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Economy and Development


In the economic and financial field, over the last three years, the CSF has explored some of the themes and proposals now at the heart of the European agenda: from the launch of the Juncker Plan, namely the “Plan of Investments for Europe” which, as the President of the European Commission has announced, will double in the next few years, to the need to equip the Eurozone with fiscal capacity, i.e. with a Eurozone budget. After Brexit, this is a topic that could lead to a rethinking of the role of the entire budget of the EU.

The events of recent years show that, in addition to these recurrent topics, the distinction between the internal and external sphere is increasingly less clear and inadequate. The (structural) crisis of migrants emphasises that the EU must adopt a forward-looking strategy towards their countries of origin and, more generally, a real development plan for Africa. Furthermore, the effects of the crisis entail a rethinking of the economic and industrial structures in the EU as well.

As a result, in 2017 the CSF will continue to work on the European development plan to examine more in depth the priority forms of investment, the relationship between technology and employment, and any new sources to provide it with additional resources (such as a financial transaction tax, a carbon tax and a more suitable European taxation for large multinational groups). Looking ahead, this could also be linked to what is stated in the 2015 Report of Five Presidents (Complete the European Economic and Monetary Union), which views the EFSI, i.e. the core of the Juncker Plan, as a possible future instrument for economic stabilisation at times of crisis.

In September 2016, the European Commission launched the European External Investment Plan, which provides for various kinds of partnerships for the development of African and Middle Eastern countries, which have been asked to cooperate in the management of migration flows. The CSF has repeatedly brought up the topic of a “Marshall Plan for Africa”, ​​which will be the focus of our activities in 2017, with particular attention to topics related to infrastructure, energy and water resources and security and defence, as well as the institutional and financial instruments best suited to ensuring its long-lasting efficacy.

As in the past after prolonged periods of crisis, the impact of the crisis we have been experiencing in recent years will also lead to restructuring on the supply side. Europe needs to revive investments and, at the same time, more actors in several industrial and financial sectors with adequate scale and structure for a competitive social market economy in globalisation. In past years, the CSF already provided important contributions on a “European federal enterprise” (examples of which are Airbus, Ariane and Galileo). In 2017 it intends to explore this theme, highlighting the strategic areas on which to focus and the regulatory and institutional framework that could facilitate this process.

For other key issues concerning the EU’s role in the international economy, see the chapter on the governance of globalisation.