Brussels, 17 December 2012
Supporting growth and jobs in Greece – Task Force for Greece quarterly report December 2012
The Commission's Task Force for Greece has presented its third quarterly report on technical assistance for Greece. The report describes the assistance provided by the Task Force, the Member States, international organisations and other specialist bodies to support Greece in the implementation of its ambitious reform agenda.
Since its creation by President Barroso in July 2011, the Task Force has progressively extended its activities to over 40 technical assistance projects in ten policy domains. These include tax administration, exports and the business environment, health policy, administrative reform and fighting corruption. The Task Force, along with other European Commission services, has also been working closely with the Greek authorities to accelerate the disbursement of EU structural funds in Greece.
Vice President Rehn said: "Greece is tackling deep-rooted structural problems with determination and resolve, as has been recognised by the Eurogroup. The Task Force is working hard to help Greece implement essential reforms to boost its competitiveness, create a fairer and more effective tax system, and generate sustainable growth and employment. The ownership of these reforms lies with the Greek authorities, but the Commission is there to help and the Task Force is tangible proof of that."
On 20 July 2011, following consultation with the Greek Prime Minister, President Barroso established the Task Force to provide technical assistance to Greece. This initiative has been strongly was supported by the European Council on 21 July 2011, which declared that "…Member States and the Commission will immediately mobilise all resources necessary in order to provide exceptional technical assistance to help Greece implement its reforms…"
The Task Force for Greece (TFGR) started operating in September 2011 and its mandate is to identify and coordinate the technical assistance that Greece needs to deliver commitments that it has undertaken in its economic adjustment programme. It also seeks to accelerate the absorption of EU funds in order to sustain economic growth, competitiveness and employment.
It reports to President Barroso and works under the political guidance of Vice President Olli Rehn. The Head of the Task Force, Horst Reichenbach, submits quarterly progress reports to the Greek authorities and to the Commission.
The Task Force consists of around 50 people and is based jointly in Brussels and Athens.
The Task Force was created to help Greece to implement its challenging reform agenda, and lay solid foundations for a return to growth and job-creation.
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