"It also represents one of the biggest attractions for foreign investors and a source of the EU’s (soft) power in the world, as repeatedly demonstrated in our international relations… Enlarging the size of the Single Market would help Europe fulfil its promises of inclusive growth and prosperity, by fostering cohesion and innovation in all parts of the Union.”
A growth accelerator second to none
President Hoyer rejected in his keynote concerns of observers, that the low-hanging fruits of the Single Market have already been harvested. “The completion of the Digital Single Market,” he suggested, “would, for instance, be a growth accelerator second to none – not least because of its impact on productivity growth,” as the majority of digital products and services have marginal production costs that are close to zero.
“The gains from being able to offer them in a larger market are obvious,” he added, and “the lagging efficiency of our infrastructure sectors, notably energy, transport and health could be boosted, if we removed the remaining barriers to offering digital goods and services across the entire EU.”
Other speakers at the event included Jyrki Katainen, EC Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness and Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources.
The EIB Group has stepped up its level of precaution at its headquarters in Luxembourg and in its external offices. All staff will telework as of 16 March. A small number of staff whose physical presence on EIB premises is indispensable will continue to be present on the EIB campus. The decision aims to protect the health of employees and ensure the continuity of the EIB Group’s activity.
On Wednesday the EIB identified its first case of one staff member who tested positive for corona virus.
As a precautionary measure, the EIB decided not to hold the meeting of its Board of Directors planned for Thursday 12 March in person. Decisions on the Board’s agenda will be taken by written procedure. The Bank has put in place measures to prevent disruption to its governance or operation approval schedule.
On Monday 2 March, the former President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, visited the EIB in Luxembourg on a joint invitation from the Bank, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the Court of Auditors.