MEPs prolong and expand EU investment plan up to €500 billion

13-12-2017, 10:24 | Comments: 0
- European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) to be prolonged until 2020
- EFSI funding to be increased to finance more innovative projects
-Priority to invest in high-risk projects and those that promise the best economic and social returns

EFSI, which has helped economic recovery since 2015, was prolonged until 2020 and had more money allocated to it, in a plenary vote on Tuesday.

Key points of the draft law, as negotiated by MEPs with member states and endorsed by Parliament as a whole:

- the EFSI, also known as the “Juncker Plan”, will be prolonged until 2020. It aims to mobilise up to €500 billion,
- it will address market failures and investment gaps and will fund high-risk projects which would not otherwise be supported,
- investments should target job creation, particularly for young people, growth and competitiveness, energy, environment and climate action, healthcare, research and innovation, sustainable transport, the digital sector and creative industries, and
- the European Parliament gains the right nominate a memberto the EFSI Steering Board, who can provide further expertise, which will enhance transparency and reporting.

To foster regional, local and smaller projects:

- the new rules provide for a bigger role of the European Investment Advisory Hub with a stronger local presence,
- the European Investment Bank (EIB) should, if possible, delegate the selection and monitoring of small-sized projects to national promotional banks, well placed to help with covering also regional, sectorial and cross-border projects, and
- in case stressed market conditions could hamper a project the EIB should exceptionally reduce the cost for the beneficiary of the financing.

Quotes

Udo Bullmann (S&D, DE), on behalf of Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said during the debate: "ËFSI was launched to plug a €700 billion investment gap in the EU, and made it possible to reduce this gap. We wanted to improve EFSI, to modernise it and to make it more available in the most needy EU regions. Now we also have an objective assessment of the best projects to support modern companies in the modern world".

José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), the lead MEP on behalf on the Budgets Committee, added: “EFSI has been a success story in EU. It is only natural that we now want to extend it and have more financing. This agreement was difficult to reach but it is a good agreement. It means more financing for projects that truly add value for Europe. It will enable growth and help create more jobs for Europeans. EFSI has already mobilized more than 250 billion euros, helped create 600 thousand jobs and supported more than 400,000 SMEs. EFSI 2.0 strengthens support for small projects and requires a more proactive posture from Advisory Hub."

Quick facts

The EFSI, implemented by European Investment Bank, was established in 2015 for an initial period of three years, with the aim of mobilising at least €315 billion of investments in the real economy. The European Commission proposed to extend the fund’s duration until the end of the EU’s current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in December 2020, with a view to reaching an investment target of €500 billion.

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