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Growth, competitiveness and employment. Note for the Council of Ministers (Economy/Finance) on the economic elements of the white paper. SEC (93) 1855 final, 24 November 1993

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  • Economics


COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES SEC(93)1855 final Brusse Is, 24 November 1993 GROWTH, COMPETITIVENESS AND I EMPLOYMENT Note for. the Council of Ministers (Economy/Finance) on the economic elements of the VVhite Paper !. INTRODUCTION 1. The Copenhagen European Council called on the Commission to present a White Paper on a medium-term strategy for growth, competitiveness and employment 2. This decision followed an in-depth discussion between the Heads of State or Government based on a statement made by the President of the Commission concerning the prospects for the European economy, which pointed to insufficient job creation and declining competitiveness. The dossier presented to the European Council provided an illustration of this assessment but also recalled that the European economy had shown itself capable of shrugging off Eurosclerosis. 3. The Community is facing mass unemployment. The present recession has sharply accentuated the problem. Over the past three years unemployment in the Community has risen sharply and now stands at 17 million people or around 11 % of the work force. Even after five years of steady growth, in 1990, when unemployment reached its lowest level for a decade, there were still12 million unemployed in the Community, equivalent to 8% of the labour force. Yet the Community economy also has many strengths. The high growth (3.2%) and job creation (9 million new jobs) of the period 1985- 90 show that the Community can perform better. However, a better performance will be possible only if we tackle the causes of our problems and reestablish the conditions necessary for sound, job-creating growth. If the right policies were implemented, the Community could return by the mid-1990s to a path of strong job creation. A substantial reduction in unemployment would be attainable if society were prepared to make today the efforts which would bring higher employment and prosperity tomorrow. The Community must set itself the ambi

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