Samstag, 17.11.2018 14:55 Uhr

EU and Italy's 2019 budget bill

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 18.10.2018, 10:30 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 4396x gelesen

Rome [ENA] The European Union is preparing to reject Italy's 2019 budget bill. On the other hand, Italian officials declared the measure, with its deficit of 2.4% of GDP, would not change. What is happening between Italy and the European Commission is also to be contemplated in the view of the upcoming European elections to be held between 23 and 26 May 2019. And that means also that disinformation campaigns could be working

overtime. EU political groups have started their process of selection of candidates for the presidency of the European Commission. Actually, if the process of Spitzenkandidaten is preserved for the upcoming elections, the presidency of the European Commission would be conceded to the candidate selected by the party which gained the most seats. From the economic point of view, this year the employment and social policies of the euro area seem to constitute a vital and intrinsic part of the general economic policy and social cohesion and therefore require adequate attention. Up till now, jobs creation contributed to the economic development by strengthening demand, reducing inequalities and improving the standard of living.

The European economy is growing and the positive outlook is visible in public finances, investment and employment. The GDP of the EU is already higher than before the crisis and the unemployment rate in euro area in January 2018 was 8.6%, which was the lowest rate recorded since the end of 2008. Thanks to the reforms already undertaken in the Member States and the contributions from the Investment Plan for Europe the investments started to get better. To take full advantage of these advancements, it is imperative to fix a roof over Europe as the sun is still shining. While the overall economic conditions in Europe are positive, the situation particularly to what regards the youth unemployment, labour market segmentation and inequalities,

in-work poverty, productivity, wage growth, pensions, social protection and healthcare systems leaves the room for improvement. According to the Commission’s data since the beginning of the European Semester only 9% of the EU recommendations were implemented fully and as much as 30% of the recommendations were implemented in a limited way or not implemented at all. One has to be concerned by the insufficient level of implementation by Member States. What is even more upsetting is that this situation has a negative tendency as in 2017 only 1% of recommendations were implemented fully and as much as 50% of recommendations were implemented with limited or no progress.

This situation constitutes a serious obstacle to the EU’s reforms progress and needs to be straightaway addressed.At this point one has to underline the fact that the simple decrease in unemployment rates is insufficient. And in this case, the hypothesis that Italian 2019 budget draft is not reconcilable with the EU's existing obligations seems to be confirmed. Europe needs to create truly inclusive labour markets which provide a quality employment for all, including the disadvantaged groups such as women, young people, and persons with disabilities and with migrant background. The Member States reforms need to promote reliable labour contracts, tackle bogus self-employment and promote adequate social protection for all types of contracts.

They should also allow for easy entry and re-entry to the labour market by promoting labour mobility, providing reintegration measures and proper training for unemployed and promoting equal opportunities. Employees need to be equipped with adequate skills and therefore the opportunities for life-long learning and upskilling and reskilling opportunities must be created.

There’s also a need for a better work-life balance policies which would allow for flexible working arrangements, advantageous family leave take up and for enhanced investment in affordable, quality childcare. The challenges imposed by fast changing working patterns and digital transformation should be addressed and a 'citizenship wage' basic income for job seekers as provided for in Italy's 2019 budget bill cannot be enough in a fast changing world.

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