare din statele membre; vizite de studiu n: Austria (iulie 2008) - Group Supervision; UK FSA (iulie 2008) - Risk Management, IFRS, internal models; Spania (iulie 2008) - Implementation Solvency 2; Ungaria (septembrie 2008) - Actuarial problems; Republica Ceh (septembrie 2008); Frana (octombrie 2008) - International Relations.

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Rezultatele au fost urmtoarele: aprox. 50de salariai instruii, 15 module de instruire desfurate, 2 proceduri elaborate (off site i on site), 2 manuale elaborate. Proiectul Phare se va finaliza la sfritul lunii noiembrie 2008. Proiectul Phare 2006/018 privind standardele de contabilitate i noile cerine de solvabilitate va asigura asistena tehnic pentru elaborarea mecanismelor de implementare a standardelor de solvabilitate i contabilitate (n conformitate cu noile reglementri Solvency II i IFRS) i pentru crearea capacitilor necesare evalurii procedurilor interne ale asiguratorilor pe baza principiilor elaborate de CSA. Contractul pentru proiectul Phare 2006 este n curs de semnare, iar asistena tehnic va fi disponibil ncepnd cu luna decembrie 2008. 1.3.5 Autoritatea Naional pentru Reglementarea i Monitorizarea Achiziiilor Publice Pentru obinerea n timp util a unor rspunsuri necesare autoritilor contractante n vederea derulrii activitilor curente, la nivelul ANRMAP a fost creat un birou de help-desk. La acest birou, autoritile contractante pot adresa pe cale electronic, la o adres dedicat, diverse ntrebri pentru clarificarea situaiilor cu care se confrunt. n perioada 1.01.2008-1.10.2008, n cadrul biroului help-desk au fost nregistrate i s-au emis rspunsuri la un numr de 4700 de solicitri din partea autoritilor contractante. Intervalul mediu de timp ntre o solicitare de clarificri i rspunsul aferent a fost de 3 zile. n scopul promovrii unor modaliti concrete de aplicare a prevederilor legislative i a bunelor practici n domeniu, ANRMAP a continuat elaborarea de ghiduri pentru achiziiile publice i concesiuni de lucrri publice i servicii. Astfel, o nou versiune a ghidului pentru atribuirea contractelor de achiziie public se afl n faza de finalizare. Aceast nou versiune cuprinde mult mai multe exemple practice, precum i informaii utile privind spee ntlnite n jurisprudena Curii Europene de Justiie. Totodat, sunt n lucru, Ghidul pentru concesiuni de lucrri publice i servicii precum i Regulamentul privind monitorizarea i evaluarea modului de atribuire a contractelor de achiziie public, a contractelor de concesiune de lucrri publice i a contractelor de concesiune de servicii.

1.4 Managementul instrumentelor structurale


n vederea creterii capacitii administrative necesare implementrii Fondurilor structurale i de coeziune, guvernul a realizat un efort financiar semnificativ, alocnd posturi suplimentare tuturor structurilor implicate n gestionarea fondurilor comunitare nerambursabile. Pn la sfritul anului 2007, la nivelul AM/OI, au fost angajate 340 persoane, reprezentnd o cretere de 23,4% fa de anul anterior. n paralel, s-a urmrit pregtirea personalului din aceste structuri, 6107 de persoane beneficiind, n cursul anului 2007, de instruiri generale i specifice n domeniul instrumentelor structurale. Dac anul 2007 a fost marcat de finalizarea msurilor pentru asigurarea capacitii structurilor de gestionare a fondurilor structurale i de coeziune (autoriti de management, organisme intermediare), n anul 2008, s-a pus accent pe sprijinirea potenialilor beneficiari pentru accesarea i implementarea acestor fonduri. Astfel, pentru a asigura o absorbie optim a fondurilor, au fost ntreprinse numeroase aciuni de instruire dar i de informare i publicitate, pentru a disemina informaiile legate de oportunitile oferite de instrumentele structurale, precum i pentru a asigura transparena gestionrii i implementrii finanrii nerambursabile. Evenimentele de comunicare i sesiunile de formare s-au desfurat n teritoriu, cu participani provenind din una sau mai multe regiuni. Ele au fost organizate de ACIS, pe teme orizontale (ex. informaii generale cu privire la instrumentele structurale) i de AM/OI, pe teme specifice programelor (ex. criterii de eligibilitate, pai n accesarea programelor), coordonarea acestora
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realizndu-se prin raportri ctre ACIS i ntlniri periodice ntre responsabilii din toate structurile. Raportrile primite la ACIS au evideniat faptul c au fost organizate 118 evenimente, cu sprijin financiar din bugetul de asisten tehnic, bugetul de stat, precum i din fonduri PHARE, n valoare total de 2,48 milioane Euro. n cadrul sesiunilor de formare desfurate n anul 2008, au fost instruii 3579 poteniali beneficiari ai programelor operaionale. n grupurile int ale sesiunilor de formare au fost incluse autoriti publice locale, uniti de nvmnt, IMM-uri, ONG-uri, n funcie de specificul programului operaional. Activitile au fost realizate de ctre autoritile de management, organismele intermediare i MEF, n calitate de coordonator.

1.5 Modernizarea sistemului judiciar


Reabilitarea/construirea sediilor de instan Ministerul Justiiei (MJ) a continuat s implementeze msura Reabilitarea/Construirea sediilor de instan, cu termen de finalizare trimestrul II/2011. Din cele nou sedii de instan (cinci judectorii, trei tribunale i o curte de apel) pentru care au fost aprobai indicatorii tehnicoeconomici prin HG nr. 1161/2007, ase au primit deja autorizaiile de construire, pentru o instan, autorizaia este n curs de acordare, iar pentru celelalte dou instane, ntocmirea documentaiei tehnico-economice este n curs de finalizare. n septembrie 2008, au fost aprobai indicatorii tehnico-economici pentru alte trei sedii de instan (dou tribunale i o curte de apel), prin HG nr. 1009/2008. n prezent, se ntocmete documentaia tehnic, de ctre proiectant, n vederea obinerii autorizaiilor de construire a acestor sedii. Totodat, este n curs de desfurare procedura de aprobare, prin hotrre de guvern, a indicatorilor tehnico-economici pentru nc un sediu de instan. Pn la 16 septembrie 2008, a fost finalizat procedura de atribuire a contractului privind serviciile de audit tehnic independent pentru obiectivele de investiii incluse n proiect. Derularea efectiv a contractului a nceput la 1 octombrie 2008 (valoarea acestuia este de 678.930 Euro, mprumut de la Banca Internaional pentru Reconstrucie i Dezvoltare BIRD). De asemenea, a fost finalizat i procedura de atribuire a contractului pentru serviciile de dirigenie de antier. Contractul este n curs de negociere. n vederea implementrii aciunilor sus-amintite, au fost alocate - pentru ntreaga perioad a proiectului - dou categorii de sume, cu destinaii distincte. Astfel: 77,53 MEuro pentru execuia lucrrilor (65,9 Euro - contribuie BIRD i 11,63MEuro - cofinanare bugetul de stat) i 3,67 MEuro pentru serviciile de audit tehnic i dirigenie de antier. Reorganizarea instanelor cu volum redus de activitate, precum i a altor instane cu volum mare de activitate Aceast msur vizeaz mbuntirea calitii actului de justiie printr-o repartizare echitabil a personalului i a volumului de activitate n cadrul instanelor. Implementarea msurii a fost suspendat, ea urmnd s fie reluat n cadrul unei strategii complete i coerente n domeniul resurselor umane, elaborat de ctre Consiliul Superior al Magistraturii (CSM). n edina din 4 septembrie 2008, plenul CSM a aprobat anteproiectul privind analiza gestionrii resurselor umane n perioada 2005 - august 2008 i strategia n domeniul resurselor umane pentru perioada 2008-2011. Anteproiectul se afl n dezbatere public pe site-ul CSM, pn la 15 octombrie 2008.

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Dotarea instanelor, a MJ i a altor instituii din sistemul judiciar i dezvoltarea sistemului ECRIS Msura informatizrii sistemului judiciar, cu termen de finalizare trimestrul IV/2010, are ca principale obiective, facilitarea accesului - n timp real - la legislaie i jurispruden i asigurarea unui management eficient al dosarelor, prin dezvoltarea sistemului ECRIS. Pentru realizarea acestei msuri, au fost alocate urmtoarele sume: 10,4 MEuro (Phare 2004) pentru dotarea sistemului judiciar cu echipamente IT; 0,39 MEuro (Phare 2005) pentru dotarea instanelor cu sisteme audio-video; 11,78 MEuro (Phare 2005) pentru crearea sistemului de arhivare electronic i 1,65 MEuro (Phare 2004) pentru dezvoltarea sistemului ECRIS. Pn n prezent, au fost cheltuii 18,819 MEuro. n implementarea acestei msuri, au fost nregistrate urmtoarele progrese: n februarie 2008, noua versiune ECRIS (cea de-a IV-a) a fost instalat n cele patru locaii pilot: Judectoria Sectorului 4, Tribunalul Bucureti, Curtea de Apel Bucureti, nalta Curte de Casaie i Justiie (n decembrie 2007, aceasta a fost pus la dispoziia beneficiarilor - instane, CSM, MJ - pentru testare preliminar); n prezent, beneficiarii evalueaz ndeplinirea rezultatelor de ctre contractor, n vederea aprobrii raportului final; n trimestrul II/2008, a fost derulat cu succes i ncheiat proiectul de constituire a sistemelor de audiere a martorilor la distan, fiind livrate ctre instane 140 de sisteme; n ceea ce privete sistemul de arhivare electronic, finanat prin programul Phare 2005 Arhivarea electronic, n cursul anului 2008, a fost livrat i instalat infrastructura hardware la nivelul ntregii ri; proiectul implic i o component de dezvoltare de software, necesar arhivrii electronice a dosarelor de instan, de parchet, de penitenciar i a dosarelor cu caracter administrativ; aplicaia software se afl n testare la nivelul a patru instane pilot; MJ estimeaz c proiectul va fi finalizat pn la sfritul anului n curs; n cadrul componentei continuarea dezvoltrii infrastructurii de comunicaii a sistemului judiciar, au fost instalate, pn n prezent, reelele locale LAN n toate instanele, n 233 parchete (din totalul de 236 parchete) i n 45 de penitenciare, incluznd penitenciarele pentru femei i centrele de reeducare pentru minori; reeaua securizat extins (WAN), care conecteaz toate unitile sistemului judiciar (MJ, CSM, CCJ, celelalte instane, PCCJ, celelalte parchete, Administraia Naional a Penitenciarelor, Oficiul Naional al Registrului Comerului - ONRC) a fost instalat n toate instanele, n 233 de parchete, n toate penitenciarele, precum i n cadrul ONRC, cu toate structurile sale teritoriale.

Continuarea pregtirii profesionale a magistrailor n domeniul economic i financiar Conform programului specializat al Institutului Naional al Magistraturii (INM) de formare continu n acest domeniu, n perioada octombriedecembrie 2007, au fost organizate apte seminarii, pentru 117 magistrai (104 judectori i 13 procurori), dup cum urmeaz: octombrie 2007: trei seminarii n domeniul dreptului comercial, la care au participat 53 judectori i alte trei seminarii n domeniul concurenei, pentru 51 judectori. Seminariile au fost organizate n cadrul proiectului Phare 2004 - Sprijin ulterior acordat INM i au abordat teme privind societile comerciale, piaa de capital, titluri de credit, insolvena, protecia consumatorului etc. decembrie 2007: un seminar cu tema Tehnici de investigare a infraciunilor economicofinanciare, la care au participat 13 procurori (organizator: INM, n colaborare cu Fundaia German pentru Cooperare Juridic Internaional - FGCJI).
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n perioada ianuarie-septembrie 2008, INM a organizat 32 de activiti de formare n domeniul economic i financiar, pentru 544 de magistrai (383 de judectori i 161 de procurori). Pentru realizarea acestei msuri, a fost cheltuit suma de 15.678 Euro, provenind din fondurile INM i din proiecte Phare 2004 i 2005. Testarea introducerii funciei de manager de instan pentru eficientizarea sistemului judiciar Aceast msur, cu termen de finalizare trimestrul IV/2009, va fi realizat prin intermediul unui Proiect de nfrire instituional Phare 2006. Msura urmrete evaluarea posibilitii dezvoltrii instituiei managerului de instan la nivelul sistemului judiciar, avndu-se n vedere urmtoarele: evaluarea cadrului instituional i legislativ actual care reglementeaz organizarea instanelor; stabilirea responsabilitilor administrative care ar putea fi avute n vedere pentru funcia de manager de instan; pregtirea profesional a persoanelor care vor desfura activiti specifice managerului de instan n cadrul a ase instane pilot; elaborarea unei metodologii de lucru pentru stabilirea unei practici unitare n instanele pilot.

n martie 2008, fia proiectului de nfrire Instituional a fost transmis Comisiei Europene, n vederea circulrii ctre punctele naionale de contact ale statelor membre. Ca urmare a evalurii ofertelor, Germania a fost selectat ca partener de twinning i a fost notificat, n acest sens, la 27 iunie 2008. Proiectul conveniei de twinning a fost elaborat i transmis Comisiei Europene, spre aprobare, la data de 22 septembrie 2008. Termenul limit pentru semnarea conveniei de twinning este 30 noiembrie 2008.

1.6 Dezvoltare teritorial i ntrirea coeziunii teritoriale


La nivelul Ministerului Dezvoltrii, Lucrrilor Publice i Locuinelor, la sfritul anului 2007, a fost elaborat Conceptul Strategic de Dezvoltare Teritorial Romnia 2030 (CSDTR 2030) - un document strategic privind dezvoltarea teritorial durabil i integrat pe termen mediu i lung a Romniei. n perioada octombrie 2007-octombrie 2008, MDLPL a asigurat derularea urmtoarelor activiti aferente CSDTR: au fost elaborate caietele de sarcini pentru sistemul de observare a teritoriului i pentru evaluarea impactului teritorial al politicilor; a fost aprobat temeiul juridic pentru instrumentele specifice de implementare a CSDTR prin OG nr. 27/2008 pentru modificarea i completarea Legii nr. 350/2001 privind amenajarea teritoriului i urbanismul. n procesul de implementare, Strategia de dezvoltare teritorial a Romniei se bazeaz pe: a) sistemul de politici publice teritoriale, n conformitate cu obiectivele Strategiei de dezvoltare teritorial a Romniei i cu evoluiile din domeniu la nivelul Uniunii Europene; b) metodologia de prioritizare a proiectelor, astfel nct investiiile publice care decurg din Strategia de dezvoltare teritorial a Romniei s fie considerate investiii publice de interes naional; c) sistemul naional de observare a dinamicii teritoriale, elaborare a scenariilor de dezvoltare teritorial, evaluare a impactului teritorial al politicilor i pe sisteme de fundamentare tehnic a deciziilor n dezvoltarea teritorial; d) crearea de parteneriate inter-

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instituionale, intersectoriale i teritoriale pentru promovarea i implementarea proiectelor strategice viznd coeziunea teritorial; prin OG nr. 27/2008 a fost introdus i obligativitatea corelrii de ctre autoritile locale, a strategiei de dezvoltare cu planurile teritoriale i programele multianuale de investiii publice; n septembrie 2008 s-au relansat caietele de sarcini privind metodologiile de planificare strategic teritorial i planificare integrat urban, care vor constitui baza pentru iniierea unui program naional de instruire n domeniu; s-au ntreprins o serie de pai n vederea configurrii reelei policentrice a teritoriului prin acordarea de asisten tehnic n procesul de cooperare urban-rural, precum i prin susinerea asocierii naionale a zonelor metropolitane i a sistemelor urbane; pentru realizarea unei strnse cooperri regionale, s-a agreat de ctre statele membre ale Grupului Viegrad 4+2 colaborarea cu Romnia i Bulgaria, n vederea configurrii parteneriatelor transnaionale pentru promovarea politicii de coeziune pe baza dimensiunii teritoriale.

Poli de cretere n vederea concentrrii investiiilor din fonduri publice (comunitare i naionale), inclusiv n domeniul eficienei energetice, Comitetului Naional de Coordonare a Instrumentelor Structurale a stabilit prin Decizia nr. 2/2008 lista municipiilor desemnate ca poli de cretere n care vor fi realizate cu prioritate investiii din programele operaionale cu finanare european. Pe baza acestei decizii, Guvernul Romniei a emis HG nr. 998/2008 care nominalizeaz municipiile Braov, Cluj-Napoca, Constana, Craiova, Iai, Ploieti i Timioara ca poli naionali de cretere n care se realizeaz cu prioritate investiii din programele cu finanare comunitar i naional. Pentru finanarea polilor de cretere, se va aloca pn la 50% din sursele financiare aferente Axei prioritare 1 din POR "Sprijinirea dezvoltrii durabile a oraelor - poli urbani de cretere". n afara acestor 7 poli de cretere, au fost identificai ali 13 poli de dezvoltare urban - Arad, Baia-Mare, Bacu, Brila, Galai, Deva, Oradea, Piteti, Rmnicu-Vlcea, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Suceava, Trgu-Mure - care vor beneficia cu prioritate de sprijin financiar din POR cu sume de pn la 20% din fondurile alocate Axei prioritare 1, precum i din alte programe cu finanare naional. Elaborarea Planurilor de Amenajare a Teritoriului Zonal/Regional (PATZR) Elaborarea PATZR-urilor se realizeaz n 3 etape: 1. Studiu de fundamentare a PATZR pentru regiunile de dezvoltare 1-8 (2007-2008); 2. Definirea cadrului metodologic, a elementelor dezvoltrii teritoriale la nivel regional, structurarea i constituirea bazei de date necesare PATZR pentru regiunile de dezvoltare 1-8 (2008); 3. Elaborarea celor 8 PATZR (2009). n luna decembrie 2007 a fost elaborat lucrarea Studiu de fundamentare pentru Planurile de Amenajare a Teritoriilor Zonale Regionale P.A.T.Z.R. pentru regiunile de dezvoltare 1-8. Pn la sfritul anului se va realiza studiul de ncadrare metodologic i realizare a profilului teritorial pentru fiecare regiune de dezvoltare i se va structura i constitui baza de date statistice necesare pentru elaborarea celor 8 PATZR.
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2. MACROECONOMIE
2.1 Stabilitatea macroeconomic i sustenabilitatea finanelor publice
2.1.1 Stabilitatea macroeconomic n anul 2007, creterea economic s-a meninut la un nivel ridicat, cu toate c mediul internaional a fost ndeosebi n partea a doua a anului nefavorabil (criza financiar, creterea preului petrolului, creterea preurilor produselor agro-alimentare att la nivel mondial ct i n Statele Membre UE). Dezvoltarea susinut a fost nsoit de o mbuntire a echilibrelor interne (n special a celui dintre consum i investiii), dar s-a bazat ntr-o proporie sporit pe resurse externe atrase, cu impact n accentuarea deficitului comercial i de cont curent. Produsul intern brut s-a majorat n 2007 cu 6%, ndeosebi datorit cererii interne pentru investiii, care a nregistrat o dinamic record dup 1990, respectiv de 29%. Investiiile strine au reprezentat principalul suport pentru creterea economic ridicat i sustenabil i reducerea decalajelor fa de celelalte state membre, prin antrenarea investiiilor interne fie sub forma coparticiprii la proiecte, fie prin cererea de bunuri de capital adresat ofertei naionale. Anul 2007 poate fi considerat un nou record al investiiilor private, avnd n vedere i faptul c rata de investiie a crescut cu aproape 5 puncte procentuale, atingnd 30,5% n anul 2007 fa de 25,6% n anul 2006. Investiiile din sectorul majoritar privat au nregistrat o cretere cu 44,5% fa de anul precedent, acest spor fiind cel mai mare din ultimii ani. Formarea brut de capital fix s-a majorat cu 28,9% n 2007, nsemnnd o cretere total fa de 2004 de 73,3%. Semnificativ este c evoluia de dup aderare a fost robust, mai ales n sectoarele pentru care exista temerea c funcionarea pe piaa unic european le va fi afectat. Construciile au nregistrat un vrf de cretere al ultimilor 18 ani, valoarea adugata brut majorndu-se cu 33,6%. De asemenea, serviciile s-au meninut la un ritm ridicat, respectiv de 7,1%, n timp ce industria s-a majorat cu 5,4%. Agricultura a nregistrat o reducere puternic pe fondul secetei prelungite, respectiv cu 16,9%. Dac se exclude agricultura din produsul intern brut, eliminnduse astfel doar efectele secetei asupra agriculturii, se constat c, practic, produsul intern brut a crescut cu 8,0%. In primul semestru al anului 2008, a fost consemnat cel mai nalt nivel al creterii economice, nregistrndu-se o majorare a produsul intern brut cu 8,8% comparativ cu semestru I 2007. Evoluia produsului intern brut pe componente de utilizare n 2008 - modificri procentuale fa de perioada corespunztoare a anului precedent Trim. I Trim. II Sem. I Produsul intern brut Cererea intern, din care: - Consumul final individual al populaiei - Consumul final colectiv al adm. publice - Formarea brut de capital fix Exportul de bunuri i servicii Importul de bunuri i servicii
Sursa: INS

8,2 15,9 14,3 4,1 33,2 24,6 35,2

9,3 10,7 12,2 4,1 30,0 26,9 24,4

8,8 13,0 13,6 4,1 31,1 25,7 29,4

Creterea produsului intern brut a fost susinut, pe latura ofertei, de sporirea volumului de activitate n toate sectoarele economiei naionale:

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construciile au reprezentat sectorul cel mai dinamic al economiei, cu o cretere a valorii adugate brute de 33,3% (32,4% n trimestrul I i 33,9% n al doilea), continund s se menin la nivelurile nalte din ultimii ani; creterea produciei industriale s-a concretizat ntr-o majorare a valorii adugate brute din acest sector de 5,8%; serviciile cel mai important sector al economiei naionale au nregistrat un spor de 7,6%, cretere susinut, n principal, de sporirea valorii adugate brute din ramura comer, repararea automobilelor i articolelor casnice; hoteluri i restaurante; transporturi i telecomunicaii cu 10,1%, dar i de majorrile din ramurile activiti financiare; imobiliare, nchirieri i servicii pentru ntreprinderi cu 5,9% i alte activiti de servicii cu 4,1%; Evoluia valorii adugate brute n 2008 - modificri procentuale fa de perioada corespunztoare a anului precedent Trim. I Trim. II 9,3 6,1 3,7 33,9 7,6 Sem. I 8,8 5,8 2,6 33,3 7,6

Produsul intern brut Industrie Agricultur, silvicultur, piscicultur Construcii Servicii


Sursa INS

8,2 5,4 -0,5 32,4 7,5

Avnd n vedere evoluia din prima parte a anului, se estimeaz c nivelul creterii economice pe ntregul an 2008 va fi la un nivel ridicat, produsul intern brut, n termeni reali, urmnd s creasc cu 9,1%. Componenta de baz a creterii o reprezint cererea intern, a crei majorare se menine la peste 13%, n special datorit accelerrii investiiilor. Se prelimin c pe ntregul an, formarea brut de capital fix (FBCF) va fi n termeni reali cu 27% mai mare fa de anul 2007. Investiiile (FBCF) ce se realizeaz n 2008 sunt estimate la 170,3 mld. lei, echivalentul a 47 mld. euro, reprezentnd 33,7% din PIB. Consumul individual efectiv al gospodriilor se preconizeaz s nregistreze o cretere de 11%, ca urmare a unei majorri semnificative a cumprrilor de mrfuri (18%). Corespunztor evoluiilor din prima parte a acestui an, se anticipeaz c, n anul 2008, consumul colectiv efectiv al administraiei publice va avea o cretere de 4,5%. Comerul exterior a beneficiat de evoluia raportului de schimb comercial care a favorizat schimbarea tendinei exporturilor de bunuri, estimndu-se c acestea vor nregistra dinamici superioare importurilor de bunuri (18,4% fa de 15,3%). Chiar dac i menine contribuia negativ la creterea real a PIB, exportul net va fi favorizat de reducerea diferenei - n termeni reali - ntre creterea exporturilor de bunuri i servicii i cea a importurilor, de la 8-10 puncte procentuale n anii precedeni, la circa 6 puncte procentuale n anul 2008. Construciile vor continua s rmn domeniul cel mai dinamic, ritmul anual de cretere al valorii adugate brute fiind estimat la 27,8% i vor contribui cu 2,4 puncte procentuale la creterea real a produsului intern brut.

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i pentru celelalte domenii de activitate se prevd sporuri ale valorii adugate brute: industria va crete cu 5,4%, serviciile se vor majora cu 6,9%, cu o contribuie la creterea real a PIB de 3,4 puncte procentuale, n timp ce pentru sectorul agricol se estimeaz un salt al valorii adugate brute de 15,2%, aceasta n condiiile unor rezultate excepionale obinute n sectorul vegetal, n special la culturile de var, dup ce anul 2007 a fost unul slab din punct de vedere agricol ca urmare a unor condiii vitrege din punct de vedere climatic. Comerul exterior de bunuri a nregistrat n anul 2007 ritmuri de cretere de 13,7% la exporturile de bunuri i 25,1% la importurile de bunuri. Exporturile de bunuri de capital i cele de bunuri intermediare i-au majorat ponderea n exporturile totale ca urmare a unui ritm de cretere de 32,2% i respectiv de 19,0%. Exporturile de bunuri de consum i-au meninut ponderea n exporturile totale. Importurile de bunuri de capital au nregistrat o cretere cu 32,6% , iar importurile de bunuri intermediare au avut o cretere cu 19,8%. Expedierile intracomunitare ale Romniei au fost cu 16% mai mari dect cele din 2006, reprezentnd 71,9% n exportul total, iar exporturile extracomunitare au crescut cu 8,4%. Intrrile intracomunitare au crescut cu 29,5%, reprezentnd 71,1% din totalul importului, iar importurile extracomunitare s-au majorat cu 15,5%. Deficitul de cont curent s-a majorat, ponderea n PIB reprezentnd 14,0%. Evoluia comerului exterior a nregistrat n ultima parte a anului 2007 o schimbare semnificativ, respectiv dinamica exporturilor a fost superioar celei a importurilor. Aceast evoluie a continuat n anul 2008, ceea ce a determinat creterea exporturilor de bunuri n primele 7 luni 2008 cu 18,5%, n timp ce importurile de bunuri s-au majorat cu 15,2%. Ca urmare, deficitul comercial a fost cu 10,4% mai mare dect cel nregistrat n aceeai perioad din 2007. Exporturile intracomunitare au reprezentat 69,8% din exporturile totale, iar importurile intracomunitare au reprezentat 69% din totalul importurilor. Deficitul contului curent, n primele 7 luni ale anului 2008, s-a mrit cu cca. 12% fa de cel din perioada similar a anului anterior, ncetinirea ritmului de cretere datorndu-se evoluiei favorabile a deficitului comercial, a crui majorare s-a diminuat la 9,3%, concomitent cu accentuarea deficitului balanei veniturilor cu 17%. Exporturile de bunuri pe ntregul an 2008 au fost estimate cu o cretere de 18,4%, ca urmare a evoluiei favorabile nregistrate n primele 7 luni ale anului. Importurile de bunuri au fost preliminate pentru anul 2008 cu o cretere de 15,3%, innd cont, n principal, de dependena dezvoltrii rii de resursele energetice i de materii prime din import, precum i, de amplificarea procesului investiional care necesit transfer de tehnologie din exterior. Ca urmare a acestor evoluii, ponderea deficitului comercial FOB-FOB n PIB se va diminua cu 0,6 puncte procentuale fa de 2007, ajungnd la 14%. Deficitul de cont curent se ateapt s se diminueze ca pondere n PIB, care urmeaz s fie de 13,4%, tendin susinut de evoluia favorabil a comerului exterior cu bunuri i servicii, dar i de meninerea contribuiei pozitive a excedentului transferurilor curente. n anul 2007, valoarea investiiilor strine directe a fost de 7,1 mld. euro in condiiile n care nu s-au realizat privatizri de valori semnificative. Se constat o mbuntire permanent a ponderii investiiilor strine directe n PIB ajungnd astfel n semestrul I 2008 la cca. 9% fa de numai 7,5% n aceeai perioad a anului 2007. Evoluia nregistrat de investiiile strine directe atrase n economie n primul semestru al anului 2008, confirm nc o dat poziia de lider a Romniei n zona Europei de Sud-Est ca destinaie atractiv pentru capitalul strin. Acestea au nregistrat o valoare de 4,9 miliarde euro fiind n cretere cu 38,1%.fa de cea din semestrul I al anului 2007.
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Procesul de dezinflaie a continuat n prima parte a anului 2007 datorit politicii monetare, dar mai ales politicilor guvernamentale, inflaia medie anual indicator de evaluare a convergenei nominale cobornd la 4,84% fa de 6,56% n 2006. In a doua parte a anului s-a nregistrat o schimbare n evoluie, mai vizibil n luna octombrie, cnd rata inflaiei a ajuns la 6,84%, astfel nct la sfritul anului 2007 aceasta a atins un nivel de 6,57%, depind banda de variaie agreat (3-5%). n prima parte a anului 2008, rata anualizat a inflaiei i-a continuat creterea manifestat nc din partea a doua a anului trecut, situndu-se n luna iulie la un nivel de 9,04%. Luna august a marcat, ns, o schimbare de trend n evoluie, astfel nct rata inflaiei a ajuns la 8,02%. Fa de sfritul anului anterior, rata inflaiei a ajuns n luna august la 4,19% fa de 2,79% n anul anterior. Ca urmare, rata medie lunar de cretere a preurilor de consum (0,5%) n primele 8 luni a fost cu 0,2 puncte procentuale superioar celei consemnate pe parcursul aceleiai perioade din anul trecut. La accelerarea ratei anuale a inflaiei a contribuit, n special, evoluia preurilor mrfurilor alimentare, care s-au majorat cu 8,79%, cu 0,77 puncte procentuale peste rata anual total a preurilor. Astfel, grupa mrfurilor alimentare a devenit grupa de produse cu contribuie determinant n creterea ratei inflaiei. Acest lucru se datoreaz, pe lng ponderea ridicat n coul de consum (37,5%), condiiilor climaterice nefavorabile din anul anterior care au afectat att producia intern de legume i fructe, ct i de cereale, dar i unui efect de baz. Evoluia preurilor mrfurilor alimentare trebuie pus n corelaie cu creterile atinse de preurile produselor agricole. Datele statistice disponibile indic pentru perioada iulie 2008/iulie 2007, creteri cu 13% pe seama majorrilor de pre la produsele animale (20,24%), ct i la produsele vegetale (8,16%). In cazul preului mrfurilor nealimentare, creterea anualizat a acestora (7,75%) s-a situat cu 3,61 puncte procentuale peste nivelul nregistrat n aceeai perioad a anului anterior. Cele mai mari creteri nregistrate n ultimele 12 luni au fost la: combustibili (15,36%), datorit creterii preurilor internaionale i la igri (10,92%). Grupa de energie electric, gaze i nclzire central s-a situat cu 4,52 puncte procentuale peste media preului mrfurilor nealimentare, datorit creterii preului la aceast grup cu 12,27%. In cadrul acestei grupe s-au nregistrat creteri cu 26,47% la gaze, cu 6,04% la energia termic i cu 4,51% la energia electric. In ceea ce privete tarifele la servicii, creterea acestora (6,99%) a fost cu 0,95 puncte procentuale superioar celei nregistrate n aceeai perioad a anului anterior. Acest lucru s-a datorat majorrilor nregistrate la servicii potale (11,65%), la serviciile de igien i cosmetic (11,57%), la ap, canal i salubritate (10,95%) i la transportul aerian (9,34%). Creteri au nregistrat i tarifele serviciilor de telefonie (6,63%), ancorate la cursul de schimb leu/euro. Un alt factor de presiune asupra inflaiei a fost cursul de schimb care, ncepnd din a doua jumtate a anului 2007 s-a repoziionat pe o traiectorie de depreciere nominal. n aceste condiii, preurile produselor importate sunt influenate negativ, ca i preul unor produse administrate racordate la moneda european sau la dolarul american n cazul gazelor. O influen asupra nivelului preliminat al inflaiei l vor avea preurile administrate, a cror cretere va fi mai mare dect n anul precedent, acestea rmnnd superioare preurilor libere. Totodat este posibil o modificare a preurilor interne ale combustibililor n condiiile continurii procesului de depreciere a monedei naionale, ca urmare a ocurilor de pe pieele internaionale.

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Pentru anul 2008, estimrile privind inflaia au presupus un an agricol normal, neafectat de ocuri mari, chiar dac n prima parte a anului a avut loc o cretere a preurilor produselor agroalimentare datorat efectelor secetei prelungite din anul precedent. Reacia BNR la acest context a fost prompt, banca central crescnd treptat dar ferm restrictivitatea politicii monetare. Astfel, pentru a contracara impactul exercitat asupra cererii interne de condiiile macroeconomice i pentru a ancora ferm anticipaiile inflaioniste n scopul prevenirii manifestrii efectelor secundare ale ocurilor ofertei, BNR a efectuat, n perioada octombrie 2007 iulie 2008, apte majorri consecutive ale ratei dobnzii de politic monetar, aceasta fiind crescut pn la nivelul de 10,25 la sut. Totodat, BNR a meninut rigoarea politicii de gestionare a lichiditii de pe piaa monetar prin intermediul operaiunilor de pia. n plus, dat fiind prelungirea ritmului rapid de cretere a creditului acordat sectorului privat n special a componentei n valut au fost prezervate ratele rezervelor minime obligatorii la nivelul de 20 la sut pentru pasivele constituite n moned naional (cu scaden rezidual mai mic de 2 ani) i, respectiv, la 40 la sut pentru pasivele denominate n valut. Pentru a crete eficacitatea gestionrii de ctre banca central a condiiilor lichiditii de pe piaa monetar i, implicit, a influenei exercitate de instrumentele de politic monetar asupra ratelor dobnzilor pe termen scurt de pe aceast pia, Consiliul de Administraie al BNR a decis s reduc scadena operaiunilor standard de atragere de depozite de la dou sptmni la o sptmn. Concomitent, n scopul ameliorrii transmiterii semnalelor de politic monetar i al reducerii amplitudinii fluctuaiilor ratelor dobnzilor de pe piaa monetar interbancar, s-a decis imprimarea unui caracter simetric coridorului format de ratele dobnzilor facilitilor permanente n jurul ratei dobnzii de politic monetar i restrngerea amplitudinii acestuia la valoarea de 4 puncte procentuale. Caracterul restrictiv al politicii monetare va fi meninut pe o perioad mai ndelungat de timp, nsprirea condiiilor monetare urmnd a se realiza n principal printr-o calibrare adecvat a politicii ratei dobnzii care s conduc, pe de o parte, la ncetinirea ritmului creditrii, i, pe de alt parte, la stimularea comportamentului de economisire. Chiar i n aceste condiii, coborrea sustenabil a ratei inflaiei spre inta pe termen mediu este condiionat de creterea coerenei mix-ului de politici macroeconomice prin ntrirea considerabil a politicii fiscale i ajustarea politicii veniturilor corespunztor dinamicii productivitii muncii -, precum i de accelerarea reformelor structurale, care s atenueze progresiv potenialul inflaionist al factorilor ofertei i s sporeasc eficacitatea transmisiei impulsurilor politicii monetare.

2.1.2 Stabilitatea financiar


Alturi de responsabilitatea primordial de urmrire a asigurrii stabilitii preurilor, Banca Naional a Romniei urmrete permanent evoluiile din sistemul bancar i de pe celelalte componente ale sistemului financiar, n vederea identificrii eventualelor disfuncii care ar pune n pericol capacitatea sistemului financiar de a face fa ocurilor sistemice, de a aloca eficient resursele ctre economia real i de a identifica i gestiona riscurile aferente. n anul 2008, Banca Naional a Romniei a continuat eforturile n domeniul stabilitii financiare, acionnd pentru ntrirea cadrului analitic prin: monitorizarea riscurilor din sectorul companiilor, prin analiza probabilitii de nerambursare i de tip stress testing; analiza sectorului extern prin perfecionarea instrumentarului de avertizare timpurie a crizelor valutare i analiz calitativ la nivel microeconomic a companiilor; definirea i calcularea setului de indicatori privind stabilitatea financiar; analiza sistemului bancar pe baza datelor bancare consolidate;
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completarea modelului de cuantificare a probabilitii de deteriorare a rating-ului bancar (CAAMPL) cu variabile macroeconomice; testarea riscului i a severitii poteniale a fenomenului de contaminare interbancar folosind metoda simulrilor (inclusiv, prin crearea unui instrument dedicat); evaluarea sensibilitii indicatorului ponderea creditelor restante i ndoielnice n total credite acordate la modificri n contextul macroeconomic din Romnia; evaluarea capacitii sectorului companiilor de a face fa unui oc de lichiditate provenind din exteriorul rii; elaborarea unor studii de specialitate (privind profitabilitatea sistemului bancar, managementul crizelor financiare, contagiunea pe diverse segmente ale pieelor financiare).

n domeniul promovrii cooperrii instituionale internaionale s-a semnat Acordul de cooperare ntre autoritile de supraveghere financiar, bncile centrale i ministerele de finane din UE privind stabilitatea financiar transfrontalier, care a intrat n vigoare la data de 01.06.2008. Obiectivele pe termen scurt ale Bncii Naionale a Romniei n domeniul stabilitii financiare (care continu i n anul 2008) includ: actualizarea planurilor naionale pentru situaii neateptate (sub egida Comitetului Naional pentru Stabilitate Financiar); dezvoltarea analizelor de tip stress-test, pentru identificarea vulnerabilitilor sistemului bancar la diverse ocuri; dezvoltarea instrumentarului de analiz a capacitii companiilor i a populaiei de a face fa unor ocuri sistemice; implementarea pn la finele anului 2008 a cadrului de analiz sistemic, parte integrant a Acordului de cooperare ntre autoritile de supraveghere financiar, bncile centrale i ministerele de finane din UE privind stabilitatea financiar transfrontalier, la care Romnia este parte.

2.1.3 Sustenabilitatea finanelor publice Referitor la mbuntirea administrrii fiscale, obiectivele de reform au n vedere creterea sustenabilitii activitii de administrare a veniturilor bugetare. n 2008, politica de mai bun colectare a veniturilor bugetare adoptat de ANAF a avut n vedere urmtoarele direcii de aciune prioritare: a) mbuntirea procedurilor; serviciilor de asisten i simplificarea i modernizarea

b) combaterea indisciplinei fiscale, creterea eficienei colectrii. a. mbuntirea serviciilor de asisten i simplificarea i modernizarea procedurilor In anul 2008, numrul de operatori ai Call Center-ului nfiinat n anul 2006 a crescut i au fost create premise pentru dezvoltarea funciilor acestuia n dou direcii importante: pn la sfritul anului 2008, va fi posibil accesul contribuabililor la contul fiscal propriu; legtura Centrului cu cele 7 locaii din teritoriu.

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Au fost publicate pe portalul ANAF materialele "nchirierea proprietii", "nfiinarea unei microntreprinderi" i "Ghidul fiscal al ntreprinztorului". A fost completat i actualizat coninutul paginilor de Asistena contribuabililor de pe pagina de Internet a ANAF cu: nouti n domeniul fiscal i al asistenei; formulare i instruciuni de completare. A fost realizat Manualul pentru depunerea declaraiilor prin Internet. Manualul a fost actualizat, innd seama de implicarea sectorului privat n furnizarea de certificate digitale calificate. S-a procedat la selectarea i sistematizarea celor mai frecvente soluii cu grad de aplicabilitate general, care au fost publicate pe portalul ANAF (modulul ntrebri frecvente), pentru a fi puse la dispoziia att a structurilor teritoriale de asisten, ct i a contribuabililor. S-a dat n exploatare aplicaia ANAFI baz de cunotine cu ntrebri i rspunsuri pe tematic fiscal. Procedurile au fost simplificate i modernizate, astfel nct s fie uor de neles i de efectuat, n consecin timpul petrecut de contribuabili n relaia lor cu fiscul a fost redus semnificativ. Dezvoltarea produselor electronice a condus la facilitarea conformrii contribuabililor la declarare i plat i a crescut corectitudinea informaiilor primite, concomitent cu eficiena prelucrrii acestora. Liniile de aciune mai semnificative puse n practic n vederea simplificrii i modernizrii procedurilor au fost: n domeniul declarrii: de la 1 ianuarie 2008 a fost revizuit sistemul de declarare pentru microntreprinderi, asociaii i fundaii: microntreprinderile declar i pltesc trimestrial impozitul pe venit i contribuiile aferente acestuia, iar asociaiile i fundaiile semestrial; depunerea declaraiilor fiscale n format electronic (online). Declararea online a parcurs mai multe etape, fiind extins n ntreaga ar, pentru toi contribuabilii persoane juridice, la data de 1 aprilie 2008. Pn la sfritul anului 2008, declararea online va fi posibil i pentru persoanele fizice. Implementarea metodei a contribuit semnificativ i la eliminarea erorilor, concomitent cu scderea dificultilor de prelucrare a datelor din declaraii i a potenialelor fenomene de corupie. S-a introdus posibilitatea utilizrii metodei de declarare online de ctre toi pltitorii de impozite, taxe i contribuii care dein certificat digital. n domeniul plii obligaiilor fiscale: Plata n cont unic: metoda a fost generalizat de la 1 ianuarie 2008. Plata electronic (cu card), implementat la 1 octombrie 2008.

certificatul de cazier fiscal este eliberat pe loc, n prezena contribuabilului sau a reprezentantului acestuia. Oficiul Naional al Registrului Comerului solicit i primete, n format electronic, de la Agenia Naionala de Administrare Fiscal informaiile din cazierul fiscal al contribuabililor persoane juridice, fr ca aceste persoane s mai solicite organelor fiscale eliberarea acestor certificate.

A fost extins, n cursul anului 2008, procedura de transmitere electronic a informaiilor din cazierul fiscal i pentru persoanele fizice care au obligaia prezentrii certificatului de cazier fiscal la autorizarea exercitrii unei activiti independente.

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b. Combaterea indisciplinei fiscale, creterea eficienei colectrii Reducerea gradual a arieratelor n economie a implicat i o politic ferm de mpiedicare a formrii de noi arierate. ANAF a continuat s publice, trimestrial, pe site-ul Ministerului Economiei i Finanelor - portal A.N.A.F., lista cu contribuabilii-persoane juridice (cu excepia microntreprinderilor, a contribuabililor aflai n procedura insolvenei i a obligaiilor pentru care contribuabilii au exercitat cile de atac prevzute de lege), care nregistreaz obligaii fa de bugetul de stat, bugetul asigurrilor sociale de stat, bugetul fondului naional unic de asigurri sociale de sntate, bugetul asigurrilor de omaj, precum i cuantumul acestor obligaii restante neachitate pn la data publicrii i msurile ntreprinse pentru recuperarea acestora. Au fost puse n practic urmtoarele linii de aciune: 1. urmrirea operativ, pe baza cererilor naintate de creditori, a declanrii procedurii de insolven n cazul contribuabililor asupra crora nu au dat rezultat msurile de executare silit; monitorizarea reducerii arieratelor la marii contribuabili i la contribuabilii mijlocii; monitorizarea lunar a veniturilor bugetare administrate de ANAF din veniturile bugetare stabilite n legea bugetului de stat i legea bugetului asigurrilor sociale de stat.

2. 3.

Introducerea procedurii de cesiune a creanelor fiscale, din septembrie 2008, va conduce la creterea rapiditii colectrii creanelor bugetare. Rezultatele msurilor de mbuntire a colectrii sunt evidente: ncasrile au crescut n anul 2007 faa de anul 2006 cu 20,4%. La sfritul anului 2007, arieratele au sczut cu circa 3% (469 mil. lei) fa de arieratele aflate n stoc la sfritul anului 2006. De asemenea, n trimestrul 1 2008, fa de trimestrul 1 2007, s-a nregistrat o scdere cu 4,2% (reprezentnd 640 mil. lei).

2.2 mbuntirea managementului cheltuielilor guvernamentale


2.2.1 Managementul cheltuielilor publice mbuntirea procesului de planificare strategic i corelare cu procesul bugetar n luna august a acestui an, MEF a transmis ordonatorilor principali de credite Scrisoarea-cadru privind contextul macroeconomic, metodologia de elaborare a proiectelor de buget pe anul 2009 i a estimrilor pentru anii 2010-2012. Astfel, potrivit acestei metodologii, ministerele care elaboreaz Planul Strategic Instituional au obligaia de a evidenia relaia dintre politicile publice, programe i resursele alocate. Aceasta va contribui la construirea unui buget axat pe politici i rezultate, n conformitate cu prevederile HG nr.1807/2006 pentru aprobarea Componentei de management din cadrul Metodologiei privind sistemul de planificare strategic pe termen mediu al instituiilor administraiei publice de la nivel central i ale HG nr.158/2008 de aprobare a componentei de programare bugetar din cadrul metodologiei privind sistemul de planificare strategic pe termen mediu la nivelul administraiei publice la nivel central.

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n vederea formulrii politicilor publice i a selectrii acelora ce vor fi finanate prin proiectul de buget, direciile abilitate s elaboreze proiectul de buget al ordonatorului principal de credite vor colabora cu Unitatea de Politici Publice constituit la nivelul instituiei, n temeiul HG nr. 775/2005 pentru aprobarea Regulamentului privind procedurile de elaborare, monitorizare i evaluare a politicilor publice la nivel central, precum i cu grupul de management responsabil cu pregtirea i realizarea componentei de planificare bugetar, instituit prin HG nr. 158/2008. Astfel, cu ocazia elaborrii proiectului de buget pe anul 2009, ordonatorii principali de credite crora le sunt aplicabile prevederile HG nr. 1807/2006 i HG nr.158/2008 au obligaia corelrii documentelor bugetare cu cele de planificare strategic n ceea ce privete structura i coninutul programelor bugetare finanate. n prezent, se lucreaz la proiectul de instruciuni cu privire la elaborarea programelor bugetare, care urmeaz s armonizeze metodologia de lucru att pentru ordonatorii principali de credite crora le sunt aplicabile prevederile HG nr.1807/2006, ct i pentru ordonatorii principali de credite la nivelul crora nu a fost implementat nc sistemul planificrii strategice. Prin HG nr.158/2008 a fost aprobat Componenta de programare bugetar din cadrul Metodologiei privind sistemul de planificare strategic pe termen mediu al instituiilor administraiei publice de la nivel central. Conform hotrrii, pn la data de 15 iunie 2008, toate cele 15 ministere i SGG au elaborat componenta de programare bugetar, documentele respective fiind aprobate prin ordin de ctre conductorii de instituie. Aceasta completeaz componenta de management din cadrul metodologiei, aprobat prin HG nr.1807/2006. Pn la sfritul acestui an, instituiile trebuie s prezinte SGG un Plan Strategic Integrat care s cuprind att componenta de management, elaborat n cursul primei jumti a anului 2007, ct i componenta bugetar, actualizate n concordan cu proiectul legii bugetului de stat pentru anul 2009. Proiectul de buget de stat pentru anul 2009 este elaborat pe baza informaiilor prezentate n componenta de programare bugetar a planurilor strategice. n perioada realizrii celei de a doua componente a sistemului de planificare strategic pe termen mediu - cea de planificare bugetar - reprezentanii SGG au participat la reuniunile grupurilor de lucru din cadrul ministerelor, oferind consultan pentru elaborarea planurilor strategice. De asemenea, n vederea schimbului de bune practici ntre ministere, au fost organizate la sediul SGG 4 ntlniri cu persoanele desemnate pentru elaborarea acestor documente, la care au participat aproximativ 40 de reprezentani ai Unitilor de politici publice i Departamentelor economice. Elaborarea i distribuirea Ghidului de bune practici n domeniul elaborrii programelor bugetare Ghidul de bune practici n domeniul elaborrii programelor bugetare va fi anexat instruciunilor privind elaborarea programelor bugetare, care, pe baza experienei acumulate pn n prezent i a asistenei externe primite, vizeaz mbuntirea procesului de elaborare a programelor bugetare care se aprob ca anexe la bugetul ordonatorilor principali de credite, precum i armonizarea acestuia cu procesul de planificare strategic. Stabilirea unui cadru multianual de finanare a programelor de infrastructur prin elaborarea Programului naional de investiii n infrastructura pentru perioada 2009-2013 Programul a fost elaborat i urmeaz s fie aprobat. Programul include proiectele aflate n derulare, precum i proiecte noi de investiii n domeniul infrastructurii (transport, educaie, sntate, mediu) pentru perioada 2009-2013, avnd la baza propunerile autoritilor administraiei publice locale.
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ntrirea disciplinei bugetare In urma analizei lunare a execuiei cheltuielilor bugetare corelat cu ritmul de ncasare a veniturilor, au fost ntreprinse msuri pentru respectarea intei anuale de deficit de 2,3% din PIB, prin aprobarea lunar de ctre Guvern a limitelor de cheltuieli. ncepnd cu luna februarie 2008 s-au aprobat limite lunare de cheltuieli pe fiecare minister n parte, urmnd ca msura s continue pn la sfritul anului. Deficitul bugetului general consolidat estimat la 30 septembrie 2008 este de 1,4% din PIB. n urma acestei msuri, s-a mbuntit evoluia cheltuielilor bugetare care au avut o distribuie mult mai uniform i se sper c vor fi evitate situaiile din anii trecui, n care s-a nregistrat o cretere accelerat a cheltuielilor bugetare n ultimele luni ale anului. Monitorizarea cheltuielilor de personal ale instituiilor publice finanate integral de la bugetul de stat, bugetul asigurrilor sociale de stat i bugetele fondurilor speciale Monitorizarea cheltuielilor de personal ale instituiilor publice finanate integral de la bugetul de stat, bugetul asigurrilor sociale de stat i bugetele fondurilor speciale se realizeaz n baza OUG nr. 48/2005 privind reglementarea unor msuri privind numrul de posturi i cheltuielile de personal n sectorul bugetar i al OMEF nr.166/2006 privind stabilirea structurii raportrilor referitoare la cheltuielile de personal prevzute de OUG nr. 48/2005 privind reglementarea unor msuri privind numrul de posturi i cheltuielile de personal n sectorul bugetar aprobat prin Legea nr. 367/2005 cu modificrile ulterioare. Conform legislaiei n vigoare (OUG nr. 48/2005), ordonatorii principali de credite ai instituiilor finanate din bugetul de stat, bugetul asigurrilor sociale de stat, bugetele fondurilor speciale i ai instituiilor publice autonome finanate integral din venituri proprii, dup caz, depun la MEF pn la data de 17 a lunii curente pentru luna anterioar situaiile privind monitorizarea numrului de posturi i a cheltuielilor de personal pentru aparatul propriu i pentru instituiile publice aflate n subordinea, n coordonarea sau sub autoritatea acestora, indiferent de modul de finanare. De asemenea, acetia depun la MEF, n termen de 30 de zile de la data publicrii legilor bugetare anuale n Monitorul Oficial, situaia privind repartizarea, pn la sfritul anului, pe fiecare lun, a cheltuielilor de personal aprobate, avnd n vedere asigurarea condiiilor de desfurare a activitii potrivit atribuiilor acestora, numai pentru aparatul propriu i instituiile publice finanate integral din bugetul de stat, bugetul asigurrilor sociale de stat i bugetele fondurilor special, dup caz, aflate n subordinea, n coordonarea sau sub autoritatea acestora. Ordonatorii principali de credite ai instituiilor publice finanate din bugetele locale depun la direcia general a finanelor publice judeean i a municipiului Bucureti, dup caz, pn la data de 12 a lunii curente pentru luna anterioar, situaiile privind monitorizarea numrului de posturi i a cheltuielilor de personal pentru aparatul propriu i pentru instituiile i serviciile publice din subordinea acestora, indiferent de modul de finanare. De asemenea, acetia depun la direciile generale ale finanelor publice judeene i a municipiului Bucureti, dup caz, n termen de 50 de zile de la publicarea legilor bugetare anuale n MO, situaia privind repartizarea pn la sfritul anului, pe fiecare lun, a cheltuielilor de personal aprobate, avnd n vedere asigurarea condiiilor de desfurare a activitii potrivit atribuiilor acestora, numai pentru aparatul propriu i instituiile i serviciile publice finanate integral din bugetele locale, aflate n subordinea, n coordonarea sau sub autoritatea acestora.

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La rndul lor, direciile generale ale finanelor publice judeene i a municipiului Bucureti transmit MEF pn la data de 17 a lunii curente pentru luna anterioar situaia centralizatoare, pe jude i, respectiv, pe municipiul Bucureti, privind monitorizarea numrului de posturi i a cheltuielilor de personal. Direciile generale ale finanelor publice judeene i a municipiului Bucureti transmit MEF, n termen de 5 zile de la primirea situaiilor, centralizarea pe jude, respectiv pe municipiul Bucureti, privind repartizarea pe fiecare lun a cheltuielilor de personal aprobate. Ordonatorii de credite bugetare au obligaia sa se ncadreze n cheltuielile de personal i n numrul maxim de posturi aprobate n condiiile legii, prin bugetele proprii i prin anexele la acestea. Ordonatorii principali de credite raporteaz lunar numrul de posturi i plile de cas aferente cheltuielilor de personal. Lansarea de emisiuni de tip benchmark cu scadene la 3, 5 i 10 ani In conformitate cu obiectivele nscrise n Strategia privind administrarea datoriei publice guvernamentale, finanarea deficitului bugetar i refinanarea datoriei publice se vor axa pe contractarea mprumuturilor de pe piaa intern prin lansarea de emisiuni de titluri de stat, n scopul dezvoltrii pieei interne a titlurilor de stat. Unul din obiectivele conexe dezvoltrii pieei titlurilor de stat este acela al consolidrii curbei de randament i al extinderii acesteia, dat fiind faptul c randamentele titlurilor suverane n condiiile creterii lichiditilor acestora pe pia creeaz referine pentru mediile investiionale i pentru emitenii corporatiti i suverani n lei. In acelai timp a fost meninut o consultare periodic cu participanii pe piaa intern (dealeri primari, investitori, etc.) pentru asigurarea transparenei i predictibilitii modului de contractare i administrare a datoriei publice guvernamentale n lei, ct i pentru evaluarea regulat a necesitilor investiionale la nivelul pieei, precum i a ateptrilor referitoare la condiiile de pia. In aceste condiii, emisiunile de titluri de tip benchmark, lansate pentru prima dat n anul 2007 au fost continuate i n anul 2008 prin anunarea lor n Calendarul anual al emisiunilor de titluri de stat pe anul 2008 publicat pe site-ul MEF. Ca urmare a desfurrii licitaiilor organizate n perioada octombrie 2007- octombrie 2008, au fost contractate mprumuturi prin emisiuni de obligaiuni de tip benchmark cu scadene de 3, 5 i 10 ani n sum total 2.720,8 mil. lei. Execuia bugetar pe anul 2008 n ceea ce privete veniturile bugetului general consolidat, execuia bugetar n primele 8 luni ale anului 2008 indic un surplus de 26,4 miliarde lei, ceea ce reprezint o cretere de 2,6 puncte procentuale ca pondere din PIB, comparativ cu aceeai perioad a anului precedent. Veniturile fiscale au crescut cu 1,7 puncte procentuale, la 13,4% din PIB n anul 2008, n condiiile unei performane mbuntite a impozitului pe venit i profit (cretere cu 0,5 puncte procentuale, ajungnd la 4,8% din PIB) i a unei dinamici superioare a TVA (cretere cu 1,3 puncte procentuale de la nivelul de 4,6% n 2007) i la veniturile din contribuiile de asigurri sociale i de sntate (cu 0,5 puncte procentuale). ncasrile din impozitul pe venit (cu 37,4% mai mari comparativ cu ncasrile pe primele 8 luni ale anului 2007) se explic n principal prin creterea numrului de angajai cu circa 2% i a salariului mediu brut pe economie, n perioada de referin, fa de aceeai perioad a anului trecut.

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ncepnd cu luna ianuarie 2008, aceleai creteri ale forei de munc i ale salariilor au stat la baza realizrii veniturilor din contribuiile de asigurri sociale i sntate, acestea crescnd cu circa 27% comparativ cu 8 luni ale anului 2007. Ca urmare, bugetul asigurrilor sociale de stat a beneficiat de o cretere a veniturilor de circa 40%. Veniturile din impozitul pe profit au crescut cu 30,7% n primele 8 luni ale anului 2008, la 9,8 miliarde lei, fa de aceeai perioad a anului anterior, beneficiind n special de o puternic cretere n industrie, construcii i comerul cu amnuntul. Impozitele indirecte (TVA, accize i taxe vamale) au atins un nivel de 37,1 miliarde lei, rezultnd o cretere de 38,1% fa de aceeai perioad a anului anterior. Aceasta s-a datorat unui efect de baz, respectiv modificrilor legislative referitoare la TVA survenite n primele luni ale anului 2007, care au generat la venituri mai mici n acea perioad. n primele 8 luni ale anului curent cea mai mare parte a veniturilor colectate din impozite directe s-a datorat veniturilor din TVA, care au nsumat circa 75%. n ceea ce privete cheltuielile bugetare, acestea au totalizat 112,6 miliarde lei, reprezentnd 23,7% din PIB, fa de 19,9% n primele 8 luni ale anului 2008. Creterea nregistrat s-a datorat, n mare parte, majorrii cheltuielilor curente (cu 3,1 puncte procentuale ca pondere n PIB) i a cheltuielilor de capital, cu 0,8 puncte procentuale. n cadrul cheltuielilor curente, depirea nivelului nregistrat n perioada corespunztoare a anului trecut s-a datorat transferurilor, care s-au majorat cu circa 1,7 puncte procentuale ca pondere n PIB (din care transferurile pentru asisten social au crescut de la 5,9% la 7,1% din PIB n august 2008). O alt cauz a majorrii cheltuielilor curente a constituit-o creterea cheltuielilor de personal cu 0,5 puncte procentuale (ca pondere n PIB) i a celor legate de bunuri i servicii cu 0,6 puncte procentuale. Pentru evitarea situaiilor repetate n care la sfritul anului se nregistra deficit foarte mare dup multe luni cu excedent bugetar, s-a decis distribuirea uniform a cheltuielilor pentru perioada rmas pn la sfritul anului. n acelai scop, prin OUG nr. 37/2008 privind reglementarea unor msuri financiare n domeniul bugetar s-au prevzut msuri de reducere a cheltuielilor publice n anul 2008, n vederea unei abordri mai prudente a deficitului bugetar. Ca urmare, exerciiul bugetar n primele 8 luni ale anului 2008 s-a ncheiat cu un deficit de 1,08% din PIB, spre deosebire de anul trecut cnd s-a nregistrat un uor surplus (0,14% din PIB). Proiectul de buget pe anul 2009, aflat in pregtire pentru aprobare de ctre Guvern, are n vedere un deficit al bugetului general consolidat de 2% din PIB. Sistemul de negociere i stabilire a salariilor Guvernul Romniei consider c stabilirea salariilor trebuie s se fac n funcie de criteriile de productivitate i performan economic n sectorul concurenial i de prudenialitate n sectorul public. n acest sens, n luna august 2008, a fost ncheiat Acordul tripartit pentru asigurarea creterii salariului minim brut n perioada 2008 2014, ntre Guvernul Romniei, confederaiile sindicale reprezentative la nivel naional i confederaiile patronale reprezentative la nivel naional. Conform Acordului tripartit, guvernul se angajeaz s asigure n perioada 2008-2014 cadrul normativ pentru o cretere accelerat a salariului minim brut, prin creterea gradual a valorii ponderii salariului minim brut lunar n ctigul salarial mediu brut lunar de la 31% n 2008 la 50% n 2014. De asemenea, organizaiile patronale i sindicale reprezentative la nivel naional se angajeaz s transpun, anual, n mod corespunztor, prevederile acordului tripartit n Contractul colectiv de munc unic la nivel naional astfel nct s fie respectate valorile convenite pentru parametrul ponderea salariului minim brut n ctigul mediu brut lunar.
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ncepnd cu 1 iulie 2008, salariul de baz minim brut pe ar garantat n plat a fost stabilit la 540 lei lunar, n condiiile realizrii principalilor indicatori economici pe care a fost construit bugetul de stat pe anul 2008, respectiv creterea produsului intern brut, inta de inflaie, precum i de nivelul productivitii muncii. Creterile salariale n sectorul concurenial (pentru operatorii economici monitorizai) i al institutelor naionale de cercetare-dezvoltare au fost aprobate cu respectarea corelaiei dintre creterea ctigului mediu brut lunar i cea a productivitii muncii, ca principal criteriu de politic salarial. 2.2.2 Restructurarea sistemului de asigurri sociale i a sistemului de pensii Implementarea schemelor de pensii administrate privat Pensiile private - Pilonul II se caracterizeaz prin direcionarea unei cote de 2% din contribuia personal de asigurri sociale, pltit lunar n sistemul public, ctre fonduri de pensii administrate privat. Nivelul contribuiei va crete gradual cu cte 0,5% pe an, de la 2% din veniturile salariale ale participanilor, n primul an de funcionare (2008), la 6%, ntr-o perioad de 8 ani. Contribuiile se pltesc pe toat perioada n care persoana este contribuabil n sistemul public de pensii (nu exist posibilitatea ieirii din sistemul de pensii administrate privat, dar este permis transferul ntre fonduri). Pensiile administrate privat sunt obligatorii pentru cei cu vrsta de pn la 35 ani i opionale pentru cei cu vrsta cuprins ntre 35 45 ani. Investiiile sumelor din aceste fonduri se fac potrivit claselor i procentelor stabilite de lege. Aderarea iniial la fondurile de pensii administrate privat s-a desfurat n perioada 17 septembrie 2007 17 ianuarie 2008 i a presupus obligaia tuturor persoanelor eligibile cu vrsta de pn n 35 de ani de a alege unul dintre cele 18 fonduri de pensii administrate privat autorizate de ctre CSSPP. i persoanele cu vrsta cuprins ntre 35 i 45 de ani au avut posibilitatea s adere, acestea nefiind ns obligate. Evoluia numrului de participani pentru care s-au ncasat contribuii a fost de 3.692.459 n august 2008, comparativ cu 3.194.961 n luna mai 2008. Structura investiiilor la fondurile de pensii private n luna august 2008 a fost urmtoarea: 60% - titluri de stat i obligaiuni municipale; 17,15% - obligaiuni corporative tranzacionate; 18,22% - depozite bancare; 4,23% - aciuni; 0,41% - fonduri mutuale (OPCVM).

Pensiile facultative - pilonul III: Legea nr. 204/2006 privind pensiile facultative, cu modificrile i completrile ulterioare, stabilete c pot fi participani la acest sistem angajaii, persoanele angajate pe cont propriu, funcionarii, persoanele alese n poziii de demnitate public, orice persoan care ctig venituri dintr-o activitate profesional impozitat. Contribuia la fondurile de pensii facultative este de pn la 15% din venitul salarial sau asimilat acestuia, iar angajatorul poate contribui, n numele angajatului su, la fondul de pensii facultative ales. n ambele cazuri, angajat i angajator, dac acesta contribuie, legea stabilete o deducere la impozitare de pn la 400 Euro pe an fiscal. Dreptul la pensia facultativ se obine la vrsta de 60 de ani, vrst egal pentru brbai i femei, cu un stagiu minim de contribuie de 90 de luni i dac suma din contul individual este suficient pentru o pensie minim, stabilit prin legislaia secundar n domeniul pensiilor facultative.

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Sistemul funcioneaz din iunie 2007. La data de 31 august 2008 erau nregistrai 121.409 participani, comparativ cu 50.887 participani existeni la 31 decembrie 2007. Acetia contribuiau la 9 fonduri de pensii facultative autorizate de ctre CSSPP. Reducerea contribuiilor la sistemele de asigurri sociale Nivelul ratelor de taxare la contribuiile la asigurrile sociale de stat rmne relativ ridicat n Romnia, dintr-o perspectiv comparat, crend presiune n sensul meninerii activitilor n zona nedeclarat i conducnd la o diminuare a bazei de impozitare. Astfel, pentru a contracara aceste riscuri, n anul 2007, contribuiile sociale s-au redus per total cu 1,9 puncte procentuale, dup cum urmeaz: reducere cu 1pp la asigurri sociale de sntate (angajator), reducere cu 0,25pp la fondul de pensii (angajator), reducere cu 0,25pp la fondul de omaj (angajator), reducere cu 0,5pp la contribuia pentru accidente i boli profesionale (angajator) si cretere de 0,1pp la contribuia pentru concedii i indemnizaii. Procesul a continuat i n anul 2008, cnd contribuiile sociale s-au redus n trei etape: 2 puncte procentuale de la 1 ianuarie din care: 0,5pp la asigurri sociale de sntate (angajator), 1,5pp la fondul de omaj (1pp angajator i 0,5pp angajat); 1 punct procentual de la 1 iulie la asigurrile sociale de sntate (angajat); 2,3 puncte procentuale de la 1 decembrie din care: 0,3pp la asigurri sociale de sntate (angajator), 1,5pp la fondul de pensii (angajator), 0,5pp la fondul de omaj (angajator).

2.2.3 Restructurarea sistemului de sntate Ministerul Sntii Publice (MSP) urmrete n continuare mbuntirea strii de sntate a populaiei i realizarea unui sistem de sntate modern i eficient, compatibil cu sistemele de sntate din Uniunea European, pus permanent n slujba ceteanului. Dei MSP este autoritatea central n domeniul sntii publice, n prezent, majoritatea unitilor sanitare sunt uniti autonome, n administrarea autoritilor locale sau judeene, ministerul pstrnd doar componenta de management al sistemului sanitar. n ceea ce privete autoritile de sntate public din subordinea MSP, pn la implementarea ultimei etape prevzute n Planul strategic al MSP 2008-2010 referitoare la reorganizarea instituional a MSP, aceste autoriti rmn instituii deconcentrate ale ministerului, urmnd ca o mare parte din atribuiile acestora s fie transferate ctre comunitile locale. Restructurarea serviciilor din domeniul sntii publice n ultimii ani s-a remarcat o cretere semnificativ a resurselor alocate n sectorul sanitar (ponderea n PIB a cheltuielilor publice pentru sntate a crescut de la 3,37% n 2004 la 3,64% n 2006, iar n 2007, pentru prima oar, a fost alocat acestui domeniu peste 4% din PIB), personalul din sectorul sanitar beneficiind de recompensare substanial. Reorganizarea instituional a MSP, a structurilor din subordinea sau coordonarea sa, precum i a furnizorilor de servicii de sntate include: redefinirea rolului structurilor din cadrul MSP sau din subordinea ori coordonarea sa n elaborarea i implementarea politicilor de sntate public, n creterea calitii serviciilor spitaliceti, concomitent cu creterea rolului structurilor regionale n gestionarea problemelor de sntate public; reorganizarea autoritilor de sntate public i respectiv a institutelor i centrelor de sntate public;
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ntrirea capacitii de control a MSP asupra obiectivelor, activitilor i structurilor din domeniul sntii publice.

Pentru creterea eficienei sistemului de sntate public au fost elaborate trei proiecte de HG pentru nfiinarea a trei instituii noi, i anume: Agenia Naional de Sntate Public, Asisten Medical i Programe de Sntate (ANSPAMPS), Agenia Naional pentru Infrastructur Sanitar i Dispozitive Medicale (ANISDM) i Autoritatea Naional de Control n Sntate Public (ANCSP). Proiectele se afl n prezent n consultare public, iar nfiinarea acestor trei instituii urmeaz s se finalizeze la nceputul anului viitor. Creterea accesibilitii populaiei la serviciile medicale Sistemul de sntate din Romnia este de tip asigurri sociale de sntate i are ca scop asigurarea accesului echitabil i nediscriminatoriu al asigurailor la un pachet de servicii de baz. n consecin, accesibilitatea la serviciile medicale constituie o preocupare continu la nivelul MSP. Pentru evaluarea accesibilitii, MSP prin direciile de specialitate a analizat, n perioada premergtoare apariiei Planului Strategic al Ministerului Sntii Publice 2008-2010, indicatori de proximitate care s identifice eventuale grupe populaionale i/sau zone geografice dezavantajate n privina accesului la servicii, pentru care ar trebui dezvoltate politici dedicate. Analiza a relevat faptul c factorii determinani care influeneaz gradul de accesibilitate a populaiei la serviciile de sntate sunt nivelul srciei, omajul, ocupaia, mediul de reziden, statutul de asigurat n sistemul de asigurri sociale de sntate, gradul de acoperire cu personal medical. Ca urmare a evalurii au fost stabilite n Planul Strategic al MSP 2008-2010 obiectivele: creterea ponderii ngrijirilor la domiciliu, a asistenei medicale primare i a serviciilor de specialitate acordate n ambulator; realizarea compatibilitii cu sistemele de sntate din statele membre UE; creterea competenelor profesionale ale personalului medical; unificarea practicilor medicale prin ghiduri de practic i protocoale clinice; evaluarea spitalelor din perspectiva obinerii acreditrii; creterea capacitii de planificare a managerilor din sistemul de sntate.

n scopul implementrii de programe naionale de sntate care s rspund problemelor prioritare de sntate public i nevoilor grupurilor vulnerabile sunt urmrite: dezvoltarea capacitii de reacie rapid la ameninrile la adresa sntii; promovarea sntii prin intervenii asupra determinanilor strii de sntate prin: evaluarea factorilor de risc individual i a factorilor de risc de la nivelul comunitilor prin activitile prevzute n Programul Naional Privind Evaluarea Strii de Sntate a Populaiei n Asistena Medical Primar 2007-2008 (Programul de Sntate 8); ierarhizarea specific a factorilor de risc pe diferitele grupuri de populaie considerate cu risc crescut de mbolnvire; desfurarea a 263 de campanii informare, educare i comunicare la nivel naional privind subiectele care sunt prioritare n domeniu, adaptate nevoilor de informare a populaiilor vizate; evaluarea campaniilor i programelor menionate i ajustarea lor n vederea evidenierii rezultatelor lor i a creterii impactului pe termen lung. Au fost dezvoltate, n consecin, programe de sntate pentru: sntatea mamei i a copilului;
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combaterea bolilor cardiovasculare astfel nct a fost redus timpul de instituire a unui tratament adecvat, ceea ce a condus la reducerea indicelui de mortalitate specific (675/100000 locuitori); prevenirea i controlul n patologia oncologic; tratarea diabetului zaharat; transplant de organe.

Referitor la dezvoltarea i modernizarea infrastructurii furnizorilor de servicii medicale i dotarea acestora cu aparatur/echipamente medicale i mijloace de transport specifice sunt prevzute, conform Planului strategic, urmtoarele obiective: construirea a 28 spitale noi: MSP a demarat un amplu proiect de modernizare a infrastructurii unitilor medicale, avnd drept principal obiectiv creterea accesului populaiei la servicii medicale performante, care s acopere nevoile acesteia i care s fie comparabile cu cele oferite n prezent de furnizorii de servicii de acelai tip din statele membre ale UE. Au fost elaborate studiile de prefezabilitate, fezabilitate i proceduri de achiziie public pentru cele 20 de spitale judeene de urgen i 8 spitale regionale de urgen, care sunt n curs de desfurare, n stadii diferite. n 20 de municipii reedin de jude se vor construi spitalele de urgen judeene, ce vor asigura asistena medical de urgen de nalt specialitate pentru populaia judeului i cea a judeelor limitrofe. reabilitarea a 15 spitale judeene de urgen: n judeele n care nu se construiesc spitale noi, se are n vedere reabilitarea spitalelor existente. S-au nceput demersurile i au fost elaborate studiile de fezabilitate. De asemenea, au fost realizate rapoartele de evaluare i expertizele tehnice, urmnd s fie aprobai indicatorii tehnico-economici prin hotrre de guvern. n programul de reabilitare a celor 15 spitale judeene de urgen sunt implicate att spitalele judeene ce urmeaz a fi beneficiare ale programului de modernizare, ct i autoritile de sntate public din judeele respective i alte uniti spitaliceti. Pentru elaborarea studiilor de fezabilitate a fost alocat suma de 8,5 MEuro; dotarea cu aparatur/echipamente medicale i mijloace de transport specifice: MSP a prevzut achiziionarea prin licitaie public deschis de aparatur medical pentru dotarea spitalelor din subordine. Astfel, s-au achiziionat 7.034 echipamente pentru unitile de primire urgene din 63 de spitale. n semestrul al doilea urmeaz s se finalizeze achiziionarea unor aparate de ventilaie, aparate de anestezie, aparate de radiologie mobil; achiziionare de echipamente pentru unitile de primiri urgene: n cursul anului 2007 a fost implementat programul Reforma sectorului sanitar APL2, finanat prin dou mprumuturi externe acordate de Banca Internaional pentru Reconstrucie i Dezvoltare i respectiv Banca European de Investiii. n cadrul acestui program s-au achiziionat echipamente pentru unitile de primiri urgene din 63 de spitale din Romnia, n valoare total de 13,7 MEuro, principalele tipuri de echipamente care au fost achiziionate fiind: paturi pentru resuscitare i transfer, monitoare, ECG-uri, defibrilatoare, analizoare, trgi, ventilatoare, ecografe. Echipamentele s-au livrat n totalitate pn la sfritul anului 2007.

n privina dezvoltrii resurselor umane ale sistemului sanitar n concordan cu nevoile populaiei, MSP are n derulare proiecte pentru : identificarea unor faciliti pentru atragerea personalului medical in zonele izolate, defavorizate economic, precum i n specialiti deficitare;

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identificarea zonelor i comunitilor lipsite de asisten medical primar, fie prin lipsa personalului medical, fie chiar prin lipsa facilitilor medicale (cabinet medical, puncte de lucru); dezvoltarea de criterii pentru clasificarea din punctul de vedere al accesibilitii acestor zone identificate (populaie deservit, distan fa de ambulatoriu de spital i spital, tip de patologie preponderent, indicatori de mortalitate i morbiditate); dezvoltarea i extinderea reelei de asisten medical comunitar integrat.

Descentralizarea sistemului de sntate a fost i este parte integrant a procesului de reform n domeniul sanitar. Att reorganizarea ct i descentralizarea finanrii i furnizrii serviciilor de sntate au nceput concomitent cu introducerea sistemului de asigurri sociale de sntate, cnd, pentru prima dat, pacientul a fost pus n centrul sistemului de sntate, prin posibilitatea liberei alegeri de ctre acesta a furnizorului de servicii de sntate.

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3. MICROECONOMIE
3.1 mbuntirea competitivitii economice
3.1.1 mbuntirea funcionrii pieelor de energie electric i gaze naturale Procesul de deschidere gradual a pieei de energie electric i de gaze naturale (finalizat la 1 iulie 2007) s-a caracterizat printr-o abordare prudent, care s permit observarea i amendarea efectelor asupra condiiilor de alimentare a consumatorilor captivi, monitorizarea comportamentului productorilor i furnizorilor i punerea la punct a noilor instrumente de administrare a pieei. ANRE i-a ntrit capacitatea de reglementator al pieelor de energie electric i gaze naturale, constituind compartimente specializate pentru monitorizarea permanent a funcionrii pieei engros i cu amnuntul de energie electric i gaze naturale. ANRE a continuat colectarea de informaii de natur tehnic, comercial i contabil, pe care toi participanii din sectorul energiei, inclusiv operatorii care activeaz pe pieele centralizate, au obligaia de a le raporta periodic i publicarea rapoartelor lunare pe pagina de Internet a ANRE. Evoluii pe piaa de energie electric In luna iulie 2008, situaia titularilor de licen din sectorul energiei electrice se prezenta astfel: 83 de titulari de licen de producere; un operator de transport i de sistem - CN Transelectrica SA; un operator de pia - SC OPCOM SA; 32 de operatori de distribuie din care 8 cu peste 100.000 de utilizatori de reea (3 societi proprietate de stat i 5 societi cu acionariat majoritar privat); 132 titulari de licen de furnizare.

Creterea transparenei pe piaa de energie electric poate fi evideniat prin creterea tranzaciilor nregistrate pe piaa centralizat a contractelor bilaterale, la sfritul anului 2007 volumele tranzacionate prin aceste contracte reprezentnd aproximativ 11% din consumul intern (comparativ cu 2 % n 2006). Ca urmare a promovrii Legii nr. 13/2007 a energiei electrice, avnd n vedere prevederile privind racordarea utilizatorilor la reelele electrice de interes public i competenele acordate ANRE, a fost adoptat HG nr. 90/2008 pentru aprobarea Regulamentului privind racordarea utilizatorilor la reelele electrice de interes public. Actul normativ contribuie la ntrirea mediului de afaceri i asigur un impact social favorabil prin:

- simplificarea i, n consecin, scurtarea procesului de realizare a racordrii la reea; - reducerea costurilor de racordare ca urmare a neincluderii n tarifele de racordare a
costului lucrrilor de modernizare a reelei din amonte de punctul de racordare pentru crearea condiiilor tehnice necesare racordrii unui utilizator. Evoluii pe piaa de gaze naturale In luna iulie 2008, structura pieei de gaze naturale se prezenta astfel: un operator al Sistemului Naional de Transport SNTGN Transgaz S.A. Media; 7 productori: Petrom, Romgaz, Amromco, Toreador, Wintershall Media, Aurelian Oil&Gas, Carpathian Energy;
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3 operatori pentru depozitele de nmagazinare subteran: Romgaz, Amgaz, Depomure; 36 de societi de distribuie i furnizare a gazelor naturale ctre consumatorii captivi cei mai mari fiind Distrigaz Sud i E.ON Gaz Romnia; 86 de furnizori pe piaa en-gross.

Procedurile de separare legal a operatorului sistemului de transport Transgaz, a operatorului de nmagazinare Romgaz i a celuilalt mare operator de distribuie - Distrigaz Sud, au fost finalizate, iar separarea legal pentru E.ON Gaz Romnia a fost realizat nc din toamna anului trecut. Operatorii sistemelor de distribuie care deservesc mai puin de 100.000 de consumatori conectai la reea sunt exceptai de la obligaia separrii legale. Anul 2008 a fost marcat de trecerea la msurarea i facturarea gazelor naturale n uniti de energie (MWh), prin aprobarea Metodologiei pentru trecerea de la facturarea cantitilor de gaze naturale n uniti volumetrice (m3) la facturarea n uniti de energie. Pentru trimestrul 3/2008, preul mediu estimat pentru consumatorii industriali de energie electric este de 66,7 Euro/MWh, iar pentru consumatorii casnici de energie electric este de 94,9 Euro/MWh. In cazul gazelor naturale, tot n trimestrul 3/2008, preul mediu pentru consumatorii industriali este de 28 Euro/ MWh, iar pentru consumatorii casnici de 29 Euro/ MWh. Asigurarea securitii n aprovizionarea pieelor de energie electric i gaze naturale Realizarea schimburilor de energie electric n condiii de securitate, dezvoltarea volumului de tranzacii de pe piaa de energie electric, precum i necesitatea asigurrii siguranei n aprovizionarea cu energie au determinat demararea lucrrilor pentru realizarea proiectelor de interconectare cu operatorii de transport de energie electric din statele vecine. Proiectul liniei electrice aeriene de 400 KV Suceava Bli (Moldova) este n faza de nceput. Au fost finalizai termenii de referin urmnd a se contracta lucrrile pentru studiul de fezabilitate i, dup aprobarea acestuia, contractarea constructorului. Pentru proiectul liniei electrice aeriene de 400 KV Timioara Vrsac (Serbia) a fost realizat studiul de pre fezabilitate. Procedura prevede ca cele dou pri s finalizeze individual studiul pe partea lor urmnd apoi integrarea acestora. Studiul de fezabilitatea i contractarea lucrrilor urmeaz a se realiza pentru proiectul integrat. Investiiile necesare finalizrii liniilor de interconexiune mai sus menionate sunt realizate din surse proprii ale Companiei Naionale de Transport al Energiei Electrice Transelectrica S.A., fiind estimate la aproximativ 15,3 MEuro (Romnia-Moldova), respectiv 23 MEuro (RomniaSerbia). n calitate de unic operator de transport i de sistem de pe piaa energiei electrice, Transelectrica monitorizeaz derularea lucrrilor de realizare a liniilor de interconexiune, fiind responsabil pentru dezvoltarea reelei naionale de nalt tensiune conform normelor UCTE (Uniunea pentru Coordonarea Transportului de Energie) i fluidizarea schimburilor de energie electric cu statele vecine. Construirea liniei electrice aeriene de 400 KV Oradea Bekescsaba (Ungaria), cu o lungime de 93Km pe teritoriul Romniei, este finalizat n proporie de 95%. Lucrrile au constat n reabilitarea staiilor de interconexiune existente pe traseul liniei electrice i n construirea staiei electrice de la Ndab. Momentan sunt ntrzieri datorate problemelor legate de exproprierea terenurilor pe care mai trebuie construii 12 stlpi dintr-un total de 200. Costul lucrrilor este de 18,9 MEuro, din care 4,2 MEuro reprezint surse proprii CN Transelectrica SA i 14,7 MEuro credit BERD contractat de operatorul romn.
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i n sectorul gazelor naturale s-a acionat consecvent pentru dezvoltarea produciei i transportului, fiind luate o serie de msuri menite s asigure interconectarea Sistemului Naional de Transport cu sisteme similare din rile Europei Centrale i de Est n scopul diversificrii surselor de import i compatibilizrii pieei interne cu piaa unic european. Sunt n derulare aciunile pentru realizarea proiectului de interconectare a sistemelor de transport al gazelor naturale din Romnia i Ungaria pe direcia Arad Szeged. Conducta are o lungime total de 109 km, din care 62 km pe teritoriul Romniei. Pn n prezent s-a finalizat primul tronson al conductei, n lungime de 36,7 km. Pentru continuarea lucrrilor de realizare a proiectului, n baza Memorandumului de nelegere semnat la nceputul anului 2008 de operatorii sistemelor naionale de transport din cele dou state, au fost ncheiate urmtoarele acorduri: Acordul de Dezvoltare n Comun ntre SNTGN Transgaz SA Media i FGSZ Natural Gas Transmission Ltd. cu privire la construirea conductei i stabilirea parametrilor tehnici; Acordul de Alocare de Capacitate ntre SNTGN Transgaz SA Media i FGSZ Natural Gas Transmission Ltd. n scopul armonizrii proceselor de alocare a capacitilor pe seciunile ungar, respectiv romn a conductei de interconectare.

Pn la mijlocul lunii septembrie 2008, au fost ncheiate i o serie de alte acte adiionale necesare finalizrii investiiilor. n ceea ce privete tronsonul Negru Vod Mangalia, cu o lungime de 34 km, avnd ca scop realizarea unui nou punct de import pentru alimentarea cu gaze naturale a Dobrogei, pn n prezent a fost finalizat o poriune de 25 km. Pentru ali 6,3 km reprezentnd tronsonul Pecineaga Mangalia s-a finalizat proiectarea, urmnd a fi contractate lucrrile de execuie. Pentru asigurarea funcionrii n condiii normale a pieei de gaze naturale i pentru sigurana alimentrii cu gaze a consumatorilor casnici, la sfritul anului 2007 a fost adoptat Legea nr. 346/2007 privind msuri pentru asigurarea siguranei n aprovizionarea cu gaze naturale. Legea stabilete rolul i responsabilitile autoritilor i operatorilor de pe piaa intern de gaze naturale, precum i aplicarea de msuri transparente, nediscriminatorii i compatibile cu exigenele unei piee concureniale pentru asigurarea unui nivel corespunztor de siguran n aprovizionarea cu gaze naturale. Un reper deosebit al activitii ANRE din anul 2008 l reprezint adoptarea Deciziei nr. 1228/2008 privind scutirea tronsonului romnesc al gazoductului Nabucco de la prevederile legislaiei referitoare la accesul terilor la reelele de transport i de la aplicarea metodologiilor de tarifare n conformitate cu prevederile art. 22 din Directiva 2003/55/CE privind reglementrile comune pentru piaa intern a gazelor naturale. n luna iulie 2008, decizia ANRE a fost notificat Comisiei Europene. n scopul aplicrii principiilor i mecanismelor prevzute n Regulamentul 1775/2005/CE, a fost adoptat Ordinul ANRE nr. 54/2007 pentru aprobarea Codului reelei pentru Sistemul naional de transport al gazelor naturale stabilind cerinele i regulile de acces la Sistemul Naional de Transport gaze naturale. 3.1.2 Infrastructura de transport n perioada octombrie 2007 septembrie 2008, modernizarea i dezvoltarea reelei de transport de interes european i naional s-au realizat gradual, n concordan att cu posibilitile financiare i tehnice de realizare a proiectelor de modernizare/dezvoltare a infrastructurilor, ct i cu obiectivele UE privind distribuia modal a cltorilor i mrfurilor.

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Prioritile de dezvoltare a infrastructurii de transport, susinute inclusiv prin fonduri comunitare post-aderare, au fost concentrate pe axele prioritare ale UE (TEN-T nr.7 - rutier, TEN-T nr. 18 calea fluvial Rin-Meusia-Main-Dunre i TEN-T nr. 22 - feroviar), axe care au o importan fundamental pentru crearea coeziunii teritoriale n Europa i pentru mobilitatea cltorilor i mrfurilor. Transport rutier n vederea asigurrii unui transport rutier modern, n condiii de siguran i confort ale utilizatorului i cu respectarea normelor europene de protecie a mediului, s-a continuat programul de modernizare a drumurilor naionale i construcie de autostrzi. n ceea ce privete construcia de autostrzi, s-au continuat lucrrile de execuie pe cca. 180 km i s-au realizat aciuni pregtitoare pentru definitivarea documentaiei n vederea asigurrii finanrii i nceperii execuiei pentru cca. 1.440 km, respectiv: 1. Autostrada NdlacDevaSibiuPiteti este n pregtire pentru demararea lucrrilor de execuie. S-a finalizat varianta de ocolire, la profil de autostrad, a oraului Piteti (15,2 km) i s-au executat lucrri la varianta de ocolire, la profil de autostrad, a oraului Sibiu (23,5 km) (stadiu fizic: 39,74 %) n vedere fluidizrii traficului i facilitarea accesului n zona industrial a celor 2 orae. 2. Pentru Autostrada Bucureti-Constana s-au derulat urmtoarele investiii: tronsonul Drajna Feteti (36,6 km) pn n luna decembrie 2007 a avut loc recepia tuturor lucrrilor de execuie; s-au finalizat i recepionat lucrrile la Centrul de ntreinere i coordonare de la Feteti, precum i lucrrile aferente spaiilor de servicii i parcri. sunt n pregtire tronsonul Cernavod-Constana (52,1 km) i varianta de ocolire a municipiului Constana (22,2 km);

3. Pentru Autostrada Bucureti-Braov-Tg.Mure-Cluj Napoca-Oradea-Bor (588,3 km) situaia este urmtoarea: Autostrada Bucureti-Braov (173,3 km): tronsonul Bucureti-Ploieti km 0,000 -km 19+500 (19,5 km): se deruleaz procedurile de achiziii terenuri; tronsonul Bucureti-Ploieti km 19+500-km 62+000 (42,5 km): se execut lucrri; tronsoanele Ploieti Comarnic (48,6 km), Comarnic-Predeal (36,2km) i PredealBraov (26,5km+7,4km drum de legtur): se deruleaz procedurile de analiz i selecie pentru etapa de dialog competitiv n vederea atribuirii contractului de concesiune. Autostrada Braov-Bor (415 km): seciunea 2B Cmpia Turzii-Gilu (54 km) s-au executat exproprieri, situri arheologice, mutri instalaii, n diverse stadii; stadiu fizic: 42,78 %; seciunea 3C Suplacu de Barcu-Bor (64 km) - s-au executat exproprieri, situri arheologice, mutri instalaii, n diverse stadii; stadiu fizic: 31,79 %; seciunea 3A Gilu-Mihileti (24 km) stadiu: organizare antier; seciunea 3B Mihileti- Suplacu deBarcu (76km) stadiu: organizare antier.

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4. Autostrada BucuretiPloieti-Focani-Albia pe coridorul IXpaneuropean, Autostrada Trgu Mure-Iai-Sculeni, Autostrada Urban zona Cluj Napoca i Legtura la Drumul Nordului sunt n pregtire. n cadrul programului de construcii drumuri expres, s-a finalizat tronsonul Adunaii CopceniGiurgiu, s-a dat ordinul de ncepere a lucrrilor pentru varianta ocolitoare Adunaii Copceni i se afl n pregtire tronsonul Bucureti-Adunaii Copceni. Totodat, se afl n pregtire drumurile expres: Petea Satu Mare Baia Mare, Sebe Turda, Arad-Oradea, Craiova-Piteti, Sibiu-Fgra, Brila-Galai. n ceea ce privete creterea capacitii/modernizarea drumurilor naionale, n cadrul Programului de modernizare a drumurilor naionale s-au elaborat documentaii tehnice i de licitaie pentru reabilitarea a cca. 1.736 km i s-au derulat lucrri de reabilitare/ modernizare pe cca. 707 km, aflate n diverse stadii fizice pe tronsoanele: Lugoj-Timioara, Cluj-Livada-Dej, Dej-Bistria, Tureac-Iacobeni-Sadova-Gura Humorului-Suceava, Petroani-Baru-HaegSimeria, Drobeta Turnu Severin-Lugoj, Filiai-Petroani, Braov-Sibiu, Maglavit-Simian, AradSatu Mare, Reghin-Toplia, Toplia-Chichis, Satu Mare-Baia Mare, Livada-Halmeu, Dej-Baia Mare, Zalu-Rastoci, Baia Mare-Iacobeni, Reghin-Srel, Trgu Mure-Reghin, SibiuSighioara, Crasna-Iai, Focani-Ojdula, Campu lui Neag- drum nou intersecie cu DN 67D. n cadrul programului de construcie variante ocolitoare, la profil de drum naional, s-au derulat lucrri de execuie pentru: Ploieti Vest, Completare Centura Bucureti, Cluj, Timioara, Caracal, Alexandria, Oradea, Iai i se afl n pregtire variantele ocolitoare Braov, Trgu Mure, Bacu, Reghin, Media, Plugova i Caransebe. Transport feroviar Pentru creterea calitii reelei feroviare, a continuat modernizarea reelei TEN-T, obiectivul general al lucrrilor de reabilitare i modernizare fiind atingerea de viteze de 160 km/h pentru trenurile de cltori i 120 km/h pentru trenurile de marf, simultan cu implementarea interoperabilitii feroviare pe seciile de circulaie: Curtici-Simeria (185 km); Cmpina-Predeal (48 km); Bucureti Nord-Bneasa-Fundulea-Feteti-Constana (225 km), situate pe Coridorul IV. Aciunile de modernizare a seciunilor Bucureti-Constana, Cmpina-Braov i Curtici-AradSimeria situate pe Coridorul IV au constat n: tronsonul Bucureti Nord Bucureti Bneasa a fost finalizat n martie 2008; tronsonul Bucureti Bneasa-Fundulea - sunt n curs de finalizare seciunile de circulaie cu excepia ramificaiei Pasrea-Obor, pct. Herstru Km 7+500 fir I i lucrri adiacente n staiile Pasrea, Brneti, Pantelimon; tronsonul Fundulea-Feteti - lucrrile de execuie se deruleaz conform graficului; tronsonul Feteti Constana - au fost reabilitate urmtoarele seciunile: Ovidiu Dunrea, Dunrea Cernavod, Cernavod Saligny, Mircea VodMedgidia, Dorobanu-Basarabi; se execut lucrri n staiile Ovidiu, Dunrea, Medgidia, Basarabi, Valu lui Traian, Palas; tronsonul Cmpina Predeal - se execut lucrri pe tronsonul Cmpina- Breaza, AzugaPredeal i n staiile Cmpina, Comarnic i Buteni; tronsonul Predeal Braov - este n pregtire; tronsonul Braov-Sighioara-Colariu-Simeria-Curtici - este n pregtire.

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n ceea ce privete creterea calitii serviciilor, n cadrul programului de modernizare a staiilor de cale ferat au fost modernizate/reabilitate staiile: Tulcea, Focani, Alba Iulia, Suceava Burdujeni, Braov, Oradea, Bacu, Ploieti Sud i Cluj. De asemenea se afl n diverse faze de execuie staiile: Buzu, Severin, Feteti, Sibiu, Constana, Craiova, Iai i Timioara. Transport aerian n vederea asigurrii capacitii necesare i a creterii gradului de siguran i securitate a activitii aeronautice, s-a continuat derularea programelor strategice de dezvoltare a infrastructurii aeroporturilor de interes naional, urmrindu-se i modernizarea celorlalte aeroporturi aflate n reeaua trans-european de transport de pe teritoriul Romniei. S-au derulat i continu lucrrile de modernizare i reparaii capitale la infrastructura aeroportuar a aeroporturilor internaionale, constnd n: modernizarea i dezvoltarea Aeroportului Internaional Henri Coand Bucureti faza a II-a i a II-a extins- n curs de finalizare (stadiu fizic - 99 %); dezvoltarea i modernizarea Aeroportului Internaional Henri Coand Bucureti - faza a III-a - n pregtire; dezvoltarea infrastructurii aeroportuare la Aeroportul Internaional Aurel Vlaicu Bucureti: se deruleaz lucrri de reparaie capital a suprafeelor de micare calea de rulare DELTA, inclusiv balizajul luminos; stadiu fizic - 34,92%; dezvoltarea infrastructurii aeroportuare la Aeroportul Internaional Mihail Koglniceanu Constana: s-au finalizat lucrrile de execuie pentru separare fluxuri pasageri, reconfigurare i nlocuire benzi transportoare i reparaia capital pentru pista decolare-aterizare; s-a derulat contractul pentru sistemul integrat de securitate; dezvoltarea infrastructurii aeroportuare la Aeroportul Internaional Traian Vuia Timioara: s-au finalizat lucrrile de execuie pentru extindere aerogar, s-au derulat lucrri de amenajare cale rulare C-F i extindere platform pe direcia Est - stadiu fizic: 56 %.

Totodat, a continuat programul de modernizare a flotei companiei TAROM prin achiziionarea a nc 2 aeronave noi A 318, care au sosit n trimestrul IV 2007. Transport maritim i fluvial Au fost luate msuri pentru concentrarea resurselor existente pe realizarea cu prioritate a lucrrilor aflate n derulare pe reeaua TEN de transport de interes european i naional. Lucrrile de investiii n infrastructur au avut ca scop dezvoltarea sau modernizarea infrastructurii de transport naval, cu precdere pe Coridorul VII Dunre i pe reeaua TEN T de transport de interes european i naional, dup cum urmeaz: aprri de maluri pe canalul Sulina i sistem de msurtori topohidrografice i semnalizare pe Dunre: se deruleaz lucrri de execuie pentru finalizarea etapei I a proiectului Aprri de maluri pe canalul Sulina i s-a finalizat contractul pentru Sistemul de msurtori topohidrografice i Sistemul de semnalizare pe Dunre; mbuntirea condiiilor de navigaie pe Dunre pe sectorul Clrai (km 375) - Brila (km 175): n pregtire; asisten tehnic pentru mbuntirea condiiilor de navigaie pe sectorul comun romno - bulgar al Dunrii i studii adiacente: n derulare;

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amenajri taluze nalte i aprri de maluri pe Canalul Dunre Marea Neagr: s-au realizat lucrri hidrotehnice din surse proprii ale CN ACN SA Constana; protecii i consolidri de maluri pe Canalul Poarta Alb Midia Nvodari: s-au realizat lucrri de amenajri taluzuri din surse proprii ale CN ACN SA Constana; terminal de containere n portul Galai, lucrri de infrastructur portuar: s-a finalizat i recepionat lucrrile; sistem pentru colectarea i prelucrarea datelor topohidrografice i pentru generarea hrilor electronice n format INLAND ECDIS: s-a fcut instalarea, testarea i recepia echipamentelor; terminal de barje n portul Constana: lucrri finalizate i recepionate; terminal de containere n portul Constana (extindere): s-au executat lucrrile din etapa I-a i se afl n derulare lucrrile din etapa a II-a; terminal de cereale n portul Constana: au fost realizate lucrrile de infrastructur; dezvoltare capacitate feroviar n portul Constana Sud : n pregtire.

Referitor la creterea siguranei n transportul fluvial, se poate meniona c n perioada analizat au avut loc 124 evenimente / incidente n care au fost implicate nave de navigaie interioar. Dintre acestea, 25 de evenimente au fost cauzate de enalul navigabil colmatat i corpuri imerse, fa de perioada similar a anului 2007 cnd au avut loc 30 de evenimente provocate de enalul navigabil i corpurile imerse. 3.1.3 Modernizare infrastructurii comunicaiilor i promovarea tehnologiei informaiei Asigurarea serviciului universal Prin programul naional de instalare a telecentrelor administrat de ctre ANC, furnizorii de serviciu universal selectai n urma unei licitaii publice deschise, instaleaz telecentre n localiti izolate pentru a oferi locuitorilor servicii de telefonie, fax i acces la internet. Telecentrele asigur accesul comunitilor rurale la serviciile de comunicaii electronice i reprezint, totodat, avanposturi ale infrastructurii de comunicaii, care faciliteaz extinderea reelelor la nivelul gospodriilor individuale. n acelai timp, nfiinarea telecentrelor contribuie la familiarizarea i educarea consumatorilor cu privire la serviciile de comunicaii electronice, conducnd i la creterea cererii pentru acest tip de servicii n mediul rural. Finanarea construciei telecentrelor se realizeaz dintr-un fond special colectat de ctre ANC de la furnizorii i operatorii de servicii de comunicaii electronice. Pn n prezent, valoarea total virat de ctre ANC pentru construcia de telecentre este de 3.393.819,57 lei. Localitile incluse n programul naional de instalare a telecentrelor au fost selectate n funcie de numrul de locuitori i de gradul redus de disponibilitate a serviciilor de telefonie. n perioada 2007-2008, ANC a continuat activitatea de instalare de telecentre, fiind atribuite spre nfiinare un numr de 302 telecentre, din care 226 sunt n prezent operaionale. n total, numrul de telecentre atribuite din septembrie 2004 pana n trimestrul 4 al anului 2008 este de 633, ceea ce marcheaz ndeplinirea obiectivelor asumate la nceputul acestui proiect. Facilitarea accesului comunitilor locale mici la serviciile de e-Administraie Portalul e-Administraie are drept scop facilitarea accesului la noile tehnologii i la Internet pentru autoritile administraiei publice locale din comune i din oraele mici. Domeniul de

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internet le va permite respectivelor instituii s interacioneze cu cetenii, iar acetia vor dispune de servicii online, avnd acces i la informaii despre oportunitile din mediul de afaceri local. Proiectul Facilitarea accesului comunitilor locale mici la serviciile de e-Administraie const n: dezvoltarea unei aplicaii de web content management ce va fi pus la dispoziia instituiilor din administraia public local; asigurarea suportului hardware necesar implementrii proiectului precum i a unei soluii de securitate; lansarea unui portal de promovare, suport i colectare de date ale aplicaiei; asigurarea de instruire pentru personalul care va utiliza aceast aplicaie.

Pn n prezent, 86 de primrii fr posibiliti financiare dein propria pagin pe internet n cadrul portalului e-administraie. Crearea Reelelor Electronice ale Comunitilor Locale Proiectul pentru crearea de Reelele Electronice ale Comunitilor Locale (RECL) a fost finalizat n decembrie 2007. Scopul nfiinrii RECL-urilor a fost crearea de servicii care folosesc tehnologia informaiei i comunicaiilor pentru comunitile dezavantajate din punctul de vedere al accesului la informaie, incluznd calculatoare, acces la Internet de band larg precum i oferirea de coninut specific pentru diferite grupuri int (ceteni, funcionari publici, antreprenori i elevi). RECL constau n calculatoare, servere i echipamente periferice (imprimante, copiatoare, videoproiectoare, echipamente de comunicaie etc.) i conecteaz, pe teritoriul fiecrei uniti administrativ-teritoriale, 4 noduri: sediul primriei, coala general/gimnaziul, biblioteca public i un Punct de Acces Public la Informaie, conectate la Internet de band larg. Proiectul a administrat implementarea a 255 de astfel de RECL n comunele i oraele mici selecionate de pe ntreg teritoriul naional, dintre care 9 au fost finalizate n faza pilot (decembrie, 2005) i restul de 246 n decembrie, 2007. La procesul de selecie au participat comunitile dezavantajate din punctul de vedere al accesului la cunoatere, care s-au ncadrat ntr-una din urmtoarele categorii: categoria 1: comune, situate la cel puin 11 km de cel mai apropiat ora cu peste 30.000 de locuitori; categoria 2: orae mici (cu cel mult 30.000 de locuitori).

n total, RECL acoper uniti administrativ-teritoriale din 38 de judee, 47 orae, 208 comune, cu populaie de aproximativ 1,8 milioane de locuitori, 512 coli i un total de cca. 1200 de noduri conectate la Internet de band larg. Semestrial, un sistem electronic genereaz rapoarte care prezint date privind urmtorii indicatori de performan: timpul efectiv de utilizare al RECL i tipul aplicaiilor utilizate n fiecare RECL. Instruirea personalului Reelelor Electronice ale Comunitilor Locale Obiectivul proiectului este acela de a sprijini dezvoltarea resurselor umane ale comunitii pentru a asigura utilizarea frecvent i adecvat a serviciilor livrate prin intermediul programului Reelele Electronice ale Comunitilor Locale.

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Aciunile Ministerului Educaiei, Cercetrii i Tineretului au fost completate de proiectul Economia Bazat pe Cunoatere implementat de MCTI care a dezvoltat 246 de reele virtuale locale conectate la internet n band larg servind ca centre de cunoatere, sprijinind activitile de formare pentru alfabetizarea digital i implementarea proiectelor culturale. Procesul de instruire a personalului RECL s-a desfurat n semestrul al doilea al anului 2007, formarea managerilor s-a axat pe promovarea serviciilor oferite, pe baza infrastructurii TIC, deprinderea de abiliti n vederea comunicrii directe cu utilizatorii finali din comunitate precum i pe asigurarea accesului la informaie. Formarea administratorilor IT s-a concentrat pe dobndirea cunotinelor necesare pentru gestionarea eficient a tuturor echipamentelor ce formeaz RECL, precum i pe capacitatea de a oferi asisten n domeniul TIC oricrui utilizator din comunitate, indiferent unde s-ar afla acesta: n primrie, coal, biblioteca public sau Punctul de Acces Public la Informaie. Proiectul Hotspot n zone publice pentru furnizarea de servicii Internet ctre populaie Ministerul Comunicaiilor i Tehnologiei Informaiei a lansat n anul 2007 proiectul Hotspot n zone publice pentru furnizarea de servicii Internet ctre populaie n Municipiile Braov (2 Hotspot-uri) i Cluj-Napoca (1 Hotspot). Acest proiect a avut ca scop promovarea i dezvoltarea serviciilor de internet cu ajutorul tehnologiilor wireless, prin punerea la dispoziia populaiei n zone publice a unui serviciu flexibil de conectare la Internet, precum i creterea interesului primriilor s dezvolte hotspot-uri prin care s ofere internet gratuit cetenilor. Utilizatorii pot accesa informaiile de care au nevoie cu ajutorul unui laptop, PDA, telefon mobil sau desktop echipat cu o plac de reea WiFi sau cu un card PCMCIA de reea WIFI, fr ajutorul cablurilor. MCTI a achiziionat echipamente tehnice (anten sectorial, radio modem), materiale publicitare (balon gonflabil) i fluxul internet (pentru 6 luni), necesare realizrii celor 3 hotspot-uri. Acestea au fost predate n comodat municipalitilor, primriile asigurnd ntreinerea i fluxul de internet ncepnd cu anul 2008.

3.2 mbuntirea mediului de afaceri


3.2.1. Reglementri mai bune pentru ncurajarea investiiilor n perioada de referin a raportului au continuat o serie de aciuni i au fost adoptate noi acte normative destinate mbuntirii cadrului de reglementare pentru facilitarea intrrii/ieirii pe/de pe pia a firmelor, reducerea timpilor de ateptare n obinerea autorizaiilor, simplificarea procedurilor de autorizare i sprijinirea redresrii economice a comercianilor aflai n dificultate financiar. Inventarierea i publicarea taxelor fiscale i nefiscale (Registrul Fiscal) se circumscrie n cadrul efortului de cretere a transparenei i predictibilitii mediului de afaceri n Romnia. nc din luna octombrie 2007, n cadrul Ministerului Economiei i Finanelor s-a creat o comisie, care s evalueze nivelul parafiscalitii i s inventarieze taxele, tarifele, contribuiile onorariile, comisioanele i impozitele ncasate de autoritile publice din Romnia, indiferent de modul de finanare al acestora. Procesul este aproape finalizat, iar registrul poate fi consultat pe site-ul MEF. Registrul Fiscal va fi actualizat cu orice modificare semnalat MEF de ctre autoritatea responsabil. ntr-o etap ulterioar se va proceda la analiza atent a taxelor coninute n registru, urmnd s se aplice reduceri, comasri sau chiar anulri ale unora dintre aceste taxe, contribuind astfel la simplificarea sarcinilor administrative.

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Pentru a rspunde cerinelor de reducere a procedurilor administrative i a timpului de obinere a autorizaiilor, a fost decis elaborarea unui nou proiect de act normativ pentru modificarea i completare OUG nr. 27/2003 privind procedura aprobrii tacite, care prevede generalizarea aplicrii procedurii la un numr de 455 de autorizaii, inventariate n perioada decembrie 2007octombrie 2008. Aceast iniiativ a fost motivat i de faptul c OUG promovat de guvern n anul 2007, care prevedea aplicarea procedurii de aprobare tacit doar pentru un numr de 10% din total autorizailor, a fost respins de Parlament. Noul proiect completeaz i mbuntete cadrul de reglementare a autorizrii tacite cu responsabiliti concrete pentru autoritile emitente de autorizaii: obligativitatea soluionrii cererii de autorizare n termen de 30 de zile de la depunerea acesteia, pentru cazurile n care prin lege nu este prevzut un termen de emitere a acesteia; asigurarea transparenei procedurii i informrii corespunztoare a ntreprinztorului; sancionarea autoritii n caz de pasivitate; reglementarea funcionrii ntreprinderii pentru activitatea pentru care s-a solicitat emiterea autorizaiei. Pn n prezent proiectul a fost supus unui amplu proces de consultare public, fiind afiat pe site-urile MIMMCTPL, MJ i ONRC i a fost discutat n seminarii i edine ale comitetelor pentru dialog social din aceste ministere. Proiectul se afl n faza de avizare interministerial, urmnd a fi aprobat n edin de guvern pn la sfritul acestui an. MIMMCTPL a iniiat i parcurs o serie de etape n vederea identificrii i eliminrii unui numr de 25 de autorizaii i stabilirii unui mecanism eficient de notificare a practicilor administrative excesive. n acest sens, a fost elaborat un memorandum cu tema Msuri prioritare ce vor fi implementate pn la sfritul anului 2008 n vederea realizrii Planului de aciuni suplimentare pentru implementarea Programului naional de Reforme (PNR) n perioada 2008 2009, care a fost aprobat de guvern n data de 1 octombrie a.c. Potrivit acestui memorandum, ministerele au avut obligaia ca pn la data de 15 octombrie 2008 s comunice dou autorizaii din competena lor, care sunt mpovrtoare pentru mediul de afaceri. Acestea vor fi analizate n cadrul Grupului de lucru pentru mbuntirea mediului de afaceri n a doua jumtate a lunii octombrie a.c., urmnd s se decid lista celor 25 de proceduri de autorizare care pot fi eliminate. Rezultate acestei evaluri vor fi supuse aprobrii guvernului la data de 22 octombrie 2008, care va decide lista procedurilor i termenele de eliminare corespunztoare celor dou etape (prima etap prevede eliminarea a 12 proceduri pn la 31.12.2008, iar cea de a doua etap, 13 proceduri pn la 30 iunie 2009). Pentru simplificarea procedurilor de autorizare, a fost adoptat OUG nr. 44/2008 privind desfurarea activitilor economice de ctre persoanele fizice autorizate, ntreprinderile individuale i ntreprinderile familiale. Prin noua reglementare, care a abrogat Legea nr. 300/2004 privind autorizarea persoanelor fizice i asociaiilor familiale care desfoar activiti economice n mod independent, procedura de nregistrare i autorizare a funcionrii este preluat n ntregime de ctre oficiile Registrului Comerului de pe lng tribunale, fiind eliminat autorizarea administrativ eliberat de primrii. Persoana fizic ce dorete s desfoare o activitate economic n mod independent beneficiaz astfel de procedura simplificat de nregistrare i de autorizare a funcionrii, cu termen de 3 zile - fa de 15 care erau stipulate n vechea legislaie. Ghidul privind documentele necesare pentru nregistrare i autorizare poate fi consultat la seciunea Formaliti de pe site-ul ONRC. Pentru realizarea unei mai bune conlucrri ntre autoriti n mbuntirea cadrului reglementare, se va implementa, n cadrul portalului pentru IMM, o seciune de semnalare ctre ntreprinztori a practicilor abuzive la nivelul administraiei centrale. Sunt n curs elaborare specificaiile tehnice pentru constituirea acestei seciuni, care va fi integrat componenta de e-guvernare prin intermediul Sistemului Electronic Naional. de de de n

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Proiectul de extindere a funcionalitilor componentei e-guvernare a Sistemului Electronic Naional (SEN) operat de ASSI vizeaz creterea calitii serviciilor publice n raport cu cetenii i ntreprinderile, n contextul dezvoltrii serviciilor societii informaionale. Se prevede ca toate procedurile i formalitile privind accesul i realizarea efectiv a unui serviciu public s se realizeze prin mijloace electronice n cadrul portalului www.e-guvernare.ro, ntr-o manier simpl i accesibil, fr a interveni n procesele organizaionale ale administraiei publice centrale i locale. Proiectul de extindere a funcionalitilor SEN va asigura mijloacele tehnice pentru: implementarea conceptului de One-Stop Shop pentru guvernarea electronic, prin care utilizatorii, n principal persoane fizice i juridice romne, vor avea posibilitatea de a interaciona cu administraia public. Sistemul va asigura accesul la serviciile de eguvernare ale administraiei publice i schimbul de informaii i documente ntre instituiile publice; implementarea Punctului de Contact Unic Electronic (PCUE), conform Directivei Serviciilor; integrarea Ghieului Virtual de Pli n SEN pentru oferirea de servicii destinate plii prin mijloace electronice a debitelor ctre stat.

Finanarea proiectului de extindere a funcionalitilor SEN va fi asigurat din fonduri structurale n cadrul POS Creterea Competitivitii Economice Axa III - Tehnologia Informaiei i Comunicaiilor pentru sectoarele privat i public. n vederea simplificrii procedurilor de autorizare de mediu, Ministerul Mediului i Dezvoltrii Durabile a format un grup interministerial (alctuit din reprezentanii MMDD, MIRA, MDLPL, MADR i DAE) pentru a analiza posibilitatea modificrii actelor normative din domeniu. n urma analizei i a discuiilor s-a ajuns la concluzia c vor trebui modificate 6 acte normative. Astfel, pn la sfritul lunii octombrie 2008, va fi modificat OUG nr. 195/2005 privind protecia mediului, aprobat cu modificri i completri prin Legea nr. 265/2006. Proiectul noii ordonane de urgen va cuprinde n principal: modificarea unor definiii: acte de reglementare, autorizaie de mediu/autorizaie integrat de mediu, avize de mediu, autorizaia privind emisiile de gaze cu efect de ser; introducerea unor noi definiii, precum evaluarea adecvat, care s reflecte cerinele art.6(2) i art.6(3) din Directiva Habitate; refacerea capitolelor: II Procedura de reglementare, VI Regimul organismelor modificate genetic i VIII Conservarea biodiversitii i arii naturale protejate; actualizarea capitolului de sanciuni.

Pe aceast baz, va fi elaborat i aprobat proiectul hotrrii de guvern care va nlocui HG nr. 1213/2006 privind stabilirea procedurii-cadru de evaluare a impactului asupra mediului pentru anumite proiecte publice i private. Noul proiect va avea n vedere: introducerea definiiei de autorizaie n sensul prevzut de Directiva privind evaluarea impactului de mediu; introducerea evalurii impactului asupra mediului ca parte integrant din procedura de emitere a autorizaiei de construire; desfiinarea acordului de mediu ca act tehnico-juridic emis n prezent de autoritile de mediu.

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De asemenea, vor fi modificate OUG nr. 57/2007 privind regimul ariilor naturale protejate, conservarea habitatelor naturale, a florei i faunei slbatice, Ordinul nr. MMDD nr. 860/2002 pentru aprobarea procedurii de evaluare a impactului asupra mediului, Legea nr. 50/1991 privind autorizarea executrii lucrrilor de construcii, precum i Ordinul MTCT nr. 1430/2005 de aprobare a normelor metodologice de aplicare a Legii nr. 50/1991. MDLPL mpreun cu MMDD pregtesc un proiect de OUG pentru modificarea i completarea Legii nr. 50/1991, care conine prevederi privind: simplificarea documentaiei tehnice pentru autorizarea executrii lucrrilor de construcii; includerea n procedura de autorizare a procedurilor specifice de mediu, respectiv a evalurii iniiale i a evalurii efectelor investiiei asupra mediului; includerea n procedura de autorizare a etapei de informare i consultare a publicului; includerea prevederilor privind modaliti de atacare a actelor administrative