The EU’s priorities are both to relaunch investments in Europe and to strengthen competitiveness in order to create jobs. Measures which favour employment and encourage and facilitate public and especially private investments are the centre of the policy framework defined by the Europe 2020 Strategy. They are also in line with the annual work programmes of the European Commission (EC).
Europe has been marked by the economic and financial crisis in recent years. The impact of this crisis resulted in the considerable decline of private investments, which was accompanied by increasing restrictive policies on the public budget. According to an analysis of the EC, the long-term growth of the member states’ economies depends on the increase of public and private investments. The latter have decreased by 15% between 2007 and today. Therefore the European Commission promotes new strategies in order to:
• Reverse the decreasing investment figures in order to encourage the creation of employment opportunities and economic recovery, but without increasing public debts;
• Support investments which meet the long-term needs of the European economy and which thus will increase its competitiveness;
• Support investments which strengthen the production capacity and infrastructures in the EU, by focussing on the completion of the single market.
The EU’s main instrument in this area is the Investment Plan for Europe. It consists of initiatives, which have been operating since summer 2015 and which are based on three pillars:
1. Mobilise investments: create a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) in order to provide additional resources which amount up to 315 billion Euro for investments in strategic projects by 2018;
2. Support investments in the real economy: create a new European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH), which will provide full support and information to advocates of financial projects; create the European Investments Project Portal (EIPP) in order to facilitate the spread of information on current investment projects, thus increasing the trust of investors;
3. Create an investment-friendly environment: create favourable conditions which are necessary for investments, such as the completion of the single market, the simplification of the legal framework and the removal of barriers to investments.
European Commission – DG Economic and Financial Affairs
European Commission - Investment Plan for Europe
European Parliament – Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON)
Council of the European Union- Economic and Financial Affairs Council configuration (Ecofin)
Committee of the Regions - Commission for Economic Policy (ECON)