European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level policy measures

Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure EU-2021-43/2098 – measures in European Union

European Commission relaunches Economic Governance Review

Country European Union , applies eu-wide (or beyond)
Time period Open ended, started on 19 October 2021
Context COVID-19, Green Transition, Digital Transformation
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Support for spending, stimulus packages
Author Barbara Surdykowska and Eurofound
Measure added 20 December 2021 (updated 21 January 2022)

Background information

The European Commission has re-launched the Economic Governance Review, following suspension of such consultations due to the start of the COVID-19 crisis in early 2020, presenting its communication on this matter on 19 October 2021.

The Commission communication assesses the implications of the changed circumstances for economic governance following the COVID-19 crisis and sets out additional questions for the public debate.

Content of measure

The Commission notes that the EU economy faced several long-term structural challenges yet before the COVID-19 crisis.

  • First, despite the improvement in labour market efficiency preceding the pandemic, a rapidly ageing population threatened to ultimately reduce labour supply and thus the EU's growth potential.
  • Second, weak productivity growth was a brake on economic growth, and the EU was lagging behind China and the US in the digital transformation process.
  • Third, the very significant socioeconomic costs of climate change have become clearer and more pressing.
  • Fourth, increasing income and wealth inequalities, territorial disparities within and between Member States, and unequal access to education and skills have stifled economic growth and created tensions in the EU's social fabric.

The COVID-19 crisis has made these challenges more visible and urgent. The Commission therefore invites all stakeholders to reflect on how economic governance works and to present their views on how to make it more effective. The aim of the public debate is to reach a broad consensus on the way forward in good time before 2023.

Use of measure

Not applicable.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Applies to all workers Applies to all businesses Applies to all citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
EU (Council, EC, EP)
No special funding required

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


The involvement of the social partners will take place during the discussion phase on the content of the communication.

Views and reactions

EU cross-sectoral social partners -BusinessEurope (BE) and the ETUC supported the relaunch of the European governance review. However, they have not yet clearly responded to the presented content. For example, BE stated that whilst the premature unwinding of support for the recovery should be avoided, in the medium term, EU Member States must return to fiscally sustainable positions and ETUC concluded that the communication addressed the right issues but did not set a clear direction for the economic governance review.


  • 19 October 2021: Economic governance review communication (
  • 19 October 2021: Economic governance must put public finances on sustainable footing (
  • 08 December 2021: ETUC resolution on actions in the framework of the revision of the EU Economic Governance (


Eurofound (2021), European Commission relaunches Economic Governance Review, measure EU-2021-43/2098 (measures in European Union), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


Eurofound publications based on EU PolicyWatch

30 January 2023


Measures to lessen the impact of the inflation and energy crisis on citizens

Governments across the EU continue to implement policies to support citizens and businesses in the face of rising food and energy prices caused by the COVID-19 crisis and intensified by the war in Ukraine. As winter approaches, preventing and addressing energy poverty becomes a priority. This article summarises the policy responses as reported in Eurofound’s EU PolicyWatch database from January to September 2022.


12 September 2022


First responses to cushion the impact of inflation on citizens

Although the worldwide pandemic situation had already disrupted supply chains and triggered increases in energy and food prices in 2021, the situation deteriorated in 2022 with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


12 September 2022


Policies to support EU companies affected by the war in Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses that governments across the EU have started to implement to support companies affected by the rising prices, and those with commercial ties to Ukraine, Russia or Belarus.

5 July 2022


Policies to support refugees from Ukraine

This article summarises the first policy responses of EU Member States, including those of the social partners and other civil society actors, enabling refugees to exercise their rights under the Temporary Protection Directive.


Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.