El pacto de Europa

MILÁN – El pasado mes de julio, la Comisión Europea publicó su sexto informe sobre la cohesión económica, social y territorial (término que se puede traducir aproximadamente por igualdad y carencia de exclusión). En él se expone un importante plan de inversión –450.000 millones de euros (583.000 millones de dólares) con cargo a tres fondos de la Unión Europea– entre 2014 y 2020. En vista de las difíciles condiciones económicas y fiscales actuales, por las que es probable que escasee la inversión del sector público en los presupuestos nacionales, dicho programa representa un compromiso de la mayor importancia con la inversión del sector público orientado al crecimiento.

La estrategia de cohesión de la UE es admirable e inteligente. Mientras que en el pasado dicha inversión estaba muy centrada en las infraestructuras físicas –en particular, el transporte–, el programa la ha orientado hacia un conjunto de metas más equilibrado, incluidas las correspondientes al capital humano, el empleo, la economía basada en los conocimientos y la tecnología, la tecnología de la información, el crecimiento con menores emisiones de carbono y la gestión idónea de los asuntos públicos.

Ahora bien, podemos preguntarnos cuáles serán los beneficios económicos y sociales  de esas inversiones. Cierto es que, para mantener tasas altas de crecimiento, hace falta mantener niveles elevados de inversión pública, que aumenta el beneficio (y, por tanto, los niveles) de la inversión privada y, con ello, también la producción y el empleo, pero la inversión pública es tan sólo uno de los componentes de unas estrategias de crecimiento logradas. Hará aportaciones positivas en todos los sectores, pero, si se eliminan otras limitaciones vinculantes, sus efectos serán mucho mayores más allá del corto plazo.

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