Thursday, December 7

The challenges after the pandemic

The European economies, unless there are big surprises, will maintain a high rate of economic growth and job creation in 2022, thanks to the success of vaccination, the application of well-coordinated economic policies and the New Generation funds that, more Beyond that they benefit to a greater extent to some or other countries, reinforce trust in European institutions.

If we look a little further, challenges are significant and require a strategic response Determined so that Europe continues to occupy an essential role in the world, at the same level as the US and China. Even before the pandemic, we were dealing with a complex situation characterized by low productivity growth, an aging population, the way in which address the energy transition and the challenges of all kinds linked to a vertiginous technological change – in which, in addition, we have a long journey -, with implications of all kinds.

The pandemic crisis, in which we are still immersed, in addition to its serious human consequences, has promoted structural changes whose scope is still difficult to assess, ranging from sectoral changes, to the organization of work and companies, through consumer behavior, the nature of globalization or geopolitical balances.

Added to all this are the more temporary challenges associated with the development of the pandemic itself and the problems it has created in value chains, its consequences on inflation and the dilemmas that all this generates in economic policies.

The challenges are enormous. We face a moment of change that only occurs every several decades. Some, such as the fight against the pandemic or against climate change, demand a response that transcends Europe and others demand an action of the European Union itself. All require a strengthening of the institutional structure of the Union, that allows us to defend our interests and act in a coordinated manner. The recent elections in Germany and the electoral processes next year in France and other countries, I hope they create a suitable breeding ground for this. The business sector, which has shown enormous capacity to adapt during the pandemic, needs an institutional environment that allows us to compete globally.

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Spain has gained a presence in Europe in recent years and it will have to continue to do so in the future to be a decisive agent in shaping that more united and far-sighted Europe. We played an important role in the initiative to create a truly European fund, the NGEU, and I am sure that we will continue to gain prominence. Advance in structural reforms that allow enhance our potential for sustained growth and effective use of NGEUs it will make it easier to meet these challenges. The challenges are extraordinary and so are our ability and will.

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