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    On 2-3 March, the EIB has hosted a series of debates on Europe’s innovation and competitiveness under the title ‘Momentum for Europe’.

    Day one kicked-off with a high-level policy debate on innovation strategies and how smart infrastructure can contribute to Europe’s economic growth and global competitiveness. Speakers including EIB President Werner Hoyer, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, as well as thought and business leaders addressed the issues of innovation, wider investment needs in Europe, as well as the proposed Investment Plan, set out to help tackle existing market failures.

    On day two featured a series of workshops focused on sharing first-hand experience in project and SME finance, but also discussed fit-for-purpose financial solutions ranging from risk capital for innovative start-ups to long-term finance for infrastructure and corporates.

    In parallel, the Annual Economics Conference brought together economic experts, policy makers and leading market players for an open exchange on Europe’s most pressing economic and financial challenges. This event saw the launch of two key publications by the EIB Economics Department: ‘Investment and Investment Finance in Europe - Investing in Competitiveness and Innovation’ and ‘Restoring EU competitiveness’. These topics were also reflected in the debates, which presented a range of views on recent political and macro-economic efforts to restore competitiveness in Europe and respond to structural investment needs.