As Europe’s economy slip into recession we believe that Europeneeds to respond in ways that don’t just address immediate needsbut also ensure that Europe can thrive in the recovery. Too many ofthe actions being taken now are focused on putting right themistakes of the past rather than investing in future success. Andtoo little is being done to promote the entrepreneurship,innovation and infrastructures that will be essential to Europe’sfuture growth.
We believe that Europe’s governments, businesses and NGOs nowneed to commit to a set of principles that can guide recovery plansand policies, and put at their heart a clear commitment toinvestment in the future. Specifically we argue that Europeshould:
- Reshape recovery plans to address the long-term challenges thatEurope faces, in particular adaptation to climate change, ageingand chronic disease
- Prioritise the sectors with the greatest prospects of futurejobs growth, including health and care, education, environmentalservices, tourism and the creative industries.
- Promote pluralism and local creativity, shifting investment tomany small scale local and regional initiatives rather than puttingall resources into grand but risky national projects.
- Invest in innovation with a significant share of investmentdirected to creating new products and services, includinginnovation in the public, social, educational, creative and tourismsectors.
- Back entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, whether through taxincentives and guarantees, or provision of space formicroenterprises
- Support new infrastructures, accelerating investment in thedecisive new infrastructures for the future, like universal highspeed broadband and low carbon energy grids.
- Guarantee security by protecting social spending and supportingtemporary job creation as the precondition for healthyrisk-taking
- Reward investor responsibility by reshaping policies to supportthose institutional and private investors who have invested longterm in sound enterprises with high standards of governance andrisk management
- Mobilise public creativity by using the radical potential ofweb 2.0 and social networks to develop public ideas for mitigatingthe impact of the recession
- Learn fast with more systematic ways of evaluating and learningfrom Europe and the world about what works.