Europe needs an investment package to overcome low growth and high unemployment, EP President Martin Schulz warned government leaders at the European Council summit on 23 October. Schulz also pointed out that investment levels were still below what they were before the crisis. “Our economy is slowing down, a clear warning to which we must respond.”
Schulz welcomed the €300 billion investment package announced by president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker in July: “This is precisely the policy shift that we have been calling for.”
Investing does not necessarily mean running up debts, he said, explaining it was all about how you used the money. “We need targeted investment in areas where, in the short term, it will stimulate the economy and create jobs and, in the long term, safeguard our children’s future. We need to invest in areas and project which will generate the greatest value added.”
The president also took the time to congratulate Juncker on this week's investiture of the new European Commission by the European Parliament. The new Commission will start its five-year term on 1 November.
In addition Schulz urged government leaders to show ambition when discussing climate and energy policies at the summit as this would send a message to the rest of the world. “Only if we speak with one voice and continue to play a pioneering role in the sphere of climate protection will we be able to set a credible example to others,” he said.
The EP president also raised the issue of European fighters joining jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, saying a comprehensive strategy was needed to prevent radicalisation and promote close cooperation between law enforcement agencies and intelligence services.
Schulz also called on the EU to do more to help the west African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak: “While not giving in to hysteria, we must do everything in our power to halt the spread of this terrible disease and save human lives.”