Macroeconomic Environment

Quotation: Lázaro, J.M. 2013: Introduction to the economic Impact Area Macro-economic Environment. Available at:


Economic and social progress and constant improvements in living and working conditions are fundamental objectives for the European Union. Experience over the last five decades shows clearly that economic integration (removing barriers to the free movement of goods, services, money and people) gives Europe a much better chance of creating jobs and sustainable growth.
The EU needs to remove the remaining barriers that still confine research, public purchasing and the provision of financial services within national borders. Fostering the entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and an e-Europe will make a still stronger economy that can create quality jobs and protect social welfare systems.
While the EU remains a wealthy area, its economic growth in the past decade has been weak by international standards, pointing to structural weaknesses in the EU before the crisis. In the good years preceding the crisis, several EU Member States deviated from the basic principles of prudent fiscal policy making, and macroeconomic imbalances continued to build up. Structural reforms can serve two goals: enhancing growth, and preventing or correcting imbalances. In the absence of resolute policies, potential growth is likely to remain weak.

This impact area is further specified by the taxonomy terms: Economic Growth and Employment, Investment, Economic Stability.

Relevant Policies

Encouraging more growth and more jobs is a strategic priority for both the European Union and the Member States, and is part of the Lisbon Strategy. In support of this strategic priority, the European Union implements common policies across all sectors of the EU economy while the Member States implement their own national structural reforms. Common EU policies traversing all sectors of the economy include the Common Agricultural Policy and Competition Policy, which date back to the foundation of the European Communities, as well as policies which have developed over time, such as the internal market, environmental policy and Cohesion Policy.
The Green Growth Strategy aims to help countries foster economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies. This approach is practical, flexible and accelerates progress in sustainable development. Green growth strategies focus ensuring that natural resources can unfold their full economic potential in a sustainable way. Policies that promote green growth need to be founded on a good understanding of the different factors that affect green growth, and appropriate information is needed to monitor progress and measure results. The OECD developed a framework and indicators to support governments monitor progress towards green growth.
For further Information:
See also Indicators of Green Growth:

Legal Basis for the Commission to Act

Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), as provided in Title VII of the Treaty establishing the European Community, involves close coordination of the economic policies of the Member States at European level and requires Member States to avoid excessive budget deficits (Stability and Growth Pact). EMU has led to the introduction of a single currency: the euro.

Web Resources

Activities of the European Union: Economic and Financial Affairs
DG Economic and Financial Affairs


Please link to relevant Directorate General Contact Details.

Economic Growth and Employment


Economic Stability