National Reform Programme Austria 2014
The European Semester 2014 focuses on ensuring economic recovery through the consistent implementation of reforms. As confirmed by the European Commission's winter forecast, the general conditions are favourable.
In the Annual Growth Survey 2014, the European Commission projects a gradual recovery in economic growth and highlights the fact that the Member States have made progress in correcting the imbalances which had emerged/developed prior to the crisis. Against this backdrop, the European Commission is making efforts to ensure continuity in the reform agenda and therefore proposes that the priorities for 2014 should remain unchanged:
Pursuing differentiated, growth-friendly fiscal consolidation;
Restoring normal lending to the economy;
Promoting growth and competitiveness for today and tomorrow;
Tackling unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis;
Modernising public administration.
In line with these priorities, Austria continues to pursue the strategy of growth-friendly consolidation with a balanced mix of measures on the spending side as well as the revenue side. In this context, special attention is paid to ensuring that - in addition to fiscal consolidation - the policies continue to reinforce innovative, sustainable and socially compatible growth as well as Austria's competitiveness and location quality. The Austrian federal government's work programme for the 2013-2018 period defines its strategic orientation for the current legislative session. The key pillars of this strategy are as follows:
- A sound fiscal basis with a balanced budget and a structurally balanced budget from 2016 onward;
- Growth pact to create and secure jobs as well as to promote innovation and sustainable development;
- First-rate education for children and youths;
- Securing the welfare state and fairness between generations;
- Economical public administration;
- More competitiveness and location attractiveness, promotion of business and creative entrepreneurship;
Austria is committed to sustainable environmental policies. Eco-social actions enable economic sustainability, improve the quality of life, reduce burdens from harmful substances and noise, maintain biological diversity, expand renewable energies, increase energy and resource efficiency, and contribute to growth through green jobs.