Eu­ro­pean Par­lia­ment ap­proves Al­fred Sant’s re­port on new in­vest­ments in Europe

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

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.

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