Date: 06.03.2017

Source: BUSINESSEUROPE

Read: 883

BusinessEurope’s Reform Barometer, published on 2 March 2017, shows that reform implementation remains too slow in many Member States, with only 17% of the country-specific reform recommendations (CSRs) regarded as implemented satisfactorily, even poorer than our observations for 2015 (20%) and 2014 (22%).

Comparisons with other leading economies underline that structural reforms are urgently required to boost growth and strengthen public finances:

  • The cost of starting a business in the EU is more than triple that of the United States, while it takes businesses about twice as long to set up a company in the EU.

  • EU R&D spending (2% of GDP) is well below Japan (3.6%) and the USA (2.7%).

  • The overall tax burden in the EU remains 50% higher than in the United States and over 20% higher than in Japan.

A special chapter looks at the quality of EU public expenditure. Based on international comparisons, we find that all EU Member States should review the composition of their public expenditure to make it more supportive of growth. However, achieving strong performance in growth-friendly areas requires much more than throwing money at the problem, but also improving the efficiency of spending.

Finally, national member federations have assessed progress on the country-specific recommendations:

Austria Belgium Cyprus
Estonia Finland France
Germany Greece Ireland
Italy Lithuania Luxembourg
Malta Netherlands Portugal
Slovakia Slovenia Spain
Bulgaria Croatia Czech Republic
Denmark Hungary Poland
Sweden United Kingdom  

Download the full list of country evaluations.