Innovation is a key factor to boost investment in Europe, but it is not enough
Europe needs a shared vision, a common project to revive its economy which is visionary enough to mobilise investors and citizens alike.
This was one of the main conclusions of a high level conference hosted today in Brussels by the S&D Group in the European Parliament via its Progressive Economy initiative.
The Progressive Economy Forum gathered MEPs, first vice president of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, minister president of the Wallonia region Paul Magnette, Louka Katseli a key member of the national bank of Greece and many more academics including Mariana Mazzucato the author of the Entrepreneurial State and Peter Bofinger professor of economics at the University of Wüzburg.
In his opening remarks, S&D Group president Gianni Pittella underlined the need for innovation to go hand-in-hand with social protection. He said:
"Innovation offers a wide range of opportunities but is not without risks. The new digital revolution, for instance, can create winners, but also losers. We need to ensure that innovation is inclusive and doesn't leave anyone behind."
On this occasion, S&D Group vice-president Maria João Rodrigues presented the key elements of a new growth and jobs model based on social justice and sustainability. She said:
"Europe has a big investment gap (2% GDP) which holds back our economic recovery and weakens our future. We Socialists & Democrats have a clear strategy on how investment should be stepped up, so that our economies become more resource-efficient and job-rich, making the best out of the digital revolution while reducing social inequalities.
"Today we presented the first vice-president of the Commission, Frans Timmermans, with our Group's position paper on how to re-launch Europe's 2020 strategy as a first step in an ambitious agenda for Europe to reach the global Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The inspiring contributions from Prof Mariana Mazzucato from Sussex University and other speakers at our Progressive Economy Forum demonstrated that by building 'entrepreneurial states' and an 'investment union' we can decisively strengthen our economies and improve Europeans' quality of life. The key point for our Group is to step up public investments and point private money in the direction of sustainable growth."