National Reform Programme - Belgium 2012

The National Reform Programme (NRP) covers the measures the federal government and the regions have taken over the past 12 months to attain the targets included in the National Reform Programme of April 2011. In this programme, the governments express their conviction that structural reforms are essential to attain the targets and that the proposed and actualized budgetary objectives should be met.

The ambitious targets from the 2011 NRP are confirmed in the 2012 NRP, despite the difficult economic climate.  The most recently observed indicators show that evolutions move in the right direction and that several of them even excel the ambitious targets.

The governments also confirm the importance of attaining the NRP's employment objectives and consider this as a crucial condition to assure a respectable standard of living for all residents and to safeguard the young generations' future.

Therefore, the federal government agreed on the necessity to outline a global strategy for boosting economic activity and reinforcing competitiveness in order to stimulate economic growth and sustainable employment and to support purchasing power. The federal government aims to develop this strategy in collaboration with the social partners, the Regions and the Communities.

In doing so, the federal government is convinced to answer the country-specific recommendations Belgium received during the Council of July 2011.

For that reason, this NRP guards the balanced treatment of the EU2020-targets and of the answers to the country-specific recommendations. Simultaneously, it deals with Belgium's commitments to answer the Euro plus pact and the priorities of the European Commssion  and supported by the Council in the Annual Growth Sur-vey of November 2011.

This programme is established through a close collaboration between the federal government and the govern-ments of the Regions and the Communities. The regional programmes are annexed to this programme and describe the specific measures in detail.

The federal governmental agreement also includes the state reform agreement. At the same time, it provides increased collaboration between the federal and regional government, with respect for the competences of each level and in order to increase the nation's efficiency.

The National Reform Programme was also discussed in the parliament.

Finally, and as usual, the social partners and the civil society were involved in drawing up the national reform programme. They listed their own activities with regard to the programme in a document, which will also be reported to the European Commission.