From CAP to Competitiveness – Eleven Voices on Why we Should Rather Invest in R&D and “Innovation for the Future”
A new report by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise presents a summary of a series of interviews conducted with prominent European business managers and leaders who gave their views on European innovation and R&D and the necessity to reform the EU budget.
One of the main targets for reform should be agricultural policy and the associated budget. Many of the managers interviewed were clear in their opinion that CAP is costly, damaging and wasteful.
Key issues for reform are thus reallocating resources to competitiveness, more European value added in EU budget spending, investing more in R&D and excellence and making cohesion spending more effective and innovative. Some even go as far as demanding a “health check” and reform of the EU’s R&D and structural programmes and underline the need to redesign European R&D programmes.
Many leaders of research and knowledge intensive businesses believe that today’s EU budget is archaic and needs to be reformed in order to support the infrastructure needed to fill the main knowledge and innovation “gaps” in society, laying the foundations for our future competitiveness. An important conclusion from the interviews is that the EU budget and the policies financed by it cannot solve the EU’s lack of competitiveness, but they can help in areas where coordination can create economies of scale at EU level, for example within transport, energy, education and R&D.
European business has high expectations on the EU to deliver concrete results in the upcoming budget reform process. A reform should not only be about reallocating and focusing EU public spending on competitiveness, but should also ensure greater cost-efficiency in EU spending.
30 Mar 2009
Charlotte Nyberg formerly worked at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, but is now working at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce / Association of Swedish Chambers of Commerce.