We must invest now to secure Europe’s future

  • Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen MEP

    “We need a European framework that promotes innovation, opens up markets and enables growth”

Commentary by Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen MEP, Member, Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee, European Parliament, Alde

I would like to congratulate London Stock Exchange Group on this exciting initiative. It is a celebration, not only of Europe’s finest high-growth companies, but also of the ecosystems around them that enable them to grow.

The companies have been selected for their consistent growth over a number of years and their ambition to become the best in today’s fast-changing global economy. The report provides important information on where growth and jobs are being created. The fact that these companies are widely spread means that they are important for job creation everywhere in Europe – not just in certain pockets.

As a politician from the Netherlands, I am particularly proud to see that, out of 1000 selected companies, 50 are Dutch, with a compounded annual growth rate of 11%. This means that the Netherlands has the ingredients, the skills, the mindset and the ecosystem required to build the future.

I am also pleased to see a healthy balance between traditional industry and technology. This means that we are capable both of creating innovative businesses from scratch, and of transforming legacy businesses into something new.

We must make sure innovative SMEs have access to risk capital markets throughout the funding escalator. Limited access to capital means limited access to opportunities. Without access to growth capital at the right time, companies will stay small or end up oversees – together with their contribution to our economies. This is what Europe wants and needs to address. We need a European framework that promotes innovation, opens up markets and enables growth. The Capital Markets Union (CMU), Horizon 2020 and completing the single market are key elements of this framework.

CMU aims to create a deeper and wider single capital market in Europe, rather than the 28 fragmented markets we have today. The first element under CMU is the review of the Prospectus Directive, with the objective to make it easier for companies to attract capital on the European public market.

Horizon 2020 supports innovation by increasing investment in research and development. It is the largest public research and development fund with €80bn. It aims to better convert research into improved goods, services, or processes for the market.

Europe also understands that technology is a key driver of innovation. European regulation should therefore strengthen links with the industry and allow technology to do its magic. This ‘partner approach’ will allow innovation to flourish.

This report is an important reflection of the creative talent in Europe that we must continue to nurture and support. These companies are on an exciting journey and they can count on my full support as an MEP. It is clear to me that we must invest now in order to secure a return in Europe’s future.