With the crisis the EU has seen investment fall as a share of GDP to its lowest level in 20 years. Private investment contracted by more than 11% between 2007 and 2013 and is expected to start bouncing back only slowly in the coming years. The contraction of private investment in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain was over 43%. At the same time, US private investment, having fallen dramatically during the crisis, is recovering at a much faster pace than EU investment, and Japanese private investment has consistently exceeded the EU one.

BusinessEurope therefore welcomes the commitment of the European Commission to prioritise investment and we support the European investment plan.

Resources must be mobilised to projects that have a positive impact on growth and employment creation, avoiding past mistakes when public investment addressed little economic demand, and subsequently remained idle or under-utilised.

While the European Fund for Strategic Investment is an important instrument, in the long term we will only increase investment if we improve the EU investment climate and reduce obstacles to investment, ensuring Europe becomes an attractive place to invest in. 

This is the most important piece of the investment challenge and we are eager to see effective action in this area. Removing barriers to investment means reducing unnecessary and overly expensive regulation, bringing down costs of doing business, allowing better access to finance and scrapping barriers to the single market.


Joana Valente

Senior Adviser and strategy coordinator
+32 2 237 65 20
Last updated: 5 July 2016