This paper is a follow-up to the recommendations made by Jacques Drèze, Edmond Malinvaud and colleagues in 1993 (Drèze, Malinvaud et al., 1994). The key arguments that are of interest for discussion here are paraphrased below: 'For almost 20 years now, West European unemployment has been a major social problem and the sign of a significant underutilisation of resources at a time of substantial unfilled needs.... The crux of the matter is a situation of inadequate aggregate demand, at a time when there does not seem to exist any leeway for fiscal expansion. The way out of this dilemma has been correctly identified by the European Commission, namely to find ways of stimulating investment without falling back too much on national budgets for funding. The emphasis on social and public investment is natural at a time when unused capacities limit the immediate prospects for business investment (which, moreover, would be labour saving).