Investment in energy infrastructure, transport, smart phone technology and nanotechnology will have the biggest impact on economic growth and jobs according to a new study for the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

The study by Syndex aims to support the ETUC’s work on an ambitious investment plan for Europe to boost sustainable growth and decent jobs, and feed into the European Parliament and Council’s discussions on the limited proposals tabled by Commission President Juncker.

The report, which will be made public in a joint Syndex / ETUC conference in the European Parliament on December 1, identifies key sectors for investment including

• Energy infrastructure - by investing 200 billion € over 10 years, about 800 000 jobs can be created across Europe.

• Transport - the number of people living in urban areas is expected to increase by 40% by 2030, making more transport in and between cities an urgent need. New road and rail infrastructure creates between 85 and 170 jobs per km.

• Communications technology - a €300 million per year investment in 5G is essential to keep Europe’s competitiveness and would have a huge leverage effect on jobs in cloud computing, e-health and big data. At least 2500 researchers are urgently needed to reclaim Europe’s lead in these key technologies.

• Nanotechnology - Europe is well behind North America and Asia in investment in a sector that is estimated to have created 10 million jobs in 2014.

• Green infrastructures (nature conservation and restoration) can significantly contribute to energy savings and job creation (in tourism, urban planning and  green jobs)

• Other sectors that can create local jobs that cannot be relocated outside Europe, include the silver economy (services for the elderly), and sustainable housing and buildings.


“Europe is crying out for investment, and this report shows where it should go” said Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of the ETUC. “There will only be one chance to choose the right places to invest, so it is vital to get it right in the interest of all citizens.”

“The ETUC urges the European Parliament and Council to adopt the Commission’s investment plan and to increase its ambition and budget.”