While the rest of the world continues to turn the wheels of industry during the summer months, Europe tends to slow things down…a lot. The cut and thrust of business comes to a near standstill in July and August. Perhaps things will be different this year?

The euro debt crisis is keeping the eurozone in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. What happens in the eurozone is important for all of Europe. As the politicians prevaricate over bailouts, risk sharing and delivering drastic spending cutbacks, the monetary union of 17 countries is being stressed and its weaknesses exposed.


The euro project was driven by politics and it now needs strong political leadership if it is to survive. Businesses need certainty and someone needs to tell us where the euro is going.

The general consensus is that the euro has been good for FDI in Europe. For example, it has helped central and eastern European countries integrate with the western economies and become part of a much larger home market. It has reduced exchange risks and costs. Trade in the eurozone is estimated to have increased between 4% and 10% since the introduction of the single currency.

However, the economic gap between northern and southern Europe is widening and this is making monetary union unsustainable without fiscal union being adopted too. Is this what EU citizens want? Is Germany going to continue to fund the weaker economies? Will we see some countries leaving the eurozone? Will the euro survive?

A lot has been invested in the euro politically, economically and culturally, and it is most unlikely to disappear. However, we may see changes to the future shape and governance of the eurozone.

This is an important time for Europe’s economic future, so could our leaders please sort things out now, before they go on holiday? Otherwise they may not have much left to come back to in September.

Douglas Clark is director of Location Connections, an FDI consultancy for 'smart companies and winning locations'.  E-mail: douglas@locationconnections.com