The European Magazine was born in 2013, with the collaboration of six nonprofit organizations from Greece, Hungary, Italy and Romania. Since then, we organized six transnational workshops with the goals of: training citizens on European values, collecting their needs in terms of communication; making citizens more active in the European life; fostering a constructive collaboration.
Author: Laure Janssen
On Wednesday 26th November 2014 at Strasbourg, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled his three-year European Fund for Strategic Investment plan to boost Europe’s economy with a €315 billion investment.
Juncker estimated that an initial €21 billion investment in seed money coming from the EU institutions – €16 billion coming from the EU budget and €5 billion coming from the European Investment Bank – will have a net effect on the economy of fifteen times its original value. This investment plan is the pillar on which Juncker’s five-year agenda to kick-start the EU’s economy depends on.
Indeed, the economy has been at a standstill since the financial crisis hit the EU half a decade ago; debt in the EU stands at 90% of GDP and investment levels have decreased by approximately €370 billion. Juncker explains that this is because «Investors lack confidence, credibility and trust» and he is ready to turn that around: «We are offering hope to millions of Europeans disillusioned after years of stagnation».
Juncker maintained that the plan would not create more debt; on the contrary, it should entice private investors to fund projects benefiting education, transport, the digital economy and the environment, which are often underfunded. According to the European Commission, the plan will create up to 1.3 million jobs. As Juncker said, «Investing in people – this is what the social market economy is about».
Before the plan can be put into action, it first needs to be discussed and approved by the 28 EU Member Nations’ leaders at the summit on 18th-19th December. The plan is expected to be operational by the summer of 2015. This manoeuvre towards focusing on investment and away from debt is seen as an important step forward for the EU economy. Juncker wants to send a message to the people of Europe and to the rest of the world: «Europe is back in business».
Author: Laure Janssen, Alternativa Europea (Italy)