Europe needs to get its swagger back. We need to stand up taller, push those shoulders out and get back a bit of our poise.
With all the coverage of economic crisis in Greece, we've forgotten some of the positive stories. Europe is an economy that's growing but you wouldn't know that from the headlines, inevitably focused on the crisis in Greece. Even though euro zone growth in the second quarter was a bit disappointing at 0.3 percent on the previous quarter, we expect domestic demand to grow at its fastest rate this year since the financial crisis – thanks to low oil prices and stronger consumption.
There's no doubt there are still plenty of challenges for Europe – not least the challenge for the younger generation who are facing much higher unemployment rates than their parents had to deal with – but there's also plenty to shout about.
Europe has been at the forefront of presenting solutions to the world's global challenges. One area in which we have pioneered has been climate change, from the adoption of renewables in Germany, to the pace of improved energy efficiency in the U.K. And many companies within Europe have embraced the circular economy, with disruptive technology acting as a catalyst to look at how products can be designed to make more of their components reusable. We have also taken advantage of the digital economy to match those who have needs with those who have unused resources to foster growth in the sharing economy. These new business models have the digital economy at their heart.