A long-term investment plan
Since the global economic and financial crisis, the EU has been suffering from low levels of investment. The EPP Group was at the origin of the ‘Juncker plan’ (European Fund for Strategic Investments, or EFSI) to mobilise private investment in Europe to reverse this trend. The plan started in 2015 and has created over 300,000 jobs in its first two years alone. By 2018, it has mobilised nearly 200 billion euros, many of them directly supporting SMEs. Its 3-year-younger brother EFSI 2.0 plans to mobilise investments worth 500 billion euros by 2020.
We believe the programme should continue past 2020, even if the EFSI alone cannot close the investment gap in Europe. To boost the European economy, we will continue working to remove obstacles to the internal market, improve the investment and business environment and further develop the Economic and Monetary Union.
A stable, sustainable economy
The EPP Group’s response to the euro crisis - consisting of sustainable economic policies, fiscal discipline and stricter rules for banks - has proven effective and successful. We do not underestimate the efforts citizens have had to make in these difficult times. This is why we defend all policies directed at having a stable euro, because only that will drive the investment that generates jobs and will have an impact on people’s daily lives.
Now that our economies are recovering, we have to draw our lessons from the past. We do need sustainable economic policies and reforms that bring the living standards of all Europeans closer together, based on Social Market Economy principles, the completion of the Single Market, innovation-driven projects and fair trade priorities.
The euro area has to have the appropriate absorption capacities to counter future external shocks and be able to prevent another economic crisis. Equally important in preventing a repeat of 2008 is reform in the banking sector, necessary to make sure that your savings remain safe and that taxpayers’ money does not serve to bail out failing banks. We want banks to act responsibly and we want to complete the Banking Union to make them more robust and to strengthen their regulation and supervision. To achieve that, banks must reduce the amount of risky loans on their books. At the same time we must respect the specific characteristics of European banks. We also need clear rules for restructuring or, if necessary, shutting down banks posing a serious risk to the stability of the system as a whole.