European Parliament approves Alfred Sant’s report on new investments in Europe
The Plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg approved the report on the challenge of new investments in Europe presented by former Prime Minister Alfred Sant as Rapporteur for the S&D Group in the Economic Monetary Committee of the European Parliament. The report was approved with 423 votes in favour, 210 against and 48 abstentions.
Dr Sant told the European Parliament that the state of the European economy still remains less than satisfactory. While growth has now emerged, it remains uneven and sluggish, even as doubts persist about European competitiveness.
While unemployment is retreating overall and new jobs are being created, the situation on the jobs market remains bleak, not least for young people. While the pessimism about the future that was prevalent a few years ago has retreated, investment still is at historically low levels.
The Maltese MEP said the situation as of now is that there is a very significant shortfall in investment, both public and private, compared to what we were used to in the not so distant past. This investment dearth is not happening just in Europe, but across the capitalist world. “Still, it is of interest to us all to reflect about what can be done to reverse the trend,“he told the EP.
Dr Sant said that two other main lessons can be underlined on country specific recommendations. “First is the importance of allocating more resources to create a “European investment culture” through new investments on education, knowledge-based activities not least in the digital field but also the basic sciences, all linked with research and development, as well as the quest for innovation.
“Secondly, in the need to ensure that country specific recommendations are meaningful to all relevant national actors, so that they also ‘own’ them, a central involvement should be given to sub-national and regional authorities,” remarked the Maltese MEP.
Dr Sant acknowledged the emphasis that the European Commission, in its initiatives and in its country specific recommendations, has given to the topic of investment. “Still the Commission needs to affirm the need for more public investment that is sharper, better focused, better planned, better implemented. However, about this not all agree.”
Shadow rapporteurs from the different groups of the EP participated in the debate which was also attended by Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union and Ivan Korčok, the Slovak State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic representing the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU in relation to the EU institutions.