The worst economic and financial crisis in decades has hit Europe hard with a sharp economic
contraction. The unemployment rate is set to rise to double digit figures in 2010, a level not
seen for a decade.
Collective action to save the financial system and to boost demand and confidence through
public intervention has helped to prevent an economic meltdown. However, the crisis has
weakened our resilience. The EU now needs to make a stronger effort to work together to
make a successful exit from the crisis and to shape the next generation of public policies in a
very different set of circumstances.
The exit from the crisis should be the point of entry into a new sustainable social market
economy, a smarter, greener economy, where our prosperity will come from innovation and
from using resources better, and where the key input will be knowledge. These new drivers
should help us tap into new sources of sustainable growth and create new jobs to offset the
higher level of unemployment our societies are likely to face in the coming years.
However, we will only succeed if we design and implement a bold policy response. Otherwise the risk is
a period of low growth which can only make it harder for Europe to tackle the major
challenges we face today.
European Commission's consultation full document can be downloaded below