Monday, January 09, 2012

Herman Van Rompuy: Europe needs "job-friendly growth"

by Bill McBride on 1/09/2012 09:01:00 AM

The EU meeting on January 30th will focus on the European "anti-recession strategy" (quoting Van Rompuy).

From Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council: Growth-friendly consolidation and job-friendly growth is what we need

Growth-friendly consolidation and job-friendly growth is what we need! I see 3 principles of action.

First, avoid to the extent possible that budget-cuts affect drivers for growth. Fiscal consolidation is necessary but should not hamper structural economic growth. Growth-oriented investments should be preserved. Think of energy infrastructure, research and innovation, education and training.

Second guiding principle: enhance growth both by strengthening supply and by stimulating demand. ....

Third principle of action: stimulate employment. We need more, better and new jobs. Today, over 23 million people are unemployed in Europe. The economic slowdown risks increasing this number. Many of them are young. They need to be able to join the labour market. We should focus on all aspects of the labour market, supply and demand of jobs. Our focus should be on youth employment and lifelong learning. The recent ‘Youth Opportunities’ Commission initiative offers perspectives for skills, training and job placements. Also our “green jobs” potential should be fully developed. In parallel, we need strong labour demand. Hiring people should be easier and more attractive. Through flexible labour legislation, structural reforms or fiscal instruments.

Action on those dimensions will bring us on the path towards growth and jobs.
Also German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are meeting today in Berlin - and growth and employment are at the top of the agenda. From the Financial Times Eurozone Crisis Live Blog:
It is the agenda that the French president wants to highlight as he starts his campaign for re-election, and the German chancellor seems to have agreed that it is time to stress a more positive policy response to the euro crisis.