On 14 July 2016, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels passed a “Resolution on the Commission’s 2017 work programme”. It maintains that the euro area economy is in a “liquidity trap” because of “the severely limited capacity of the monetary policy to stimulate demand”; this refers here to the European Central Bank. The EESC calls for greater solidarity from countries with structural surpluses who should better contribute to expansionary measures. The euro area must strengthen its growth potential and its ability to deal with asymmetric shocks, as well as promote economic and social convergence. This requires a new regulation on a specific fiscal capacity which, according to experts in Brussels, is reminiscent, albeit unspoken, of the call to introduce a European unemployment insurance scheme.
The EESC is calling for the introduction of a macroeconomic dialogue in the euro area as a key contribution to democratic and social development of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The EESC emphasises that future discussions should not refer to “competitiveness boards” but rather to “boards for competitiveness, social cohesion and sustainability”. The euro area needs to speak with one voice in international bodies. The EESC expects European institutions to commence on the second stage of the roadmap to complete the EMU in 2017 and to provide the euro area with a clear identity. A corresponding roadmap should include a political discussion on the implementation of institutional steps which might require the Treaty to be occasionally changed.