Friday, November 28, 2008

Europe - economic recovery plan

The Commission launches a major Recovery Plan for growth and jobs, to boost demand and restore confidence in the European economy
See also COM(2008) 800 final

The European Commission has today presented a comprehensive plan to drive Europe's recovery from the current economic crisis. The Recovery Plan is based on two mutually reinforcing main elements. Firstly, short-term measures to boost demand, save jobs and help restore confidence. Secondly, "smart investment" to yield higher growth and sustainable prosperity in the longer-term. The Plan calls for a timely, targeted and temporary fiscal stimulus of around €200 billion or 1.5% of EU GDP, within both national budgets (around €170 billion, 1.2% of GDP) and EU and European Investment Bank budgets (around €30 billion, 0.3% of GDP). Every Member State is called upon to take major measures good for its own citizens and good for the rest of Europe. The Recovery Plan will reinforce and accelerate reforms already underway under the Lisbon Growth and Jobs Strategy. It includes extensive action at national and EU level to help households and industry and concentrate support on the most vulnerable. It puts forward concrete steps to promote entrepreneurship, research and innovation, including in the car and construction industries. The Recovery Plan aims to boost efforts to tackle climate change while creating much-needed jobs at the same time, through for example strategic investment in energy efficient buildings and technologies.

"Therefore, for 2009 and 2010, the Commission proposes to mobilise an additional € 5 bn for trans-European energy interconnections and broadband infrastructure projects."

"10. High-speed Internet for all High-speed Internet connections promote rapid technology diffusion, which in turn creates demand for innovative products and services. Equipping Europe with this modern infrastructure is as important as building the railways in the nineteenth century. To boost Europe's lead in fixed and wireless communications and accelerate the development of high value-added services, the Commission and Member States should work with stakeholders to develop a broadband strategy to accelerate the up-grading and extension of networks. The strategy will be supported by public funds in order to provide broadband access to under-served and high cost areas where the market cannot deliver. The aim should be to reach 100% coverage of high speed internet by 2010. In addition, and also with a view to upgrading the performance of existing networks, Member States should promote competitive investments in fibre networks and endorse the Commission's proposals to free up spectrum for wireless broadband. Using the funding mentioned in action 5 above, the Commission will channel an additional € 1 bn to these network investments in 2009/10."

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