Results of the online survey at the 29th “Outlook for the Economy and Finance” workshop, (April 6-7, 2018, Villa d’Este, Cernobbio).
Panel Agenda for Europe – Growth and Competitiveness Moderator Heiner Flassbeck Mario Monti Jyrki Katainen
The role of Europe in the global market also includes the definition of new shared rules, developed together with countries such as the United States and Japan, capable of defining a market with greater guarantees for competition. But the EU must also draw up new agreements that open new prospects in new markets, just as the EU agenda must place education among its priorities to guarantee the training of a new class of workers capable of taking on and guiding the circular economy and artificial intelligence revolution. All these questions were discussed during the “Outlook for the Economy and Finance” workshop organized by The European House–Ambrosetti in Cernobbio.
In the panel dedicated to the “Agenda for Europe – Growth and Competitiveness”, moderated by Heiner Flassbeck, discussion was centered around the role the Old World could have in the market to try to regain a prominent position, despite the aggressive entry into the market of new entities from Asia. Italian businessmen, questioned via the online survey, demonstrated little confidence in Europe’s prospects. More than 50 percent declared their confidence in the EU was average or even low, but noteworthy was the increase from 10 to nearly 20 percent in the share of those declaring to have a high level of confidence in European institutions.
The online survey did indicate clear priorities for the European agenda. According to 31.7 percent of Italian businessmen, tax harmonization and convergence of budget policies must be a top priority, followed by a more incisive policy regarding security and immigration (29.7 percent) and greater investment in R&D to promote growth (25.7 percent). Two areas showed a significant decrease: the efficiency of public institutions is a priority for only 22.8 percent (34 percent in 2017), but above all a rigorous approach to public spending which decreased to 7.9 percent.
For businessmen, therefore, the rigid approach of the Stability Pact is not an indispensable factor in building a new single market also capable of weathering the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Under these conditions, the confidence of workshop participants in the Euro also rose. For 39.2 percent, within a few months the European currency will be stronger, 30 percent of those voting believe that exchange rates will remain unchanged, while 25.8 percent foresee a weaker Euro by September 2018.
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