Written by Marcin Cesluk-Grajewski
Each year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a group of 34 major economies, publishes its Going for Growth report recommending reforms to bolster economic growth and create jobs. This is a flagship publication for the Paris-based organisation released early in the year at meetings of G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, which helps to set the global reform agenda and to develop growth strategies in many countries.
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The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) and the OECD are pleased to organise a presentation of the report in Brussels, which will focus on reforms needed to lift the euro area and a wider European Union from its economic doldrums. More than six years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers triggered a global financial crisis; the euro zone remains a weak link in the global economy, with glaring differences in performance among its members, sluggish growth, slow productivity and high long-term employment. But despite the continued woes of Greece, the worst seems to be over. The European Commission upgraded its economic growth forecast for the euro area and the EU earlier this year as the European Central Bank announced a monetary stimulus in the form of quantitative easing and the European Commission is working on a major investment package.
The round-table debate on the OECD report it will take place on 4 March at 13.30 – 15.00 hours in the EPRS Library (ASP building, 5th floor).
It will be presented by Alain de Serres, Head of the Structural Policies Surveillance Division at the OECD’s Economics Department and an author of the report.
Dariusz Rosati, MEP, member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and rapporteur of the Annual Growth Survey, 2015, will then offer his assessment of the economic situation in Europe in the context of the OECD paper.
Dr Cinzia Alcidi, Head of the Economic Policy Unit at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) in Brussels, will provide further scrutiny of the report and discuss policy responses to the crisis.
The OECD report argues that the implementation of a comprehensive reform agenda across a wide range of policy areas offers the best chance to boost weak demand, restore healthy economic growth, create jobs and ensure that the gains are broadly shared across society. The paper compares progress across countries since 2013 and shows that the pace of policy reforms has slowed in most advanced economies, after a significant acceleration during the global economic crisis. Emerging economies, on the other hand, are quickening the pace of reform. Going for Growth assesses the effect of pro-growth structural reforms on income inequality. It notes that both advanced and emerging economies are encouraged to make growth more inclusive, by removing obstacles to employment and the labour market participation of under-represented groups such as women, youth, low-skilled and older workers.
The report highlights key trends in reform activity as well as areas where more needs to be done: reform activity has remained high, albeit declining, in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, and has increased in Japan. Reform activity has remained weak, and has even been declining in most Nordic countries and most euro area core countries. The report finds that labour productivity remains the main driver of long-term growth.
The EPRS-OECD debate will be the first in a series of joint events focused on economic, social and regulatory issues relevant to the European Union.
To know more about the OECD, read our briefing on the topic.