The first meeting of its EIB’s Economists Advisory Group brought a lively and open exchange of views. The focal points of the discussion included, among others, the followings.
- On the overall economic outlook for Europe, the consensus view is a muted path of recovery. Divergences of opinion across economists based in different European countries revealed that a clear core-periphery divide exists in assessing the key challenges and policy options for Europe.
- On the options for countercyclical fiscal and monetary policies in the euro area, participants agreed that the room of manoeuvre is very limited, both on the fiscal and monetary policy side, and policymakers need to think out of the box to tackle the challenges.
- On the role of the European Stability Mechanism in stabilising the sovereign crisis, participants welcomed the progress achieved in Greece.
- On the status of the implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe, and challenges ahead, the group acknowledged that the implementation is on track, and discussed the likely directions the Plan’s implementation could take in the light of the financial and real issues faced by the European economy.