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Adjustment programmes in the euro area: mission accomplished?

This Synthesis by Sofia Fernandes and Thibault Paulet is based on the main ideas aired in the course of an expert seminar organised by the Jacques Delors Institute and the EESC on the economic, fiscal and social assessment of adjustement programmes in the euro area.

Four years after the adoption of the first rescue plan in the euro area, and as some countries have already completed their programmes, the time has come to conduct an initial assessment of the economic adjustment programmes in the euro area.

To this end, the Notre Europe – Jacques Delors Institute (NE-IJD) and the European Economic and Social Committee held an expert seminar on 10 April 2014 entitled “Assessing the Memoranda of Understanding of Countries Benefiting from Aid Programmes in the Euro Area”.

The first panel in the seminar, moderated by Stefano Micossi (Director General of Assonime and a professor at the College of Europe), was devoted to a debate on “Fiscal adjustment, competitiveness, growth and employment: have the memoranda of understanding achieved their goals?” The debate witnessed the participation of Zsolt Darvas (Senior Research Fellow with Bruegel), Anna Diamantopoulou (founder of Diktio and former European Commissioner) and Colm McCarthy (an economist with University College Dublin).

This synthesis, which is based on the main ideas aired and the conclusions drawn in the course of the debate, is divided into four parts:

1. An overview of financial aid programmes in the euro area

2. Exit strategies for emerging from the adjustment programmes

3. Forecasts vs. results achieved: an assessment of the programmes

4. What are the future prospects of countries benefiting from an aid programme?