The International Labour Organization (ILO) published on 28 January the report "An Employment-Oriented Investment Strategy for Europe" according to which over 2.1 million new jobs could be generated under the three-year investment plan put forward by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The report shows that a combination of public and private sector investment worth 315 billion euros might foster Europe's competitiveness and help tackle the jobs crisis.
However, its success will depend, according to the report, on the ability to involve a significant portion of private investment. What is more, the wide disparities in unemployment that exist across the EU should be addressed so that economies in greater need can benefit from the fund. In addition, it is crucial for the plan to be accompanied by a longer-term employment strategy that focuses on quality jobs and balanced reforms.
With an overall unemployment rate at around 10 per cent and wide cross-country disparities – the unemployment rate in Spain was over 23 per cent and in Greece above 25 per cent – the challenge is to ensure that policy-makers at the EU level avoid a business-as-usual scenario that would result in funds being diverted away from countries and sectors that are most in need.