European Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, Charlie McCreevy is responsible for the European Union's policy on the functioning of the internal market of 450 million people across 25 Member States.
Commissioner McCreevy, was formerly the Irish Finance minister and is regarded in Ireland as the "father of the Celtic Tiger". He is one of the Europe's influential politicians who realises that a new occupation project management is responsible for the development, maintenance and extension of a global infrastructure, and that the project is the key organisational form upon which this is based.
Project management as a management discipline underpins much economic activity. Societies are becoming more & more project oriented. Nowadays, it is hard to imagine an organization that is not engaged in some kind of project activity.
An efficient Internal Market is essential for a prosperous economic future, for jobs and living standards. Projects are the building blocks of productivity and competitiveness.
Competition is what hones skills and improves performance. It challenges people to go further and to achieve more. A Europe which is competitive internally will be more competitive externally.
These are testing times for Europe. We cannot compete globally on a low-cost basis - it must compete further up the value-chain.
The world around us is changing and we must change too - nothing in life stands still. Fundamentally, project management is about the management of change. We in Europe know about change. In many ways, the European Union has been a laboratory - a test centre for how to work in a more open, competitive, multi-national and multi-cultural environment.
Project management is important to the European economy - it inherently accounts for a large portion of business practices. All kinds and sizes of organizations in both the public and private sectors need to take note of this because without well-trained and capable project managers, the percentage of GDP spent through projects is inflated due to many exceeding their budget through poor management.
Considering the impact that successful project management has on productivity, the discipline should get the recognition it deserves in helping to make organisations more innovative and successful. We cannot afford to ignore its real value.
A Europe which is competitive internally will be more competitive externally. It will be more creative, innovative and flexible. It will have the benefits of scale. A marketplace of 450 million consumers -almost twice the size of the US - with a highly educated and motivated workforce is a more attractive location for foreign investment than anyone Member State could possibly hope to be on its own.
A competitive Europe, moving up the value chain, must consistently "do the right projects and to do the projects right." By doing so we can succeed in the competitiveness stakes.