Italy’s ‘New Deal’ plan receives EU backing

At the Thessaloniki Summit, the Union’s leaders called on incoming EU president Italy to “pursue further” its recent “New Deal” economic initiative.

Designed to kickstart Europe's sluggish economy, the plan - which was unveiled on 12 June - envisages a huge investment programme to boost infrastructure, research and development (see alsoEURACTIV 13 June 2003). In their joint statement concluding the summit meeting, the EU's leaders expressed backing for the Italian plan, which also proposes that the European Investment Bank borrow up to 70 billion euro a year to fund the projects.

Simultaneously, the Commission is reportedly concluding work on a study aimed at promoting investment in research and development schemes, which could be combined with the Italian plan.


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