ROME – Over the last three years, the European Union, faced with the imperative of calming roiled markets and laying the foundations for a sound recovery, has concentrated largely on financial stability and reducing fiscal deficits and debt. Now, with financial tensions easing and confidence returning, Europe’s leaders should shift their focus in 2014 back to the real economy and the industrial base. February’s meeting of the European Council of Ministers will be a good place to start.
To decide the best way forward, Europe’s leaders should look to the past. Investment in manufacturing – historically one of the main drivers of growth in Europe – holds the key to revitalizing the European economy.