Un rapport d’experts controversé contrarie plusieurs Commissaires

Un groupe d’experts de haut-niveau a remis le 17 juillet une étude proposant la re-nationalisation de la PAC et des fonds régionaux, tout en introduisant plus de flexibilité dans la politique budgétaire de l’UE.

The mandate of the group was to analyse the progress of two strategic goals of the EU: the Lisbon process of making the EU the most dynamic economy in the world by 2010, and EU enlargement.

The expert group reviewed the EU’s economic policy and concluded that since the mid-1970s, the growth rate has been generally low, which is, in the Group’s view, due to the EU’s failure to base its economic system on innovation.

The report concludes that growth should be made the first priority as the lack of it could risk further European integration. A number of reforms are needed, in which the EU needs to increasingly take the role of a facilitator. The expert group therefore recommends a six-point agenda, which would focus on micro and macro-level policies, governance and budget:

  • make the Single Market more dynamic;
  • boost investment in knowledge;
  • improve the macroeconomic policy framework for EMU;
  • redesign policies for convergence and restructuring;
  • achieve effectiveness in decision-taking and regulation;
  • refocus the EU budget.

The Group explains that their recommendations cover only EU policies, while national policy reforms should go hand-in-hand, particularly in the areas of social affairs, public investment and taxation, to ensure higher sustained growth in the EU. The environmental dimension is not in the scope of the Group’s recommendation.


Commissioner for Regional Policy Michel Barnierwas irritated by the report's calling into question of cohesion policy and its proposals to re-nationalise this policy. The report's conclusions "have not taken account of reality", said Mr Barnier. Coinciding with the launch of the study of the High-level group on economic governance, the Commission published a new evaluation study demonstrating the contribution of the Structural Funds to higher growth, new jobs and sustainable development in the least developed regions.

Commissioner for Agriculture Franz Fischlerwas also against the idea of re-nationalising the CAP, which, in his opinion, would lead to the creation of 25 different subsidy systems.

Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pedro Solbesreacted that the macroeconomic recommendations on bringing more flexibility to the Stability and Growth Pact were largely in line with the Commission's Communication of November 2002 (see also

EURACTIV 28 November 2002).

Commission President Romano Prodireportedly declined to comment saying that it was a contribution to the Commission and that he could not make his opinion known on the report.


On 17 July, André Sapir, a Professor of Economics at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, presented the findings of a report commissioned by Commission President Romano Prodi on 18 July 2002. Seven economists and a political scientist worked on the compilation of the study.


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