EIB President at Davos: Inclusive growth at the heart of Europe’s competitiveness
18 January 2017
On 18 January 2017, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the World Economic Forum and Bruegel announced their “Europe Inclusive Growth and Competitiveness Lab” initiative at the “Europe Roundtable: Fostering Inclusion and Competitiveness” in Davos.
The newly created lab wants to seek out all the ways in which productivity and competitiveness can be enhanced, whilst deepening inclusion and cohesion.
EIB President Werner Hoyer said in his opening remarks at the roundtable: “It is very important that this Europe Lab initiative goes beyond high-level analysis: it’s about working together to build up and share a great knowledge base of practical actions that can be pursued at all levels.”
Determined reforms, patient investment
According to the EIB President, Europe faces long term, structural challenges to restore its competitiveness while maintaining and strengthening inclusive societies - challenges that require a mixture of determined reforms and patient investment.
The EIB Group plays a key role through its investment in infrastructure, the digital economy and innovation. The President highlighted in particular support for SMEs, which in 2016 received record financing from the EIB Group - with more than a third of investment directed at what the president called the "backbone of the European economy."
“Competitiveness and inclusiveness have to be seen as complementary, and should be addressed in parallel. This is crucial for understanding the way forward for Europe today,” President Hoyer concluded.
The EU bank promotes economic and social cohesion as one of the principles that guide its activities. EIB’s investments support the delivery of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The EIB and World Economic Forum have issued a call to action for social inclusion to be put at the heart of EU economic policy. It comes as a new joint White Paper by both organizations, with contributions from the think tank Bruegel, is launched to make the case for more private-public sector partnership to drive a more inclusive approach to growth in Europe.
The President of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, today confirmed that Europe’s long-term lending institution, as an integral part of Europe´s response to the crisis, would maintain its increased lending activity to support investment that helps economic recovery, address unemployment and enhance Europe’s global competitiveness.
The EIB Group delivered early on investment targets set by Member States in 2013 and accelerated the roll out of the first projects which could be covered by the EU budget guarantee under the Investment Plan for Europe. In his annual address to the European Parliament on behalf of the EIB, President Werner Hoyer today briefed MEPs about the EU Bank’s support for private and public investment crucial for Europe’s competitiveness and on the EU bank’s backing for sustainable economic projects wherever the EIB operates around the world.