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2007 OECD Economic Surveys: European Union 2007

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This survey of the European Union economy reviews the EU's economic performance and discusses the main challenges, including pushing ahead with the internal market, opening up network industries to competition, removing barriers to labour mobility, making regional cohesion policy more effective, and enhancing Europe's global role. It focuses on the common and shared policies of the Union. It complements the Euro Area Survey, which deals with monetary and fiscal policy, and the individual country Surveys that assess national policies. While many of the necessary policy changes are firmly under national sovereignty, the EU can play an important role by providing good framework conditions and continuing to enhance the internal market.

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Key challenges

This chapter reviews the key challenges for the European Union. The main requirements are product and labour market reforms to boost growth and employment. Like all developed economies, Europe faces the longer term challenges of globalisation and population ageing. Europe as a whole has done well out of globalisation but some regions have struggled to adapt, and they need to boost their adjustment capacity and innovation levels. The roles of the EU include strengthening the single market, encouraging stronger competition across Europe and living up to global responsibilities such as trade reform and addressing climate change.

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