Trois leviers pour l'investissement en Europe

PARIS – Les dirigeants européens ont prévu de se réunir en décembre pour examiner le plan d’investissement du nouveau président de la Commission européenne, Jean-Claude Juncker. En juillet dernier, il a formulé le projet de mobiliser 300 milliards d’euros de dépenses en capital sur trois ans. Il s’agit maintenant de savoir comment.

L’idée selon laquelle un surplus d’investissement pourrait opportunément concourir au redressement de la conjoncture tout en contribuant au redressement à moyen terme de l’économie européenne ne fait guère débat, mais les moyens de la mise en place d’un tel programme sont loin de faire l’unanimité.

Une initiative similaire avait déjà été engagée en 1993 par Jacques Delors. Alors président de la Commission, il avait proposé dans son Livre blanc sur la croissance, la compétitivité et l'emploi un grand plan d’investissement. Adopté par les chefs d’Etat, il n’a jamais été appliqué. En 2000, c’est dans le cadre de la stratégie de Lisbonne que l'UE  avait fixé aux pays membres de porter leur budget de recherche et développement à 3% de leur PIB. Il n’en a rien été. Plus récemment, en juin 2012, les dirigeants de l'UE ont adopté un Pacte pour la croissance et l'emploi d’un montant nominal de 120 milliards d'euros. Il n’en est rien résulté de substantiel.  

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