Read the statement by the European Commission's Vice-President Dombrovskis here.
The European Parliament's press release reads:
"Various ways to avoid or cushion the negative impact of austerity were debated in Tuesday's morning debate with Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis on EU economic priorities in 2017 and yearly “European Semester” economic policy coordination work. While some MEPs argued that austerity could not be avoided by overspending and incurring debt, others called for expansionist investments and a more social Europe.
Increasing growth, productivity and job creation, investment and structural reforms together with responsible finances, strong banks and completing the banking union will be key areas of Commission work next year, said Mr Dombrovskis. He also stressed the need to tackle challenges such as high levels of inequality, youth and long-term unemployment and inflows of migrants and asylum seekers.
MEPs agreed that the efforts should focus on growth and avoiding or cushioning austerity, but proposed various ways to achieve this. While some stressed the importance of responsible public finances, quality budgets and not running up deficits but rather completing the single market and acting within the budgetary framework agreed in the EU Treaties. Others called for more expansionist budgetary policies, more investment, more social protection and more attention to differences among EU countries when planning economic policy coordination."