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The global economy continues to run at low speed and many countries, particularly in Europe, seem unable to overcome the legacies of the crisis. With high unemployment, high inequality and low trust still weighing heavily, it is imperative to swiftly implement reforms that boost demand and employment and raise potential growth.
How can governments ensure that migration and free movement of workers contribute to meeting the labour market shortages that are expected to arise over the next 50 years? How can societies better use the skills of their migrants? What lessons can non-European OECD countries offer Europe, particularly regarding labour migration management? “Matching economic migration with labour market needs” addresses these questions.
The EU Single Market remains fragmented by complex and heterogeneous rules at the EU and national levels affecting trade, capital, including foreign direct investment, and labour mobility.
Action taken by many European countries to return their public finances to health are beginning to pay off, says the OECD. The Euro area economies which emerged from the crisis with serious current account deficits are now in surplus. Debt-to-GDP ratios are stabilising and market tensions have abated.
After five years of work at every level to correct the fiscal, financial and external imbalances that led to the crisis, and to reinforce fiscal and financial institutions, the Euro Area is beginning to show signs of recovery. But, despite these positive signs, growth is still weak and uneven.
Mr. Angel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD, attended the OECD Seminar “The Euro area at a crossroads: Policies for growth, jobs and competitiveness” in Brussels on 17 February 2014 at the Council of the European Union, ahead of the regular Eurogroup meeting. At the Seminar, the Secretary-General presented the OECD report “Economic Challenges and Policy Recommendations for the Euro Area”.
Talks to free up more trade and investment between the European Union and the United States got under way early in 2013. A good agreement in 2014 would be a positive thing, and not just for the EU and the US.
In Europe, the two most pressing structural policy priorities that must be addressed are the challenge of unemployment and the restoration the health of euro area banks, said OECD Secretary-General in Brussels.
Vast amounts of money are kept off-shore and go untaxed. The more we do to combat tax fraud and evasion, the more resources we will have to finance growth-enhancing public investment, restore the health of public finances, and put the euro area economy back on a sustained and long-term recovery, said OECD Secretary-General.
A moderate recovery is underway in the major advanced economies, according to the OECD’s latest Interim Economic Assessment. Growth is proceeding at encouraging rates in North America, Japan and the UK. The euro area as a whole is out of recession, although output remains weak in a number of countries.