EU Council of Ministers

European Union climate change package - full text


Courtesy of Courtesy of EU Council of Ministers

The fundamentals of the European Union economy remain sound: public deficits have been more than halved since 2005 and public debt has also declined to just under 60%. Economicgrowth has reached 2,9% in 2007, but is likely to be lower this year. 6,5 million jobs were created in the last two years. Although cyclical factors have played a role, these developments have been aided by the structural reforms undertaken over the last years within the framework of the Lisbon Strategy and the beneficial effects of the Euro and the single market.

However, the global economic outlook has deteriorated recently as a result of a slowdown of economic activity in the United States, higher oil and commodity prices, and ongoing turbulence on the financial markets. Excessive volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates are undesirable for economic growth. In the present circumstances we are concerned about excessive exchange rate moves. This is why it is all the more essential for the Union to avoid complacency and sustain reform efforts through the full implementation of the National Reform Programmes and the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs. Efforts to complete and deepen the internal market must continue. Closely coordinated economic and financial policies must be geared towards ensuring macro-economic stability, taking up the opportunities of globalisation and addressing the challenges ahead including ageing populations, climate change and energy. In order to ensure greater stability of financial markets action is also required to strengthen their transparency and functioning and to further improve the supervisory and regulatory environment at national, EU and global level.

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