At a European level, the oversupply of money to maintain the economy has led to imbalances. Quantitative easing, pumping money into the economy in an effort to stimulate lending, has had limited impact. Plenty of money has circulated in some parts of Europe for example, including injections from governments and deposits from savers looking for safe places for their money despite relatively low interest rates. But there have not been sufficient opportunities to lend it on to businesses, or banks have been reluctant or unable to do so. At the same time some countries, particularly in Southern Europe, have wrestled with austerity measures conditional on extensive loans.
For the pessimistic this pain has, at times, threatened the European project itself. But, Triodos Bank firmly believes that the characteristics of the European Union, including its diversity, open markets and free exchange of ideas, are exactly the things that should safeguard its long-term future. And indeed, the shared values that underpin Europe, such as solidarity and cultural diversity, represent many of the same characteristics that make Triodos Bank work effectively.