Rigorous monitoring mechanisms necessary

There is a gen­er­al con­sen­sus that the action tak­en to address the dete­ri­o­rat­ing eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion in Greece was nec­es­sary to shore up the sin­gle cur­ren­cy. There is, how­ev­er, also a clear under­stand­ing at a polit­i­cal and civ­il soci­etal lev­el that eco­nom­ic assis­tance must be cou­pled with rig­or­ous mon­i­tor­ing mech­a­nisms to ensure that reforms and restruc­tur­ing are actu­al­ly implemented.

It is clear that a more account­able and trans­par­ent sys­tem of eco­nom­ic sur­veil­lance at a Euro­pean lev­el is required to safe­guard against future Greek style eco­nom­ic col­laps­es. It is not enough to have clear­ly defined eco­nom­ic cri­te­ria to man­age the economies of Euro­zone mem­ber states. Enforce­ment of the cri­te­ria must also occur if mis­man­age­ment of cer­tain economies is to be avoid­ed. At a gov­ern­men­tal lev­el, there is also sup­port for a con­tin­gency fund to fur­ther strength­en the posi­tion of the Euro.

There is a pos­i­tive atti­tude towards hav­ing strong coor­di­na­tion of eco­nom­ic poli­cies in Europe. The prin­ci­ple of sol­i­dar­i­ty is often referred to when it comes to sup­port­ing those states that are under eco­nom­ic pres­sure, espe­cial­ly those states that are part of the Euro group. One area where there is reluc­tance to intro­duce clos­er eco­nom­ic coop­er­a­tion is taxation.

With regards the Europe 2020 Strat­e­gy, Mal­ta is ful­ly in favour of such an approach as it is very much the plan of action it is seek­ing to imple­ment through its own Vision 2015 pol­i­cy doc­u­ment. As high­light­ed on the Office of the Prime Min­is­ter’s web site www.opm.gov.mt, this pol­i­cy per­spec­tive is the main focus of all pol­i­cy plan­ning in Mal­ta at the moment. A sum­ma­ry of the Vision 2015 doc­u­ment can be found on the OPM web site.

The Europe 2020 Strat­e­gy has been wide­ly wel­comed by all in the polit­i­cal sec­tor and also the pri­vate sec­tor. The main focus has been on intro­duc­ing the nec­es­sary mea­sures to devel­op a green econ­o­my that will result in a more envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly coun­try and also a more tech­no­log­i­cal­ly inno­v­a­tive indus­tri­al sec­tor. Ear­mark­ing more research and devel­op­ment resources for sci­en­tif­ic mea­sures is regard­ed as a high pri­or­i­ty if Europe is to become more com­pet­i­tive in the future. Learn­ing from the pre­vi­ous Lis­bon Strategy’s lessons is also seen as essen­tial if the Europe 2020 Strat­e­gy is to become a more effec­tive pol­i­cy vehi­cle dur­ing the decade ahead.

The reports focus on a report­ing peri­od from Decem­ber 2009 until May 2010. This sur­vey was con­duct­ed on the basis of a ques­tion­naire that has been elab­o­rat­ed in March and April 2010. Most of the 31 reports were deliv­ered in May 2010.

The EU-27 Watch No. 9 receives sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from the Otto Wolff-Foun­da­tion, Cologne, in the frame­work of the ‘Dia­log Europa der Otto Wolff-Stiftung’, and finan­cial sup­port from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is not respon­si­ble for any use that may be made of the infor­ma­tion con­tained therein.