There is growing concern that the restrictive approaches of
budget consolidation currently pursued in many European countries
may not reach their objectives, but risk further exacerbating the
crisis. Austerity measures applied across Europe are viewed increasingly
critically by international experts and organisations as they can undermine
democratic and social rights, in particular for the most vulnerable
categories of the population.
The Parliamentary Assembly should send out a strong signal
by calling for a profound reorientation of austerity programmes,
ending their quasi-exclusive focus on expenditure cuts in social
areas such as pensions, health services or family benefits. Future
national action should also include measures aimed at increasing
public revenues by taxing higher income categories and property
wealth more strongly, by shoring up the tax base and by enhancing
tax collection, the efficiency of the tax administration and the
fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax havens, corruption
and the underground economy.
Current budget consolidation programmes should be further
supplemented with measures fostering sustainable economic growth,
including the creation of new quality employment and special support
to be given to the young generation in the transitional period between
education and employment.