Factbox - European Commission country specific recommendations

BRUSSELS Wed May 29, 2013 5:46pm BST

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission published economic recommendations for 23 of the European Union's 27 member states on Wednesday, broadly calling on them to overhaul their labour markets while allowing them to slow the pace of budget cuts.

The recommendations mark a shift away from three years of budget austerity towards structural reforms that policy makers hope will stimulate growth and help end recession.

Here are the main recommendations for leading countries:

GERMANY

* Allow wages to increase in line with productivity, which should stimulate domestic demand

* Increase competition in services and boost flexibility in the workforce, including more women in work

* Further consolidate the banking sector and eliminate the remaining barriers to competition in the railway industry

FRANCE

* Reform the labour market by making contracts less rigid and bring the state pensions system into balance by 2020

* Simplify the tax system to make it less onerous on companies and boost competition in the services sector

* While retooling the labour market, France must bring its budget deficit down to 2.8 percent of GDP by 2015

ITALY

* Italy must sustain a primary surplus (before debt servicing) so as to tackle its high debt-to-GDP ratio

* Strengthen laws to tackle corruption

* Resolve high levels of bad loans in the banking sector

* Improve companies access to finance and borrowing

SPAIN

* Set up an independent fiscal authority by end-2013

* Improve efficiency of public spending across government

* Review all major spending projects

* Implement programmes to tackle youth unemployment

BRITAIN

* Put high public debt on a steady downward path

* Ensure that the budget deficit is brought down to a sustainable level (below 3 percent) by 2014/15

* Improve availability of bank and non-bank financing to companies

* Step up measure to address youth unemployment

NETHERLANDS

* Sustain spending on education, innovation, research

* Once deficit in check, pursue structural reforms

* Streamline pensions systems to improve efficiency

* Boost labour market participation

POLAND

* Improve tax compliance

* Strengthen labour market via simpler contracts

* Target spending on investment that produces growth

* Reduce waste in the healthcare sector

(Reporting by Martin Santa)

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