The single currency has eased cross-border trade and investment, brought price stability and businesses opportunities, and made travel a lot cheaper. However, the financial crisis showed that the EU needs to keep an eagle eye on its economic policy to safeguard jobs, growth, social fairness and financial stability.
For the first time, the 2014-2020 programming period has involved so-called Country Specific Recommendations (CSRs) and National Reform Programmes (NRPs). More than two-thirds of the Country-Specific Recommendations (CSRs) were relevant for cohesion policy investments and have been translated into Member State programmes’ priorities.Examples of CSRs where the Funds support reforms include improvements to the functioning of the labour market as well as education and healthcare reforms.
By linking this new policy with the Stability and Growth Pact and the support for structural reforms in Member States, the European Structural and Investments Funds (ESIF) can make the best use of investments and offer an instrument to ensure the financial and economic stability of the Union. It is important to assess the social effects of these structural reforms, while making the fight against poverty a priority.