Rigorous monitoring mechanisms necessary

Stephen Calleya
There is a general consensus that the action taken to address the deteriorating economic situation in Greece was necessary to shore up the single currency. There is, however, also a clear understanding at a political and civil societal level that economic assistance must be coupled with rigorous monitoring mechanisms to ensure that reforms and restructuring are actually implemented.
It is clear that a more accountable and transparent system of economic surveillance at a European level is required to safeguard against future Greek style economic collapses. It is not enough to have clearly defined economic criteria to manage the economies of Eurozone member states. Enforcement of the criteria must also occur if mismanagement of certain economies is to be avoided. At a governmental level, there is also support for a contingency fund to further strengthen the position of the Euro.
There is a positive attitude towards having strong coordination of economic policies in Europe. The principle of solidarity is often referred to when it comes to supporting those states that are under economic pressure, especially those states that are part of the Euro group. One area where there is reluctance to introduce closer economic cooperation is taxation.
With regards the Europe 2020 Strategy, Malta is fully in favour of such an approach as it is very much the plan of action it is seeking to implement through its own Vision 2015 policy document. As highlighted on the Office of the Prime Minister's web site , this policy perspective is the main focus of all policy planning in Malta at the moment. A summary of the Vision 2015 document can be found on the OPM web site.
The Europe 2020 Strategy has been widely welcomed by all in the political sector and also the private sector. The main focus has been on introducing the necessary measures to develop a green economy that will result in a more environmentally friendly country and also a more technologically innovative industrial sector. Earmarking more research and development resources for scientific measures is regarded as a high priority if Europe is to become more competitive in the future. Learning from the previous Lisbon Strategy’s lessons is also seen as essential if the Europe 2020 Strategy is to become a more effective policy vehicle during the decade ahead.