Jyrki Katainen – Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to be able to address you today. I am only sorry I cannot be there in person. But I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you every success for this Summit – a Summit that comes at a very opportune moment.
As you know, we are working very hard on developing the number one priority of the new Commission. And that is an ambitious plan to mobilise 300 billion euros in public and private investment in Europe over the next three years.
The main focus of this additional investment should be in infrastructure, especially broadband and energy networks as well as transport infrastructure in industrial centres; education, research and innovation; and renewable energy.
President Juncker is committed to presenting this EU Investment Plan before Christmas.
It is my job to coordinate this ambitious and essential initiative in order to stimulate growth in Europe and, in turn, get more people into work.
Investment in Europe is down by more than 16% since before to the crisis. Reasons for this are diverse. And tackling them will need a comprehensive approach. Investments in the EU have dropped by just under 500 billion euros from a peak in 2007. And levels of investment in the EU are 270 billion euros to 340 billion euros below historical norms.
This Investment Plan needs to be seen as one key part of the overall economic strategy of this Commission and is based on 3 interlinked pillars: structural reforms, fiscal credibility and investment.
In my mind the investment package is like a triangle consisting in liquidity, good viable project and deepening of the single market.
But let me stress, the EU investment plan is NOT a silver bullet. It is NOT a magic wand with which we will be able to miraculously “invest ourselves” out of a difficult economic climate.
We need to be realistic. This plan is about using all possibilities we have at our disposal – from regulation to deepen the Single Market to the EU budget to crowd-in more private investment – in order to make real investments a reality.
While the ‘liquidity’ part of the package is attracting much of the attention, I believe that the removal of sector-specific and financial market barriers to investment, together with the deepening of the Single Market, has the potential to deliver much more.
The Commission will need you all – public national and regional authorities and private investors alike – to help deliver this ambitious and essential plan to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness and to stimulate investment that can spur the creation of jobs.
I hope I can count on your support and expertise in helping this plan to achieve the success it deserves.
I wish you all a very successful conference and I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead.