Europe's refugee crisis could boost the region's sagging growth by forcing governments to ramp up public expenditure, according to European Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici.
The refugee crisis has divided public opinion and raised doubts over the future of the European Union's (E.U) key tenets but governments have also stepped up investments to provide assistance for the new arrivals. This spending could underpin demand as doubts grow over the efficacy of further monetary stimulus at a time some interest rates in the euro zone are already below zero.
"This is a very emotional crisis and it is a political challenge of high importance, but if I look at the economics and just the economics, I'm persuaded that this can be an opportunity capable of driving 0.2 to 0.3 percent additional growth," Moscovici told CNBC over the weekend in an interview.
After years of being hit by a multi-year sovereign debt crisis, government finances in the euro zone are slowly on the mend.
The euro zone's combined government deficit is set to fall to 1.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, from an estimated 2.2 percent in 2015, according to the European Commission.
"Why? Due to the fact that we, especially Germany, have to address the welcoming and the integration of those who are moving away from regimes threatening their lives."