EU investment plan: MEPs and ministers agree to prolong and add new resources
- European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) to be prolonged until 2020
- EFSI funding to be increased, so as to finance more projects
- Priority to go to high-risk projects and those that promise the best economic and social returns
The extended EFSI should address market failures to invest and investment gaps, focus on innovative projects in economically weaker regions and be topped up with fresh money.
Key points of the deal struck on Tuesday night by a delegation of MEPs from the Economic and Monetary Affairs and Budgets committees and the Estonian Presidency of the Council:
- EFSI will be prolonged until 2020 and aim to mobilise up to €500 billion
- It will focus on addressing market failures or investment gaps and fund projects with a high-risk profile which would not otherwise be supported
- The European Parliament gains the right nominate an additional Member to the Steering Board who can provide further expertise, which will enhance transparency and reporting
- Investments should target job creation, particularly for young people, growth and competitiveness, energy, environment and climate action in line with the COP21 agreement, healthcare, research and innovation, sustainable transport, as well as the digital sector and creative industries
Parliamentary negotiators also backed agreements on:
- enhanced role of the European Investment Advisory Hub with a strengthened local presence,
- the European Investment Bank (EIB) should, if possible, delegate the selection and monitoring of small-sized projects to national promotional banks, designed to help with covering also regional, sectorial and cross-border projects, and
- where, exceptionally, stressed market conditions could prevent a project being carried out, the EIB should reduce the costs borne by the beneficiary of the financing.
The EFSI, implemented by European Investment Bank, was established for an initial period of 3 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.
Some technical work on the text is now being done by the three institutions. The agreement struck by Parliament’s negotiating team will have to be approved by Parliament as a whole, in a plenary vote.