BERLIN (AP) — The European Union will make country-specific economic policy recommendations that are likely to ease the focus on budget austerity to help the economy recover.

The EU Commission, the 27-nation bloc's executive arm, is expected on Monday to grant France, Spain and other nations more time to slash their deficits amid high unemployment and a protracted recession in many member states.

EU officials indicate the recommendations will call for a continuing but slower path of debt reduction. They stress the need to implement structural reforms, such as overhauling labor markets to make economies more competitive.

The recommendations will become legally binding once approved by the EU's leaders, who will discuss them at their summit next month.