5. Develop next-generation talent and align skills with the vision of Europe’s future
High employment levels in many European countries mean that businesses face intense competition for talent, especially in growth industries. The EU has designated 2023 the European Year of Skills, with a view to increasing momentum toward its 2030 targets to have at least 60% of adults in training every year and at least 78% in employment. But every year of the coming decade needs an equally sharp focus on skills, across every European state. Europe needs a cohesive approach that aligns business and educators around business’s changing needs.
6. Build confidence with a modernized tax and regulatory regime
Investors’ top tax priority in 2023 is R&D tax credits, which ranked only fourth in 2022. That may reflect planned investments in R&D — and the effect of the US IRA, which has shown the potential impact of tax credits. More broadly, businesses want tax rules to be as stable as possible.
Clarity and stability are also important for Europe’s regulatory frameworks. Even where policy is still emerging in new fields, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and low-carbon technologies, policymakers can promote confidence by giving clear signals about their intentions. The priorities surely must include rapid steps to put Europe at the forefront of the AI revolution, allowing business to reap the benefits of AI while setting clear parameters around its use. Succeed in that and Europe could benefit from a “flight to safety,” just as businesses largely regard Europe’s current regulatory frameworks as an advantage, whether on data protection, intellectual property or tax.