Bisogna investire bene in Europa

PARIGI – Il nuovo presidente della Commissione europea, Jean-Claude Juncker, ha rimesso gli investimenti in agenda con l’idea di un piano di sviluppo da 300 miliardi di euro (378 milioni di dollari) in tre anni. I leader dell’Unione europea discuteranno la proposta in dicembre. Sembrano tutti d’accordo sul fatto che più investimenti rafforzerebbero un’economia europea terribilmente flebile. Al di là del consenso superficiale, molte domande restano senza risposta.

Tanto per iniziare, non è la prima volta che l’Europa considera un’iniziativa di questo tipo. Nel 1993, la Commissione, sotto la guida di Jacques Delors, propose un piano di spesa dei capitali nel White Paper su crescita, competitività e occupazione. Il piano fu approvato su vasta scala, ma non fu intrapresa nessuna azione. In modo analogo, nel 2000, come parte della Strategia di Lisbona, l’Ue tentò di incrementare al 3% del Pil la spesa nazionale destinata a ricerca e sviluppo. Non riuscì a raggiungere questo obiettivo. Più recentemente, in giugno 2012, i leader dell’Ue hanno adottato un patto per la crescita e l’occupazione che avrebbe dovuto mobilitare 120 miliardi di euro. Al momento non ancora pervenuti.

È facile far finta di agire senza intervenire efficacemente. Un modo è quello di chiedere alla Banca europea per gli investimenti (Bei), la banca per lo sviluppo dell’Ue, di concedere più prestiti. Queste richieste vanno incontro a due limitazioni: la Bei stessa non mette facilmente a rischio il proprio rating finanziario assumendo troppi rischi, e i suoi prestiti sostituiscono facilmente i finanziamenti privati. Maggiori prestiti possono quindi essere inutili se si traducono in un soffocamento dei finanziamenti privati da parte della Bei per i migliori progetti a disposizione. Un ponte finanziato dalla Bei potrebbe essere più accessibile di uno finanziato dai mercati di capitale, ma resta lo stesso ponte e ha lo stesso impatto economico. L’entità del bilancio della Bei non è un buon parametro della sua efficacia.

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