The real problem of current economic performance in Europe is investment.
There is not enough of it.
So growth is limited.
The improvement, indeed the preservation, of social conditions for workers in employment, young people looking for a job, working families and pensioners is not in sight.
These people claim that Europe is failing them.
The social compact on which it was established is no longer there.
It is not populist to agree with those who make such claims, for they are right.
The problem is not about agreeing or disagreeing with them.
The problem is how to get economic growth back on track so that fulltime, secure jobs are generated for young people… so that the old are not made to fear for their pensions…
We do not need complex technocratic formulae to solve this problem.
We just need a political will… to think outside the box into which we have squared, supposedly in order to satisfy the Stability and Growth Pact.
We need simple decisive action that goes to the root of the problem: investment.
Public and private investment.
The record shows that private investment follows on public investment.
Not the other way round.
Public investment has been lagging.
The Juncker Fund, worthwhile though it is, cannot cover the problem.
Moreover, public investment is more effective when deployed at national level, when it does not have to depend on the delays of bureaucracy.
If we can find ways and means of promoting national public investment, that will in turn stimulate national and Europe-wide private investment.
Would this breach the current rules of the Stability and Growth Pact?
Possibly yes.
Should we care?
In my view no… so long as we make sure that added public spending on a national basis is really being dedicated to investment, not recurrent outlays.

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