Procedure : 2015/0009(COD)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0139/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0139/2015

Debates :

PV 24/06/2015 - 19
CRE 24/06/2015 - 19

Votes :

PV 24/06/2015 - 23.3

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0236

REPORT     ***I
PDF 1875kWORD 1900k
23 April 2015
PE 551.765v03-00 A8-0139/2015

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Fund for Strategic Investments and amending Regulations (EU) No 1291/2013 and (EU) No 1316/2013

(COM(2015)0010 – C8-0007/2015 – 2015/0009(COD))

Committee on Budgets

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

Rapporteurs: José Manuel Fernandes, Udo Bullmann

(Joint Committee meetings – Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure)

Rapporteurs for the opinions (*):

Kathleen Van Brempt, Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

Inés Ayala Sender, Dominique Riquet, Committee on Transport and Tourism

(*) Associated committees – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy(*)
 OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism(*)
 OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control
 OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
 OPINION of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
 OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
 OPINION of the Committee on Regional Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
 OPINION of the Committee on Culture and Education
 OPINION of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs
 PROCEDURE

DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Fund for Strategic Investments and amending Regulations (EU) No 1291/2013 and (EU) No 1316/2013

(COM(2015)0010 – C8-0007/2015 – 2015/0009(COD))

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2015)0010),

–       having regard to Article 294(2) and Articles 172, 173, 175(3) and 182(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8-0007/2015),

–       having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–       having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the joint deliberations of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, the Committee on Transport and Tourism, the Committee on Budgetary Control, the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Regional Development, the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, the Committee on Culture and Education and the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A8-0139/2015),

1.      Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.      Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.      Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Amendment  1

AMENDMENTS BY THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT(1)*

to the Commission proposal

---------------------------------------------------------

Proposal for a

REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the European Fund for Strategic Investments ▌

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Articles 172, 173, and Article 175(3) and Article 182(1) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinions of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions,

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,

Whereas:

(1)      The economic and financial crisis has led to a lowering of the level of investments within the Union. Investment has fallen by approximately 15% since its peak in 2007. The Union suffers in particular from a lack of investment as a consequence of fiscal constraints on Member States and sluggish growth, thereby resulting in market uncertainty regarding the economic future ▌. This lack of investment, which has been particularly severe in those Member States most affected by the crisis, slows economic recovery and negatively affects job creation, long-term growth prospects and competitiveness, potentially preventing the attainment of the Europe 2020 targets and objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. There is a need to strengthen the attractiveness of investing in Europe and in the infrastructure of a modern knowledge economy.

(2)      Comprehensive action is required to reverse the vicious circle created by a lack of investment and ever-increasing disparities between regions, and to reinforce confidence in the Union economy, while incentives for creating an investment-inducing environment in Member States could boost economic recovery. Along with a renewed impetus towards investment financing, structural reforms that are effective and economically and socially sustainable and fiscal responsibility constitute a means of ▌establishing a virtuous circle, where investment projects help support employment and demand and lead to a sustained reduction of the output gap as well as to an increase in growth potential. The EFSI, strengthened by Member State contributions, must be a complement to an overall strategy to improve Union competitiveness and attract investment.

(2a)    In order to maximise the employment impact of the EFSI, Member States should continue to undertake structural reforms that are effective and economically and socially sustainable, as well as other initiatives such as training programmes and active labour market policies, the support of conditions for the creation of quality and sustainable jobs, and investment in targeted social policies in line with the 2013 Social Investment Package. In addition, Member States should undertake additional activities such as customised training programmes to match the skills of workers to the needs of sectors benefiting from EFSI, tailor-made business services for enterprises to prepare them to expand and create more jobs, as well as support for start-ups and self-employed individuals.

(3)      The G20, through the Global Infrastructure Initiative, has recognised the importance of investment in boosting demand and lifting productivity and growth and has committed to creating a climate that facilitates higher levels of investment.

(4)      Throughout the economic and financial crisis, the Union has made efforts to promote growth, in particular through initiatives set out in the Europe 2020 Strategy that put in place an approach for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and through the European Semester for economic policy coordination. The European Investment Bank ('EIB') has also strengthened its role in instigating and promoting investment within the Union, partly by way of an increase in capital in January 2013. Further action is required to ensure that the investment and macro-economic needs of the Union are addressed adequately and that the liquidity available on the market is used efficiently and its channelling towards the funding of viable investment projects is encouraged.

(5)      On 15 July 2014, the then President-elect of the European Commission presented a set of Political Guidelines for the European Commission to the European Parliament. These Political Guidelines called for the mobilisation of "up to EUR 300 billion in additional public and private investment in the real economy over the next three years" to stimulate investment for the purpose of job creation.

(6)      On 26 November 2014, the Commission presented a communication entitled "An Investment Plan for Europe"(2) that envisaged the creation of a European Fund for Strategic Investments ('EFSI'), a transparent directory of investment projects at European level, the creation of an advisory hub (European Investment Advisory Hub – 'EIAH') and emphasised an ▌agenda to remove obstacles to investment and complete the Single Market.

(7)      The European Council on 18 December 2014 concluded that "fostering investment and addressing market failure in Europe is a key policy challenge" and that "The new focus on investment, coupled with Member States' commitment to intensifying structural reforms and to pursuing growth-friendly fiscal consolidation, will provide the foundation for growth and jobs in Europe and calls for setting up a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) in the EIB Group with the aim to mobilise 315 billion euro in new investments between 2015 and 2017".

(7a)    On 13 January 2015, the European Commission issued a communication entitled “Making the best use of the flexibility within the existing rules of the Stability and Growth Pact in order to strengthen the link between investment, structural reform and fiscal responsibility.

(8)      The EFSI should be part of a comprehensive approach to address uncertainty surrounding public and private investments and to reduce the investment gaps in the Union. The strategy has three pillars: mobilising finance for investment, making investment reach the real economy and improving the investment environment in the Union. The strategy should boost competitiveness and economic recovery and should be complementary to the objective of economic, social and territorial cohesion across the Union. It must be seen as a complement to all other actions needed to reduce the investment gaps in the Union and – by acting as a guarantee fund - as a stimulus for new investments.

(9)      The investment environment within the Union should be improved by removing barriers to investment, ensuring that there is no discrimination based on whether the management of the projects is private or public, reinforcing the Single Market and ▌enhancing regulatory predictability. The work of the EFSI, and investments across Europe generally, should benefit from this accompanying work.

(10)    The purpose of the EFSI should be to help resolve the difficulties in financing and implementing transformative, productive and strategic investments in the Union that provide an immediate boost to its economy and to ensure increased access to financing, with the aim of reducing unemployment levels and boosting growth in the Union. It is intended that increased access to financing should be of particular benefit to small and medium-sized enterprises, including for the creation of start-ups and spin-offs from universities, and social and solidarity enterprises. It is also appropriate to extend the benefit of such increased access to financing to small mid-cap companies, as well as to non-profit organisations and social economy enterprises. Overcoming Europe's current investment difficulties and reducing regional disparities should seek to contribute to strengthening the Union's competitiveness, research and innovation potential, economic, social and territorial cohesion, and to supporting an energy- and resource-efficient transition towards a sustainable, renewable-based circular economy, through the creation of stable and fairly remunerated jobs.

(11)    The EFSI should support strategic investments with high economic added value contributing to achieving Union policy objectives in synergy with, and ensuring additionality to, existing Union operations such as, but not limited to, projects of common interest of any size which aim to complete the single market in the sectors of transport, telecommunications, infrastructure transition and energy efficiency, and including the Union's energy, climate and efficiency targets laid down in the Europe 2020 Strategy and in the 2030 Framework for climate and energy policies and which aim to meet the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. To ensure additionality over existing operations, the EFSI should target projects with a higher risk profile than existing EIB and Union instrument operations and that are oriented on the goals set out in this Regulation. Overcoming the Union's current investment difficulties will contribute to strengthening its economic, social and territorial cohesion. The EFSI should improve access to finance and the competitiveness of enterprises and other entities, with special emphasis on SMEs and mid-cap companies.

(11a)  EFSI support to transport infrastructure should contribute to the objectives of Regulations (EU) No 1315/2013 (CEF) and (EU) No 1316/2013 (TEN-T) by creating new or missing infrastructure and also by modernising and rehabilitating existing facilities while allowing the financing of research and innovation operations in this sector. Particular attention should be paid to synergy projects strengthening the connections between transport, telecommunications and energy sectors and also to smart and sustainable transport projects.

(11b)  The CAP, being the only fully Communitised field of policy, is of territorial application and is therefore very well suited to carrying out projects comprehensively in conjunction with the EFSI. Many of the existing instruments of the CAP can be used to make targeted investments successfully.

(11c)   In its communication entitled “A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy”, the Commission stressed the importance of energy efficiency as an energy source in its own right and stated clearly that EFSI "provides an opportunity to leverage major investments in renovating buildings". Investments in energy efficiency are acknowledged to create up to two million jobs by 2020 and possibly another two million jobs by 2030. In order to ensure that the EFSI fulfils its purpose of leveraging private investments, delivering jobs, fostering resilient economic developments, and reducing macro-economic imbalances, a special focus on energy efficiency is needed. Therefore, technical assistance under the EIAH should be provided for the establishment of dedicated investment platforms for aggregated energy efficiency projects.

(12)    Many small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as mid-cap companies, across the Union require assistance to attract market financing, especially as regards investments that carry a greater degree of risk. The EFSI should help these businesses to overcome capital shortages and market failures and financial fragmentation resulting in an uneven playing field across the Union by allowing the EIB and the European Investment Fund ('EIF') and national promotional banks or institutions, investment platforms or funds to provide direct and indirect equity injections, as well as to provide guarantees for high-quality securitisation of loans, and other products that are granted in pursuit of the aims of the EFSI.

(13)     ▌ The provision of EFSI funding to small and medium-sized enterprises and small mid-cap companies may be channelled through the European Investment Fund ('EIF')▌.

(14)    The EFSI should target projects delivering high societal, economic and environmental value. In particular, the EFSI should target projects that promote quality job creation, short-, medium- and long-term sustainable growth and competitiveness, research, education from an early age and training, infrastructure and energy transition and efficiency, notably where such projects have the highest incremental value, thereby contributing to achieving the Union's political objectives in accordance with Article 3 TFEU and Article 9 TEU.

(14a)  The investments supported under EFSI should contribute to achieve existing Union programmes and policies and the targets and objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. They should support the implementation of the conclusions of the European Council of 17 June 2010. For the purpose of reaching the general objectives set out in Article 5(2)(b) and c), they should contribute to achieve the objectives set out in Articles 170, 173 and 179 TFEU and Article 194(1) TFEU.

(14b)  With the aim of better protecting and reaping commercial and economic benefits from Union co-funded initiatives, a set of rules established in Horizon 2020 concerning the exploitation and dissemination of project results, including their protection through intellectual property, should be respected by the participants of EFSI projects.

(14c)   The EFSI should support a wide range of financial products, including equity, debt or guarantees, to best accommodate the needs of the individual project. This wide range of products should allow the EFSI to adapt to market needs whilst encouraging private investment in projects. The EFSI should not be a substitute for private market finance or products provided by regional and national promotional banks but should instead catalyse private finance by addressing market failures so as to ensure the most effective and strategic use of public money and as a means of further enhancing cohesion across the Union.

(14d)  The impact of the EFSI on employment should be systematically monitored and further encouraged, especially with a view to achieving prolonged societal gains in the form of sustainable and quality employment, and as a result benefiting both investors and workers.

(15)    The EFSI should target projects with a higher risk-return profile than existing EIB Group and Union instruments to ensure additionality over existing operations. The EFSI should aim at financing projects across the whole of the Union▌. The EFSI should only be used where financing is not available from other sources including from private or public banks, from regional or national promotional banks, or from the EIB.

(16)    The EFSI should target investments ▌which may entail a degree of appropriate risk higher than that of existing EIB Group activities, whilst still complying with Union principles and values in the field of social and environmental rules, encouraging the transition to a low-carbon circular economy, and in relation to territorial cohesion, and meeting the particular requirements for EFSI financing. The EFSI should not seek simply to reduce the cost of capital for investments that would find private financing even in absence of an EU guarantee. Average project risk under EFSI should be higher than under any other available investment portfolio in the Union. EU guarantee pricing policies should have due regard to the need to address investment gaps and financial fragmentation in the Union.

(16a)  The EFSI should also support projects in the fields of education, training and research, the development of ICT skills and digital education, as well as projects in the cultural and creative sector. Investment in these fields should adopt a holistic approach which in each case displays appropriate respect for the intrinsic value of education and culture.

(17)    Decisions on the use of the EU guarantee for potential projects and on the eligibility of national promotional banks or investment platforms to use the designation of “European Fund for Strategic Investments” should be made in a transparent and independent manner, by an Investment Committee in accordance with the investment guidelines adopted by the Steering Board pursuant to this Regulation. The Investment Committee should be composed of eight independent experts representing a broad range of expertise as outlined in this Regulation, and who should be approved by the European Parliament.

(18)    In order to enable the EFSI to support investments, the Union should grant a guarantee of an amount equal to EUR 16 000 000 000. When provided on a portfolio basis, the guarantee coverage should be capped depending upon the type of instrument, such as debt, equity or guarantees, as a percentage of the volume of the portfolio of outstanding commitments. It is expected that when the guarantee is combined with EUR 5 000 000 000 to be provided by the EIB, that the EFSI support should generate EUR 60 800 000 000 additional investment by the EIB and EIF. This EUR 60 800 000 000 supported by the EFSI is expected to generate a total of EUR 315 000 000 000 in investment in the Union within a period of three years starting from the date of entry into force of this Regulation. Additional significant Member State contributions to the EFSI's capital are necessary to bring the Fund's capacity closer to actual needs and are essential to ensure an impact. Guarantees that are attached to projects which are completed without a call on a guarantee are available for supporting new operations.

(18a)   The European Central Bank has expressed its readiness to purchase in the secondary market bonds issued by the EFSI, if the EFSI should issue such bonds itself, or if the EIB should do so on its behalf.

(19)    In order to allow for the much needed further increase in its resources, participation in the EFSI should be open to third parties, including Member States, regional governments with fiscal and legislative powers, national and regional promotional banks, regional banks or public agencies owned or controlled by Member States, private sector entities and entities outside the Union subject to the consent of existing contributors. Third parties may contribute directly to the EFSI. A Member State’s participation in the EFSI through multiple public economic bodies or structures should not give the Member States and the third parties concerned an additional stake in the EFSI governance structure.

(19a)  The EFSI should also have the possibility of supporting private fund structures, such as European Long-Term Investment Funds (ELTIFs) set up by private investors or national promotional banks, that could also play a role in providing a complementary vehicle for delivering public or private/public investments in the real economy. As provided for in Regulation XX/XXXX, the Commission should prioritise and streamline its processes for all applications by ELTIFs for financing from the EIB. The Commission and the EIB should also explore all types of possible cooperation between the EFSI and ELTIFs.

(20)    At the level of projects, third parties may co-finance together with EFSI on a project-by-project basis or through investment platforms ▌.

(20a)  In order to unleash investments at both the national and regional level, the EU guarantee should be able to be granted to national or regional promotional banks or institutions, investment platforms or funds, where possible seeking to achieve capital relief. Such operations should be considered EFSI operations.

(20b)  A Member State's financial contribution in the form of one-off measures to the EFSI, dedicated investment platforms and to national promotional banks which benefit from the EU guarantee should be covered by the full range of the existing rules of the SGP.

(20c)   Considering that infrastructure assets have a strong default and recovery record and considering that infrastructure project finance can be seen as a means of diversifying institutional investors asset portfolios, infrastructure projects benefiting from EFSI support should be treated as Type 1 exposures for the calculation of the Solvency Capital Requirement as set out in Title I Chapter V Section 6 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/35 of 10 October 2014 supplementing Directive 2009/138/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance (Solvency II). This approach should be examined as part of the Commission review of the methods, assumptions and standard parameters used when calculating the Solvency Capital Requirement with the standard formula, as referred to in recital 150 of that Delegated Regulation.

(21)    The EFSI should complement, and be additional to, ongoing regional, national and Union programmes as well as existing EIB activities. Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use European Structural Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects that are supported by the EU guarantee, and to invest in the capital of the promotional banks or institutions, investment platforms or funds. The flexibility of this approach should maximise the potential to attract investors to the areas of investment targeted by the EFSI.

(21a)  Member States may use European Structural and Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects that are supported by the EU guarantee, in accordance with the objectives, principles and rules under the legal framework applicable to those funds, and in particular Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (the "Common Provisions Regulation"), and with Partnership Agreements and relevant programmes. The flexibility of that approach should foster synergies between Union instruments, ensure maximum added value and enhance the potential to attract investors to the areas of investment targeted by the EFSI. Full complementarity between instruments and investments, without replacement of financial instruments developed under the European Structural and Investment Funds, should be ensured, so that the crowding-out effect between them is avoided to the greatest extent possible.

(22)    Infrastructure and project investments supported under the EFSI, when cofinanced by Member States, should be consistent with State aid rules in accordance with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union ▌and for the purposes of legal certainty. To that end, the Commission has announced that within a reasonable time (and in any case before the entry into force of this Regulation) it will formulate a set of core principles, for the purpose of State aid assessments, which a project will have to meet to be eligible for support under the EFSI. If a project, regardless of its economic sector, meets these criteria and receives support from the EFSI, the Commission has announced that any national complementary support, will be assessed under a simplified and accelerated State aid assessment whereby the only additional issue to be verified by the Commission will be the proportionality of public support (absence of overcompensation). The Commission has also announced that it will provide further guidance on the set of core principles with a view to ensuring an efficient use of public funds and the full respect of the principle of legitimate expectations.

(23)    Given the need for urgent action within the Union, the EIB and the EIF may have financed additional projects, outside of their usual profile, in the course of 2015 before the entry into force of this Regulation. In order to maximise the benefit of the measures provided for in this Regulation, it should be possible for such additional projects to be included within the EU guarantee coverage in the event that they fulfil the substantive criteria set out in this Regulation.

(24)    EIB financing and investment operations supported by the EFSI should be managed in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(3), including appropriate control measures and measures taken to avoid tax evasion, as well as with the relevant rules and procedures concerning the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the Court of Auditors, including the Tripartite agreement between the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors and the European Investment Bank.

(25)    The EIB and the Investment Committee should regularly evaluate and report on activities supported by the EFSI with a view to assessing their relevance, performance, impact, additionality, added value as well as their coordination and coherence with other Union policies, in particular with regard to financial support from the European Structural and Investment Funds, and to identifying aspects that could improve future activities. Such evaluations and reporting should be made public and contribute to accountability and analysis of sustainability.

(25a)  EFSI policies should take into account gender equality and support the integration of gender perspectives, as well as the prevention of any kind of discrimination, especially as regards accessibility for persons with disabilities.

(26)    Alongside the financing operations that will be conducted through the EFSI, a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') should be created. The EIAH should provide strengthened support for project development and preparation across the Union, by building on the expertise of the Commission, the EIB, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds. This should establish a single point of entry for questions related to technical assistance for investments within the Union. The EIAH should provide free expertise in order to ensure fair access to EFSI financing across the Union. The EIAH should work closely with similar structures at national level, in order to ensure decentralised assistance on the ground, fostered by a multilingual approach, and to facilitate effective dissemination of information.

(26a)  The EIAH shall in particular build upon good practices in existing programmes, such as European Local ENergy Assistance (ELENA), European Efficiency Industrial Fund (EEIF), JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises), JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions), JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) and JASMINE (Joint Action to Support Micro-finance Institutions in Europe).

(27)    In order to cover the risks related to the EU guarantee to the EIB, a guarantee fund should be established. The guarantee fund should be constituted by a gradual contribution from the Union budget. The guarantee fund should subsequently also receive revenues and repayments from projects that benefit from EFSI support and amounts recovered from defaulting debtors where the guarantee fund has already honoured the guarantee to the EIB. Any surplus in the guarantee fund resulting from an adjustment of the target amount or any remaining remunerations after restoring the target amount should be returned to the general budget of the Union as assigned revenue, in order to replenish any lines which may have been used as a source of redeployment to the EU guarantee fund.

(28)    The guarantee fund is intended to provide a liquidity cushion for the Union budget against losses incurred by the EFSI in pursuit of its objectives. Experience on the nature of investments to be supported by the EFSI indicates that the level of resources in the guarantee fund should represent a ratio of 50% of the Union's total guarantee obligations▌.

(29)    The contribution from the Union budget ▌ should be progressively authorised by the European Parliament and ▌the Council in the framework of the annual budgetary procedures up to and including 2022. For this purpose, the budgetary authority should make use, where appropriate, of all means available under Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, with particular recourse to the Global Margin for Commitments, the Global Margin for Payments, and the Flexibility Instrument.

(30)    Given their assimilation to Union financial instruments, ▌the EU guarantee to the EIB and the guarantee fund should comply with the principles of sound financial management, transparency, proportionality, non-discrimination, equal treatment and subsidiarity as referred to in Article 140 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4) and, where appropriate, should comply with Article 139 of that Regulation.

(31)    Within the Union, there is a significant number of potential economically and technically viable projects that are not being financed due to a lack of certainty and transparency with respect to such projects. Often, this is because private investors are not aware of the projects or have insufficient information to make an assessment of the investment risks. The Commission and the EIB ▌should promote the creation of a transparent directory of current and future investment projects in the Union suitable for investment. This 'project directory' should ensure that information is made publicly available regarding investment projects on a regular and structured basis to ensure that investors have reliable and transparent information on which to base their investment decisions. In connection with the directory, value will be attached to the protection of essential business secrets.

(32)    Member States, in cooperation with regional and local authorities, should be able to contribute to the European investment project directory by providing, inter alia, information on investment projects in their territory.

(33)    The project directory should include projects across the Union for visibility to investors and for information purposes only. This ▌may include projects that are capable of being fully financed by the private sector or with the assistance of other instruments provided at European or national level. The EFSI should be able to support financing and environmentally sustainable investment to projects identified by the project directory, but there should be no automaticity between inclusion on the list and access to EFSI support and the EFSI, the EIB and the Investment Committee should be conferred with full discretion to select and support projects that are not included on the list.

(34)    To ensure accountability to European citizens, the EIB should regularly report to the European Parliament and the Council on the progress and impact of the EFSI, in particular as regards the additionality of operations conducted under the EFSI compared to normal EIB operations, including special operations. At the request of the European Parliament, the Chairperson of the Steering Group and the Managing Director should participate in hearings and reply to questions within a fixed period.

(35)    In order to ensure an appropriate coverage of the EU guarantee obligations and to ensure the continued availability of the EU guarantee, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission with respect to the adjustment of the amounts to be paid in from the general budget of the Union. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and to the Council.

(36)    Since the objectives of this Regulation, namely to support investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing for companies having up to 3000 employees, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States by reason of the disparities in their fiscal capacity to act but can rather, by reason of its scale and effects, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

CHAPTER I -European Fund for Strategic Investments

Article 1

European Fund for Strategic Investments

1.          The Commission shall negotiate a draft agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the establishment of a European Fund for Strategic Investments ('EFSI') in line with the requirements of this Regulation.

The purpose of the EFSI shall be to support investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing for companies having up to 3000 employees, giving priority to small and medium enterprises and small mid-cap companies, through the supply of risk bearing capacity to the EIB ('EFSI Agreement').

2.          The EFSI Agreement shall be open to accession by Member States and third parties, including national and regional promotional banks or public agencies owned or controlled by Member States, regional authorities, dedicated investments platforms, and private sector entities. Neither Member States nor third parties shall be entitled to be a member of the Steering Board.

2a.        The Commission shall be empowered to enter into the EFSI Agreement on behalf of the Union by means of a delegated act in accordance with Article 17, provided that the EFSI Agreement meets the requirements of this Regulation.

2b.        The Commission shall be empowered to accept later amendments of the EFSI Agreement by means of delegated acts in accordance with Article 17, provided that the amendments to the EFSI Agreement meet the requirements of this Regulation.

Article 1aDefinitions

For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions apply:

a)        'EFSI Agreement´ means the legal instrument whereby the Commission and the EIB further specify the conditions laid down in this Regulation for the management of the EFSI;

b)        ´national promotional bank or institution´ means a legal entity carrying out a financial activity on a professional basis which is given a public mandate by a Member State, whether at central, regional or local level, to carry out development or promotional activities;

c)        ´investment platforms´ means special purpose vehicles, managed accounts, contract-based co-financing or risk sharing arrangements or arrangements established by any other means by which investors channel a financial contribution in order to finance a number of investment projects and which may include national platforms that regroup several investment projects on the territory of a given Member State, multi-country or regional platforms that regroup partners from several Member States or third countries interested in large projects in a given geographic area, and thematic platforms that could gather investment projects in a given sector;

d)        'small and medium-sized enterprises' or ‘SMEs’ means micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as defined in Article 2 of the Annex to Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC(5);

e)        ´small mid-cap companies´ means legal entities having up to 499 employees and that are not SMEs;

f)         ´mid-cap companies´ means legal entities having up to 3000 employees and that are not SMEs or small mid-cap companies;

g)        'additionality' means the support by the EFSI of operations which address market failures or investment gaps and which could not have been carried out in that period under normal EIB instruments, including special operations, without EFSI support or to the same extent during that period under EIF and EU instruments. Projects supported by the EFSI, while striving to create jobs and growth, shall typically have a higher risk profile than projects supported by normal EIB operations, including special operations.

Article 2

Terms of the EFSI Agreement

1.          The EFSI Agreement shall contain, in particular, the following:

(a)    provisions governing the establishment of the EFSI as a distinct, clearly identifiable and transparent guarantee facility and separate account managed by the EIB;

(b)    the amount and terms of the financial contribution which shall be provided by the EIB through the EFSI;

(c)    the terms of the funding which shall be provided by the EIB through the EFSI to the European Investment Fund ('EIF');

(d)    the governance arrangements concerning the EFSI, in accordance with Article 3, without prejudice to the Statute of the European Investment Bank;

(da)  detailed requirements for EIB financing and investment operations and EIB funding to the EIF which are eligible for the EU guarantee, in accordance with Article 5(2a) and Article 5a;

(db)  a scoreboard of the key performance indicators to be used for assessing the macroeconomic impact of EFSI investments, including on jobs and growth, energy efficiency, TEN-T, urban mobility, the fulfilment of Union objectives, including those of the Europe 2020 Strategy, and on the mobilisation of private capital and its effect on supporting investment;

(e)    detailed rules on the provision of the EU guarantee, in accordance with Article 7, including its capped coverage of portfolios of specific types of instruments, calls on the EU guarantee, that – with the exception of possible losses on equity - shall only occur once a year after profits and losses from operations have been netted, and its remuneration and the requirement that remuneration for risk-taking be allocated amongst contributors in proportion with their respective risk share;

(f)     provisions and procedures relating to recovery of claims;

(fa)   the procedure for project selection, including the role of the EIB in the initial assessment of project proposals and their transmission to the Investment Committee;

(g)    requirements governing the use of the EU guarantee, including within specific time frames and key performance indicators;

(ga) detailed arrangements for ensuring that financing and investment operations signed by the EIB during the transitional period laid down in Article 20 benefit from the EU guarantee;

(h)    provisions on ▌financing ▌the EIAH in accordance with Article 8a (new);

(i)     provisions governing the manner in which third parties may co-invest with EIB financing and investment operations supported by the EFSI;

(j)     the modalities of the EU guarantee coverage;

(ja)   provisions on the intellectual property of the funded projects as provided for in Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6).

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that there is a clear distinction between operations carried out with the EFSI support and other operations of the EIB. Therefore, the EIB shall ensure that EFSI activities are subject to a separate financial statement.

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that EFSI activities conducted by the EIF are to be governed by the EIF governing bodies. However, they shall be included in the overall EFSI reporting.

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that remuneration attributable to the Union from EFSI supported operations shall be provided following the deduction of payments due to calls on the EU guarantee and, subsequently, costs in accordance with Article 8a (new)and with Article 5(3).

3.          Member States that become parties to the EFSI Agreement shall be able to provide their contribution, in particular, in the form of cash or a guarantee acceptable to the EIB. Other third parties shall be able to provide their contribution only in cash.

Article 2aFinancial

rules

The financial rules applicable to the EFSI and the EIAH shall be adopted by the Steering Board. They shall not deviate from Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 966/2012.

In the framework of the negotiations to the EFSI Agreement prior to the setup of the EFSI or after a formal request of the Steering Committee, the Commission shall be empowered to allow in duly justified cases for derogations in the form of transitional financial rules by means of a delegated act in accordance with Article 290 TFEU and Article 17 of this Regulation. Such transitional rules shall be valid for a maximum of three years or until Parliament and Council amend Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 966/2012 to incorporate the special requirements of the EFSI.

Article 3

Governance of the EFSI

1.          The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall be governed by a Steering Board, which shall determine the strategic orientation in line with the Europe 2020 objectives and giving particular regard to where the impact on growth and jobs is highest, the strategic asset allocation and operating policies and procedures, including the investment policy of projects that EFSI can support and the risk profile of the EFSI, in order to maximise growth, job and investment, in conformity with the objectives under Article 5(2) and Article 5(2)(a) and to the effect of ensuring the additionality of the investments supported by the EFSI guarantee. The Steering Board shall also specify the investment policy regarding eligible investment platforms. The Steering Board shall determine the EU guarantee pricing policies having due regard to the need to address investment gaps and financial fragmentation in the Union. The Steering Board shall adopt investment guidelines for the use of the EU guarantee to be implemented by the Investment Committee.

1a.        The priorities to be pursued by the Commission for the investment guidelines of the EFSI shall mirror the Union objectives and be in line with Article 5(2a) of this Regulation. They shall be specified before the EFSI Agreement enters into force and revised if appropriate. The priorities shall be made public. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 17 for this purpose.

             When exercising its mandate within the Steering Board of the EFSI, the Commission shall promote, and vote consistently with, the priorities as specified and revised in accordance with the first subparagraph.

2.          The Steering Board shall comprise four ▌members: three appointed by the Commission and one by the EIB. The Steering Board shall elect a Chairperson from among its members for a fixed term of three years, renewable once.

The Steering Board shall take decisions by consensus.

3.      ▌The Steering Board shall ▌make decisions by consensus. ▌

Member States and third parties shall be allowed to contribute to the EFSI in form of guarantees or cash respectively but shall not be granted membership of the Steering Board.

The minutes of Steering Board meetings shall be published as soon as they have been approved by the Board.

4.          The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have a Managing Director, who shall be responsible for the day-to-day management of the EFSI and the preparation and chairing of meetings of the Investment Committee referred to in paragraph 5. The Managing Director shall be assisted by a Deputy Managing Director.

The Managing Director shall report every quarter on the activities of the EFSI to the Steering Board. The Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director shall be appointed by the Steering Board on a joint proposal of the Commission and the EIB for a once renewable fixed term of three years. On the basis of an open selection process the Commission shall, upon receiving the consent of the EIB, provide the European Parliament with a separate shortlist of candidates for each of the positions of Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director.

The Commission shall, upon receiving the consent of the EIB, submit to the European Parliament for approval a proposal for the appointment of the Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director. Following the approval of that proposal, the Steering Board shall appoint the Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director.

5.          The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have an Investment Committee, which shall be responsible for examining potential projects in line with the EFSI investment policies and approving the support of the EU guarantee for projects in line with Article 5, irrespective of their geographic location. Furthermore, the Investment Committee shall be the competent body for approving the eligibility of investment platforms and national promotional banks and permitting them to use the designation of 'EFSI' or 'European Fund for Strategic Investments'. The request for approval shall be renewed if the investment platform amends its basic investment policies in a substantial manner.

The Investment Committee shall be composed of eight independent experts and the Managing Director. Independent experts shall have a high level of relevant market experience in project structuring and project financing, as well as macroeconomic expertise. The Investment Committee shall have a pluridisciplinary composition encompassing a broad range of expertise in various sectors and of geographic markets within the Union. This shall include expertise in investments related to the general objectives of the EFSI, such as research and development, transport and SMEs, environmental objectives, social affairs including the social and solidarity economy, public and public-led project investment experience, territorial cohesion and in education and training. The Investment Committee shall be appointed by the Steering Board for a renewable fixed term of three years and not exceeding six years in total.

On the basis of an open selection process, the Commission shall, upon receiving the consent of the EIB, provide the European Parliament with a shortlist of candidates for the positions of the eight experts of the Investment Committee.

The Commission shall, upon receiving the consent of the EIB, submit to the European Parliament for approval a gender-balanced proposal for the appointment of the experts. Following the approval of that proposal, the Steering Board shall appoint the experts for a renewable fixed term of three years.

When carrying out their duties, the members of the Investment Committee shall be independent and shall not take instructions from the EIB, the Union institutions, Member States or any other public or private body. EIB staff may assist with analytical, logistical, and administrative support. However, any project assessment conducted by EIB staff shall not be binding on the Investment Committee.

CVs and declarations of interest of each member of the Investment Committee shall be made public, constantly updated and be subject to thorough validity checks by the Commission and the EIB.

Decisions of the Investment Committee shall be taken by simple majority and shall be public and accessible.

CHAPTER II -EU Guarantee and EU Guarantee Fund

Article 4

EU Guarantee

The Union shall provide an irrevocable and unconditional guarantee to the EIB for financing or investment operations covered by this Regulation and the EFSI Agreement ('EU guarantee') and carried out within the Union, including operations between partners from several Member States and a third country falling within the scope of the European Neighbourhood Policy including the Strategic Partnership, the Enlargement Policy, and the European Economic Area or the European Free Trade Association, or between a Member State and an Overseas Country or Territory, as set out in Annex II of the TFEU. The EU guarantee shall be granted as a guarantee on demand in respect of instruments referred to in Article 6. It shall seek to achieve capital relief in the event that it is granted to a promotional bank or an investment platform.

Article 5

Requirements for use of the EU guarantee

1.          The granting of the EU guarantee shall be subject to the entry into force of the EFSI Agreement and to the adoption of investment guidelines by the Steering Board.

2.          The EU guarantee shall be granted for EIB financing and investment operations or EIB funding to the EIF at the level of investment in funds in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations in accordance with Article 7(2) and approved by the Investment Committee.

The operations concerned shall be consistent with Union policies and support any of the following general objectives:

(a)    development of new, existing or missing transport infrastructure and innovative technologies, in accordance with Regulations (EU)  1316/2013  (CEF) and  1315/2013 (TEN-T Guidelines) as far as both core and comprehensive networks as well as horizontal priorities are concerned;

(aa)  development of smart and sustainable urban mobility projects that include targets for accessibility, reduction of greenhouse gases, energy and accidents;

(b)    development and modernisation of energy infrastructure in accordance with the Energy Union priorities and the 2020, 2030 and 2050 Climate and Energy frameworks, in particular interconnections, smart grids at distribution level, energy storage and the synchronisation of markets;

(c)    expansion of renewable energy, ▌resource efficiency, energy efficiency and energy savings, with a particular focus on reducing demand through demand-side management and the refurbishment of buildings;

(d)    development of information and communication technologies, of digital and telecom infrastructures and of broadband networks across the entire Union;

(e)    investment in innovation, research and development, including research infrastructure, pilot and demonstration projects, collaborations between the academia and industry, and knowledge and technology transfer;

(ea)  investment in education, training, entrepreneurial skills;

(eb)  investment in innovative health solutions, such as eHealth and new effective medicines, and in the social sector;

(ec)  investment in cultural and creative industries;

(ed)  investment in projects and infrastructure in the field of environmental protection and management, strengthening of eco-system services and sustainable urban development;

(ee)  financial support, including the provision of working capital risk financing for SMEs, start-ups, spin-offs and small mid-cap companies through the EIF, and for mid-cap companies, in order to ensure technology leadership in innovative and sustainable sectors;

(ef)   financing of projects which are in line with the objectives of Horizon 2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility.

In addition, the EU guarantee shall be granted through the EIB for support of dedicated investment platforms or funds and national and regional promotional banks or other institutions that invest in operations meeting the requirements of this Regulation after approval by the Investment Committee. In that case, the Steering Board shall specify policies, in accordance with Article 3(1), regarding eligible vehicles mentioned leaving to them the approval of the individual investment decisions. Such operations and the contributions thereto, shall be considered EFSI operations. Investment platforms can bring together co-investors, public authorities, experts, education, training and research institutions, the relevant social partners and representatives of the civil society and other relevant actors at EU, national and regional levels.

2a.        The EFSI shall target projects with a higher risk profile than existing EIB and Union instruments so as to ensure additionality over existing operations. The EFSI shall support projects which orient on the following goals:

a)      are viable from an economic perspective, according to a cost benefit analysis following European standards and further where cofinancing by a public partner or by a financial intermediary such as an investment platform or a promotional bank provides support to close a possible financial gap;

b)      are in pursuit of the Union objective of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth as well as quality job creation, enhance economic, social and territorial cohesion, and which provide high societal and economic progress as an EU added value;

c)      focus on operations that could not have been carried out using the Union budget or the ordinary activity of the EIB including special operations, and which are, furthermore, not financed by the market;

d)      have a higher risk profile than projects supported under existing EIB activity, taking account of the fact that the highest level of additionality can only be ensured when financial resources are concentrated on projects not financed otherwise; the design of the appropriate measures is to be elaborated under the procedures of Article 3(1).

2b.        Acknowledging that projects of any size can bring the European economy forward, there shall be no restrictions on the size of projects to be targeted by the EFSI.

3.          In accordance with Article 17 of the Statute of the European Investment Bank, the EIB shall charge the beneficiaries of the financing operations to cover its expenses related to the EFSI. Without prejudice to sub-paragraph 2 and 3, no administrative expenditure or any other fees of the EIB for financing and investment activities conducted by the EIB under this Regulation shall be covered from the Union budget.

The EIB may call the EU guarantee, in accordance with Article 2(1)(e), within a cumulated maximum limit corresponding to 1% of the total outstanding EU guarantee obligations to cover expenses that whilst charged to beneficiaries of the financing operations, have not been recovered. 

Fees of the EIB should the EIB provide funding to the EIF on behalf of the EFSI which is backed by the EU guarantee in accordance with Article 7(2) may be covered from the Union budget.

4.          ▌Member States may use European Structural and Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects in which the EIB is investing with the support of the EU guarantee, in accordance with the objectives, principles and rules under the legal framework applicable to those funds, and with the Partnership Agreements and relevant programmes. Coordination, complementarity, additionality, coherence and synergies shall be ensured.

4a.      The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 17 laying down additional specific arrangements on combining the support of the European Structural and Investment Funds to projects financed by the EIB with the support of the EU guarantee, including arrangements for the participation of the European Structural and Investment Funds under Investment Platforms.

Article 6

Eligible Instruments

For the purposes of Article 5(2), the EIB shall use the EU Guarantee towards risk coverage for instruments as a rule on a portfolio basis.

Instruments eligible for coverage under the EU guarantee or portfolios may be composed of the following Instruments:

(a)       EIB loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees, capital market instruments, any other form of funding or credit enhancement instrument, equity or quasi-equity participations, including through national promotional banks or institutions, investment platforms or funds. These Instruments shall be granted, acquired or issued for the benefit of operations carried out in the Union, including cross-border operations between a Member State and a third country, in compliance with this Regulation and where EIB financing has been granted in accordance with a signed agreement which has neither expired nor been cancelled;

(b)       EIB funding to the EIF enabling it to undertake loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees, any other form of credit enhancement instrument, capital market instruments and equity or quasi-equity participations, including through national promotional banks or institutions, investment platforms or funds. These Instruments shall be granted, acquired or issued for the benefit of operations carried out in the Union, in compliance with this Regulation and where EIF financing has been granted in accordance with a signed agreement which has neither expired nor been cancelled.

(ba)     EIB guarantee to national promotional banks or institutions, investment platforms or funds under a counter-guarantee of the Union.

Article 7

Coverage and terms of the EU guarantee

1.          The EU guarantee to the EIB shall be of an amount equal to EUR 16 000 000 000, of which a maximum amount of EUR 2 500 000 000 may be allocated for EIB funding to the EIF in accordance with paragraph 2. Without prejudice to Article 8(9), aggregate payments from the Union under the guarantee to the EIB shall not exceed the amount of the guarantee.

2.          The coverage of the guarantee over a particular type of instrument portfolio, referred to in Article 6, shall be determined by the risk of that portfolio. The EU guarantee shall be eligible to provide either first loss guarantees on a portfolio basis or a full guarantee. The EU guarantee may be granted on a pari passu basis with other contributors.

Where the EIB provides funding to the EIF through the EFSI in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations, the EU guarantee shall provide for a full guarantee on funding by the EIB provided that an equal amount of funding is provided by the EIB without EU guarantee. The amount covered by the EU guarantee shall not exceed EUR 2 500 000 000.

3.          Where the EIB calls the EU guarantee in accordance with the EFSI Agreement, the Union shall pay on demand in accordance with the terms of that Agreement.

4.          When the Union makes a payment to the EIB upon a call on the guarantee, the Union shall subrogate the relevant rights of the EIB relating to any financing operation under the EU guarantee and the EIB shall, on behalf of the Union, pursue the recovery of claims for the amounts paid and reimburse the Union from the sums recovered in accordance with the provisions and procedures referred to in Article 2(1)(f).

Article 8

EU guarantee fund

1.          An EU guarantee fund ('guarantee fund') shall be established which shall constitute a liquidity cushion from which the EIB shall be paid in the event of a call on the EU guarantee.

2.          The guarantee fund shall be endowed by:

(a)    contributions from the general budget of the Union,

(b)    returns on guarantee fund resources invested,

(c)    amounts recovered from defaulting debtors in accordance with the recovery procedure laid down in the EFSI Agreement as provided for in Article 2(1)(f),

(d)     revenues and any other payments received by the Union in accordance with the EFSI Agreement.

3.          Endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 shall constitute internal assigned revenues in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU) No 966/2012.

4.          The resources of the guarantee fund provided to it under paragraph 2 shall be directly managed by the Commission and invested in accordance with the principle of sound financial management and follow appropriate prudential rules.

5.          Endowments to the guarantee fund referred to in paragraph 2 shall be used to reach an appropriate level to reflect the total EU guarantee obligations ('target amount'). The target amount shall be set at 50% of the Union's total guarantee obligations.

The target amount shall initially be met by 2022 at the latest through the gradual payment of resources referred to in paragraph 2(a) as well as endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2.

5a.        The necessary appropriations to meet the initial target amount shall be gradually authorised by the European Parliament and the Council in the framework of the annual budgetary procedure, taking due account of all means available under the Council Regulation No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, with particular recourse to the Global Margin for Commitments, the Global Margin for Payments and the Flexibility Instrument.

In this context, the European Parliament and the Council shall explore ways to finance the EU Guarantee Fund using any unforeseen revenue arising during the course of each financial year, including revenue resulting from fines, and to amend the applicable legal framework in order to allow for the use of the annual surplus of the general budget of the Union.

The financing of the guarantee fund, both in respect of commitment and payment appropriations, shall be reviewed by the European Parliament and the Council in the context of the post-electoral review/revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, to be launched by the end of 2016 at the latest, as provided for in Article 2 of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013.

In the event that redeployments from EU programmes were agreed in the framework of the annual budgetary procedure as source of financing for the EU guarantee in the years preceding the MFF review/revision, the European Parliament and the Council shall, on that occasion, explore ways to compensate them to the greatest extent possible.

6.          By 31 December 2018, and every year thereafter, the Commission shall review the adequacy of the level of the guarantee fund taking into account any reduction of resources resulting from the activation of the guarantee and the EIB's assessment submitted in accordance with Article 10(3).

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 17 adjusting downwards the target level provided for in paragraph 5 by a maximum of 10% to better reflect the potential risk of the EU guarantee being called.

7.          Following an adjustment in year n of the target level or an assessment on the adequacy of resources available in the guarantee fund in accordance with the review provided for in paragraph 6:

(a)    any surplus in the guarantee fund shall be paid to the general budget as assigned revenue in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 for any lines which may have been used as a source of redeployment to the EFSI guarantee fund,

(b)    any replenishment of the guarantee fund shall be paid in annual tranches during a maximum period of three years starting on year n+1.

8.          If as a result of calls on the guarantee, the resources of the guarantee fund falls below 50% of the liabilities that have been incurred at the given moment, the Commission shall submit a report on exceptional measures that may be required to replenish it.

9.          Subsequent to a call on the EU guarantee, endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 ▌ shall be used to restore the EU guarantee up to its target amount. Any remaining remuneration shall be paid to the general budget as assigned revenue in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 for any lines which may have been used as a source of redeployment to the EFSI guarantee fund.

9a.        In the event that additional surplus remains, after the requirements of points 7(a) and 9 have been fully met, the Commission shall present a proposal on an increase of the overall level of the EU guarantee, leading to a reinforcement of the investment plan.

CHAPTER III- European investment advisory hub and project directory

Article 8aEuropean Investment Advisory Hub

1. The EFSI Agreement shall provide for the creation of the EIAH within the EIB. The EIAH shall have as its objective to build upon existing EIB and Commission advisory services in order to provide advisory support for investment project identification, preparation and development, and to act as a single technical advisory hub for project financing within the Union. This shall include providing support on the use of technical assistance for project structuring, use of innovative financial instruments, use of public-private partnerships and advice, as appropriate, on relevant issues of Union legislation, taking into account the specificities and needs of Member States with less developed financial markets.

To meet the objective referred to in the first subparagraph, the EIAH shall engage the expertise of the EIB, the Commission, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds.

2. The EIAH shall have a specific technical assistance service dedicated to the establishment of investment platforms aggregating energy efficiency, TEN-T and urban mobility projects.

In order to ensure the best possible regional and territorial reach across the Union for such advisory services and support, the EIAH shall closely network with similar structures at national level, such as those provided by national promotional banks or national agencies. Technical assistance to project promoters at sub-national level shall be enhanced.

3. The EIAH shall be partially financed by the Union up to a maximum amount of EUR 20 000 000 per year during the period ending on 31 December 2020 for the additional services provided for by the EIAH over existing EIB technical assistance. For the years after 2020 the financial contribution from the Union shall be directly linked to the provisions included in the future multi-annual financial frameworks.

Access to expertise from the EIAH shall be free of charge.

Article 9

European investment project directory

1.          The Commission and the EIB shall create a transparent directory of current and potential future investment projects in the Union. It shall constitute a publicly accessible and user-friendly project database, providing relevant information for each project. The directory shall be for visibility to investors and information purposes only and shall be without prejudice to the final projects selected for support according to Article 3(5).

2.          The Commission and the EIB shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular and structured basis, information on current and future projects.

CHAPTER IV- Reporting, accountability and evaluation

Article 10

Reporting and accounting

1.          The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall report semi-annually to the Commission on EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation. The report shall include an assessment of compliance with the requirements on the use of the EU guarantee and the key performance indicators established pursuant to Article 2(1)(g). The report shall also include statistical, financial and accounting data on each EIB financing and investment operation and on an aggregated basis.

2.          The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall report semi-annually to the European Parliament and to the Council on EIB financing and investment operations. The report shall be made public and include:

(a)    an assessment of EIB financing and investment operations at operation, sector, country and regional levels and their compliance with this Regulation, in particular with the additionality principle, together with an assessment of the allocation of EIB financing and investment operations between the objectives in Article 5(2) and 5(2a);

(b)    an assessment of the added value, the mobilisation of private sector resources, the estimated and achieved outputs, outcomes and impact of EIB financing and investment operations at an aggregated basis, including the impact on employment creation;

(ba)  an assessment of the extent to which operations covered by the EU guarantee under this Regulation contribute to the achievement of the objectives of Articles 5(2) and 5(2a), including an assessment of the level of EFSI investments in the areas of research, development and innovation and transport (including TEN-T and urban mobility), telecommunications and energy infrastructure, including energy efficiency;

(bb)  assessment of compliance with the requirements concerning the use of the EU guarantee and the key performance indicators established pursuant to Article 2(1)(g);

(bc)  an assessment of the leverage effect achieved by EFSI- financed projects:

(bd)  a description of the projects where the support of the European Structural and Investment Funds is combined with the support of the EFSI, and the total amount of the contributions from each source;

(c)    an assessment of the financial benefit transferred to beneficiaries of EIB financing and investment operations on an aggregated basis;

(d)    an assessment of the quality of EIB financing and investment operations, and the risks associated with these operations;

(e)    detailed information on calls on the EU guarantee, losses, returns, amounts recovered and any other payments received;

(f)     the financial statements of the EFSI, accompanied by an opinion of an independent external auditor.

3.          For the purposes of the Commission's accounting and reporting of the risks covered by the EU guarantee and management of the guarantee fund, the EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall provide the Commission and the European Court of Auditors every year:

(a)    the EIB's and EIF's risk assessment and grading information concerning EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation;

(b)    the outstanding financial obligation for the EU concerning the guarantees provided towards EIB financing and investment operations broken down by the individual operations under this Regulation;

(c)    the total profits or losses deriving from the EIB financing and investment operations within the portfolios provided by the EFSI Agreement pursuant to Article 2(1)(e).

4.          The EIB in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate shall provide to the Commission upon request any additional information necessary to fulfil the Commission's obligations in relation to this Regulation.

5.          The EIB, and EIF as appropriate, shall provide the information referred to in paragraphs 1 to 4 at their own expense.

6.          The Commission shall, by 31 March of each year, send to the European Parliament, the Council and the Court of Auditors an annual report on the situation of the guarantee fund and the management thereof in the previous calendar year. The report shall assess the adequacy of the level of the guarantee fund and the need to adjust the target amount.

6a.        The Commission shall send to the European Parliament and the Council a report on the realisation of the investment priorities as specified in the delegated act under Article 3(1a) on the same date as the EIB reports under paragraphs 1 and 2. The report shall be accompanied by a proposal with necessary amendments of the delegated act under Article 3(1a).

Article 11

Accountability

1.          At the request of the European Parliament, the Chairperson of the Steering Board and the Managing Director shall participate in a hearing of the European Parliament on the performance of the EFSI.

2.          The Chairperson of the Steering Board and the Managing Director shall reply orally or in writing to questions addressed to the EFSI by the European Parliament, in any event within five weeks of receipt of a question.

3.          At the request of the European Parliament, the Commission shall report to the European Parliament on the application of this Regulation.

3a.      At the request of the European Parliament, the President of the EIB shall participate in a hearing of the European Parliament that concerns EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation. The President of the EIB shall, within five weeks of receipt, reply orally or in writing to questions addressed to the EIB by the European Parliament concerning EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation.

3b.      An agreement shall be concluded between the European Parliament and the EIB on the detailed arrangements for the exchange of information between the European Parliament and the EIB on financing and investment operations conducted by the EIB under this Regulation.

Article 12

Evaluation and Review

1.          At the latest [PO insert date: 18 months after the entry into force of this Regulation] the EIB shall evaluate the functioning of the EFSI. The EIB shall submit its evaluation to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission;

At the latest [PO insert date: 18 months after the entry into force of this Regulation] the Commission shall evaluate the use of the EU guarantee and the functioning of the guarantee fund, including the use of endowments according to Article 8(9). The Commission shall submit its evaluation to the European Parliament and the Council. This evaluation shall be accompanied by an opinion of the Court of Auditors.

2.          By 30 June 2018 and every three years thereafter:

(a)    the EIB shall publish a comprehensive report on the functioning of the EFSI;

(b)    the Commission shall publish a comprehensive report on the use of the EU guarantee and the functioning of the guarantee fund. This report shall include an evaluation of the impact of the EFSI on the investments in the Union, employment creation and access to financing for mid-cap companies and SMEs.

3.          The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall contribute to and provide the necessary information for the Commission evaluation and report under paragraph 1 and 2 respectively.

4.          The EIB and EIF shall on a regular basis provide the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission with all their independent evaluation reports which assess the impact and practical results achieved by the specific activities of the EIB and EIF under this Regulation.

5.          At the latest [PO insert date three years after the entry into force of this Regulation] and every three years thereafter, the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation accompanied by any relevant proposal. In case possible adjustments to EFSI are deemed necessary, this report shall be accompanied by a legislative proposal to amend this Regulation accordingly.

CHAPTER V-General provisions

Article 13

Transparency and public disclosure of information

In accordance with its own transparency policies and Union principles on access to documents and information, the EIB shall make publicly available on its website information relating to all EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation, including those financed through financial intermediaries, and how they contribute to the general objectives referred to in Article 5(2) and 5(2a).

Article 14

Auditing by the Court of Auditors

The external audit of the activities undertaken in accordance with this Regulation is carried out by the European Court of Auditors in accordance with Article 287 TFEU and is thus subject to the EP discharge procedure according to Article 319 TFEU.

The Commission shall ensure that the Court of Auditors is able to exert its right as provided for in the first subparagraph of Article 287(3) TFEU and has full access to all information it needs to carry out its audits.

The EIB, the EIF, all financial intermediaries involved in the activities undertaken in accordance with the EFSI Regulation and final recipients shall afford the Court of Auditors all the facilities and give it all the information which the Court of Auditors considers necessary for the performance of its tasks, pursuant to Article 161 of Regulation (EU) No 966/2012.

Article 15

Anti-fraud measures

1.          The EIB shall notify OLAF promptly and provide it with the necessary information when, at any stage of the preparation, implementation or closure of operations subject to the EU guarantee, it has grounds to suspect that there is a potential case of fraud, corruption, money laundering or other illegal activity that may affect the financial interests of the Union.

2.          OLAF shall carry out investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, in accordance with the provisions and procedures laid down in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council((7)), Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96((8)) and Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 ((9)) in order to protect the financial interests of the Union, with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption, money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax fraud, organised crime or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union in connection with any operations under this Regulation. OLAF may transmit to the competent authorities of the Member States concerned information obtained in the course of investigations.

Where such illegal activities are proven, the EIB shall undertake recovery efforts with respect to its operations supported by the EU guarantee.

3.          Financing agreements signed in relation to operations supported under this Regulation shall include clauses allowing exclusion from EIB financing and investment operations and, if necessary, appropriate recovery measures in cases of fraud, corruption or other illegal activity in accordance with the EFSI Agreement, EIB policies and applicable regulatory requirements. The decision whether to apply an exclusion from the EIB financing and investment operation shall be taken in accordance with the relevant financing or investment agreement.

Article 16

Excluded activities and non-cooperative jurisdictions

1.          In its financing and investment operations under this Regulation, the EIB, the EIF and all financial intermediaries shall not support any activities carried out for illegal purposes, including money laundering, financing of terrorism, organised crime, tax fraud and tax evasion, corruption, or fraud affecting the financial interests of the Union. In particular the EIB shall not participate in any financing or investment operation through a vehicle located in a non-cooperative jurisdiction, in line with its policy towards weakly regulated or non-cooperative jurisdictions based on policies of the Union, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development or the Financial Action Task Force.

2.          In its financing and investment operations under this Regulation, the EIB shall apply the principles and standards set out in Union law on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing. In particular, the EIB shall make both direct funding or funding via intermediaries under this Regulation contingent upon the disclosure of beneficial ownership information in accordance with Directive (EU) 2015/... (the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive).

Article 17

Exercise of the delegation

1.          The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.

1a.        The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 1(2a) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of one year from the entry into force of this Regulation.

1b.        The power to adopt delegated acts referred in Article 1(2b) shall be conferred on the Commission for an unlimited period of time.

2.           The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 8(6) shall be conferred on the Commission for a period of three years from the entry into force of this Regulation. The Commission shall draw up a report in respect of the delegation of power not later than nine months before the end of the three-year period. The delegation of power shall be tacitly extended for periods of an identical duration, unless the European Parliament or the Council opposes such extension not later than three months before the end of each period.

3.          The delegation of power referred to in Articles 3(1a) and 8(6) may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision to revoke shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.

4.          As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.

4a.        A delegated act adopted pursuant to Articles 1(2a) and 1(2b) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by the Council within a period of one month of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by one month at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

5.          A delegated act adopted pursuant to Articles 3(1a) and 8(6) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by the Council within a period of two months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by two months at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Article 17a

Financial contributions in the form of one-off measures from Member States to the EFSI to dedicated investment platforms and to national promotional banks referred to in Article 5(2) and which benefit from the EU guarantee are covered by the full range of the existing rules of the Stability and Growth Pact.

CHAPTER VII-Transitional and final provisions

Article 20

Transitional provision

Financing and investment operations signed by the EIB or EIF, during the period from 1 January 2015 to the conclusion of the EFSI Agreement, may be submitted by the EIB or the EIF to the Commission for coverage under the EU guarantee.

The Commission shall assess those operations and, where they comply with the substantive requirements set out in Article 5 and in the EFSI Agreement, decide that the EU guarantee coverage extends to them.

Article 21

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the third day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Strasbourg,

For the European Parliament                      For the Council

The President                                                The President

(1)

* Amendments: new or amended text is highlighted in bold italics; deletions are indicated by the symbol ▌.

(2)

          Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Central Bank, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and European Investment Bank entitled "An Investment Plan for Europe". COM(2014) 903 final

(3)

       Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

(4)

          Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

(5)

Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (OJ L 124, 20.5.2003, p. 36).

(6)

Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 104).

(7)

          Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999 (OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1).

(8)

          Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2).

(9)

          Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities financial interests (OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p. 1).


OPINION of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy(*) (16.4.2015)

for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Budgets

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Fund for Strategic Investments and amending Regulations (EU) No 1291/2013 and (EU) No 1316/2103

(COM(2015)0010 – C8-0007/2015 – 2015/0009(COD))

Rapporteur(*): Kathleen Van Brempt

(*)       Associated committee – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

Introduction

For many years, influential voices from the political and academic world and from the civil society have been advocating a boost of investments in the EU to overcome the investment gap that has been shaped as a consequence of the economic and financial crisis. This investment gap has created a downward spiral of decreasing expenditure, increasing joblessness and a loss of trust in the future progress. Therefore, the Commission's proposal on the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) should be warmly welcomed.

New incentives to boost investments - by backing them with EU guarantees - can create trust again amongst investors, public authorities and industries in tomorrow's growth. By unlocking new investments, EFSI can become the flywheel of a new investment cycle that creates new jobs and opportunities. These new investments are not only needed to relaunch the EU economy, but also to transform it into a resilient, innovative, inclusive, low carbon and circular economy.

Instead of paving the old cow paths by investing in simple replacements and maintenance, we'll have to invest in real transformative projects, services and infrastructures, which are capable of tackling the "new" challenges that threaten our welfare and prosperity. These challenges include our loss of competitiveness, the dangerous change of our climate, our dependency on scarce and critical natural resources from outside the Union, and the volatility and unpredictability of energy and resource prices that go along with it.

To deal with these challenges, the EU has given form to ambitious policies on employment, innovation, education, social inclusion, climate and energy. Europe 2020 was formulated as the EU's growth strategy for this decade with the aim to become a "smart, sustainable and inclusive economy". The 20/20/20 climate and energy strategy, the Commission's Energy Roadmap 2050, the 7th Environmental Action Plan and the Council's conclusions of 28 October 2014 on the reduction of greenhouse gases after 2020, ask for a decarbonised and more circular economy and for a real transformation of our transport and energy sectors. The recently launched strategy for the Energy Union focusses on a more interconnected energy market - able to integrate and exchange ever larger amounts of renewable sources - and stresses the importance of energy efficiency as an energy source in its own right. Horizon 2020 was established as the biggest EU Research and Innovation program ever, promising to drive innovation by taking great ideas from lab to the market. Through the direct link it sets between research and innovation, Horizon 2020 aims to secure Europe's global competitiveness, through an emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges.

It's in our utmost interest that EFSI strengthens and helps materialize these policies by focusing on the transformative investments needed in sustainable and low carbon transport infrastructure, in the digital and research infrastructures, in renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy storage and in bringing innovative products, services and technologies to the market.

At the same time, a weakening of the Union's policies, by making unrepairable cuts in funds that help to achieve these ambitions or by supporting sub-optimal investments or investments with a high risk of being stranded before the end of their lifetime (because of their incompatibility with the long term targets), should be avoided.

Therefore, the rapporteur will formulate amendments to the proposed regulation aimed at:

1.        Introducing an alternative to the financing of the EU guarantee fund to preserve the funds available under Horizon 2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

2.        Bringing EFSI support under the framework of the Union's strategy for a "smart, sustainable and inclusive growth", and help realize the energy and climate goals by focusing on transformative investments in the transport and energy sector and avoiding lock-in investments.

3.        Contributing to the ambitions of the Energy Union on energy efficiency.

The main attention of this opinion is naturally given to the exclusive competences of the ITRE Committee.

1. Alternative to the financing of the EU guarantee fund

It has to be stressed that it is not the intention of the rapporteur to touch on the general philosophy of the EU guarantee financed by the EU budget. The availability of the EU Guarantee to the EIB is ensured legally and financially as soon as the EFSI Regulation enters into force, and as soon as the EFSI agreement is signed between the EIB and the EC.

What the rapporteur challenges is the way in which the EU guarantee fund is established and financed. In the proposal for the EFSI regulation, financing is found by making cuts in the Horizon 2020 and Connection Europe Facility, in budget lines that cover grants. The cuts made will touch the integrity of these programs especially for these strategic investments - such as fundamental research - where co-financing in the market is difficult. The proposed cuts in Horizon 2020 will hit the "open calls" the hardest - thus hitting research in areas where it is particularly needed. Cutting on these budget lines will ultimately weaken the additional potential of EFSI.

The alternative proposed in this report is to skip the cuts made upfront in Horizon 2020 and CEF, as it not necessary to decide a priori on the funding scheme of the Guarantee Fund.

Its funding can be met by gradual budgetary commitment appropriations to be decided in the frame of the annual budgetary procedure. For this purpose, the budgetary authority should make use, where appropriate, of all available mechanisms of flexibility and relevant provisions under the 2014-2020 MFF Regulation that would lead only as a last resort to cuts in the envelope for programmes under heading 1A.

2. Aligning EFSI investments with the Union's strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and improving coherency with Union's environmental policy

The investments supported under EFSI should contribute to the Union's strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth adopted in the conclusions of the European Council of 17 June 2010. In order to improve coordination of the Unions investment policies, Regulation 1303/2013 was established with a Common Strategic Framework ('CSF') in order to promote the harmonious, balanced and sustainable development of the Union. This integrated approach should accordingly be applied to operations and projects supported by EFSI. EFSI should contribute to the meeting of the approved climate targets for 2020, 2030 and 2050 and should therefore focus on transformative investments in decarbonising our transport and energy sectors and in closing our material loops. Meanwhile, investments in long term high carbon infrastructures - at risk of being stranded before the end of their lifetime if the medium and long term climate objectives have to be met - should be avoided.

3. Materialize the Energy Union and addressing the "epic failure" of current energy policies

The Commission Communication (COM(2015/80)) on the Energy Union has stressed the importance of energy efficiency as an energy source in its own right, and states clearly that EFSI "provides an opportunity to leverage major investments in renovating building". To grasp that opportunity, a special focus on energy efficiency is needed in the EFSI regulation by earmarking a share of the granted guarantees for energy efficiency, by providing technical assistance to the establishment of dedicated investment platforms for aggregated energy efficiency projects and by broadening the "investment clause" for energy efficiency investments.

The earmarking (at least 20 % of the granted guarantees has to be reserved for energy efficiency investments) is absolutely necessary to meet the Energy Union's ambitions on energy efficiency as "first fuel". Past experience shows that over the last decade energy efficiency got much less support (8 % of the total energy support) than all other energy supply options (renewables, fossil fuels, nuclear). Without earmarking, this won't change. The analysis made by E3G(1) of the Member States proposals for the European Investment Plan, shows that only 5 % of the projects listed by Member States include energy efficiency measures, smart cities or demand side management. Instead of being the "first energy source", energy efficiency in reality stays the last option. Chief economist Fatih Birol of the IEA stated that "energy efficiency remains an “epic failure” in most nations’ energy policies", with two-thirds of the world’s economic potential to improve energy efficiency to remain unrealized. Energy efficiency operations often entail a combination of several smaller investments, whose management is cumbersome. If they are treated separately, in a non-coordinated way, energy efficiency measures are facing a lot of administrative and transaction costs and are often difficult to finance.

Therefore a special facility under the EIAH should be created to offer technical assistance for the establishment of dedicated investment platforms all over Europe for the bundling of small projects in particular in the refurbishment of the building stock. That facility can make use of the experience already achieved by the EIB (JESSICA) and learn from the good examples of successful national refurbishing programmes. These programmes prove the multiple benefits of a massive refurbishment: high job creation, excellent cost effectiveness, increased energy security, SME support, and reduced energy poverty. Benefits that can be upscaled and multiplied by making use of EFSI.

4. Miscellaneous

The rapporteur has also included some amendments that deal with the governance issues of the EFSI. No doubt, as a committee with exclusive competences on the eligibility criteria for the projects to be supported, the rapporteur also wants to make sure that the projects supported actually comply with the criteria and objectives proposed. Notably, this is taken along in amendments on the composition of the investment committee, as that committee will be responsible for the day to day decision making on which projects to be supported. Moreover, the rapporteur believes that, for the EFSI to function according to the conditions stipulated in the Regulation, provisions must be included to ensure that these conditions are correctly translated into the agreement the Commission shall conclude with the European Investment Bank on the establishment of the EFSI.

Finally, some definitions are stated on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), small mid-caps and innovative mid-caps, which should benefit particularly from EFSI support. The reasoning behind this is the rapporteur's belief in the special ability of these companies to create the true innovative changes that generate economic and societal added value, improve the health, and day-to-day living conditions of EU citizens, and stimulate the EU's competitiveness.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, as the committee responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) The economic and financial crisis has led to a lowering of the level of investments within the Union. Investment has fallen by approximately 15% since its peak in 2007. The Union suffers in particular from a lack of investment as a consequence of market uncertainty regarding the economic future and the fiscal constraints on Member States. This lack of investment slows economic recovery and negatively affects job creation, long-term growth prospects and competitiveness.

(1) The economic and financial crisis has led to a lowering of the level of investments within the Union. Investment has fallen by approximately 15% since its peak in 2007. The Union suffers in particular from a lack of investment as a consequence of policies which have depressed aggregate demand and market uncertainty regarding the economic future and the fiscal constraints on Member States. This lack of investment, in particular in those regions more effected by the crisis, slows economic recovery and negatively affects job creation, long-term growth prospects and competitiveness, potentially preventing a realization of the Europe 2020 targets and objectives for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) Comprehensive action is required to reverse the vicious circle created by a lack of investment. Structural reforms and fiscal responsibility are necessary preconditions for stimulating investment. Along with a renewed impetus towards investment financing, these preconditions can contribute to establishing a virtuous circle, where investment projects help support employment and demand and lead to a sustained increase in growth potential.

(2) Comprehensive action is required to reverse the vicious circle created by a lack of investment. Structural reforms and fiscal responsibility are necessary preconditions for stimulating investment, bearing in mind social and regional cohesion. Along with a renewed impetus towards investment financing, these preconditions can contribute to establishing a virtuous circle, where investment projects help support employment and demand and lead to a sustained increase in growth potential, without which the restoration of public accounts will not be possible. European banks can provide liquidity, market making and loans to finance investments needed.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(3) The G20, through the Global Infrastructure Initiative, has recognised the importance of investment in boosting demand and lifting productivity and growth and has committed to creating a climate that facilitates higher levels of investment.

(3) The G20, through the Global Infrastructure Initiative, has recognised the importance of investment in boosting demand and lifting productivity and growth and has committed to creating a climate that facilitates higher levels of investment. The EFSI should complement to an overall strategy to improve investments in the Union, not replacing other investments and financial structures and not undermining the Union's investments in science, research and development.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) Throughout the economic and financial crisis, the Union has made efforts to promote growth, in particular through initiatives set out in the Europe 2020 strategy that put in place an approach for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The European Investment Bank ('EIB') has also strengthened its role in instigating and promoting investment within the Union, partly by way of an increase in capital in January 2013. Further action is required to ensure that the investment needs of the Union are addressed and that the liquidity available on the market is used efficiently and channelled towards the funding of viable investment projects.

(4) Throughout the economic and financial crisis, the Union has made efforts to promote growth, in particular through initiatives set out in the Europe 2020 strategy that put in place an approach for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The European Investment Bank ('EIB') has also strengthened its role in instigating and promoting investment within the Union, partly by way of an increase in capital in January 2013. Further action is required to coordinate policies and instruments and to ensure that the investment needs of the Union are addressed and that the liquidity available on the market is used efficiently and channelled towards the funding of viable investment projects, from an economic, environmental and social point of view, which will enable the creation of quality jobs and the broadening and improvement of the productive base of Member States, especially those most affected by the crisis.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(5) On 15 July 2014, the then President-elect of the European Commission presented a set of Political Guidelines for the European Commission to the European Parliament. These Political Guidelines called for the mobilisation of ‘up to EUR 300 billion in additional public and private investment in the real economy over the next three years’ to stimulate investment for the purpose of job creation.

(5) On 15 July 2014, the then President-elect of the European Commission presented a set of Political Guidelines for the European Commission to the European Parliament. These Political Guidelines called for an Energy Union, a connected Digital single market, and the mobilisation of ‘up to EUR 300 000 000 000 in additional public and private investment in the real economy over the next three years’ to stimulate investment for the purpose of job creation.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) The investment environment within the Union should be improved by removing barriers to investment, reinforcing the Single Market and by enhancing regulatory predictability. The work of the EFSI, and investments across Europe generally, should benefit from this accompanying work.

(9) The investment environment within the Union should be improved by removing barriers to investment, reinforcing the Single Market by establishing truly functional capital, digital and energy markets and by reducing red tape and enhancing regulatory predictability. The work of the EFSI, and investments across Europe generally, should benefit from this accompanying work.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) The purpose of the EFSI should be to help resolve the difficulties in financing and implementing productive investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing. It is intended that increased access to financing should be of particular benefit to small and medium enterprises. It is also appropriate to extend the benefit of such increased access to financing to mid-cap companies, which are companies having up to 3000 employees. Overcoming Europe's current investment difficulties should contribute to strengthening the Union's economic, social and territorial cohesion.

(10) The purpose of the EFSI should be twofold: to help resolve the difficulties in financing and implement long-term productive strategic and transformative investments in the Union that provide an immediate boost to Europe's economy, and to ensure increased access to financing for companies up to 3000 employees with particular focus on start-ups, spin-offs, micro-enterprises, small and medium enterprises and cooperatives. Overcoming Europe's current investment difficulties should contribute to strengthening the Union's competitiveness, innovation potential, economic, social and territorial cohesion and energy and resource efficiency by transitioning into a sustainable and circular economy.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) The EFSI should support strategic investments with high economic value added contributing to achieving Union policy objectives.

(11) The EFSI should support strategic investments with high economic, social and environmental value added contributing to achieving Union policy objectives, and to the Union's social and territorial cohesion. These investments should be in line with the objectives and criteria set out in this Regulation in the sectors of transport, telecommunications and energy, to develop and modernize the energy infrastructure, increase competitiveness and enhance the security of the Union's energy system, by promoting energy interconnections and synchronisation of power systems with the rest of the Union, expanding renewable energy and energy and resource efficiency, contributing to sustainable development; by developing broadband and digital service networks; as well as sustainable transport networks and by exploiting potential synergies between those sectors; and which strengthen the European scientific and technological base, support scientific collaboration between academia and industry, improve exploitation and market-uptake of research results, facilitate patenting and technology transfer, and foster benefits for society as well as better exploitation of the economic and industrial potential of policies of innovation, research and technological development, including research infrastructure, pilot and demonstration facilities. The EFSI should improve access to finance and the competitiveness of enterprises and other entities, with special emphasis on SMEs. The EFSI should contribute to the transformation to a sustainable, circular and resource efficient economy, boosting innovation, skills and sustainable local job creation.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11a) Taking into account that small mid-cap companies with up to 499 employees and mid-cap companies with up to 3000 employees represent the most innovative segment of companies in the private sector, generating on average a higher number of patents, process innovations and product innovations as well as higher returns on investment, while still facing similar problems as SMEs regarding access to finance, the EFSI should tailor some of its financial products towards small mid-caps and mid-cap companies in particular.

Justification

For certain types of projects - particularly research and innovation activities - the lack of access to risk finance represents a problem experienced by all types of companies, irrespective of their size. However, economic fall-out is highest when so called mid-caps don't have access to finance, since they regularly come out as the most innovative company segment in EU R&D monitoring reports. The EFSI portfolio should take their financing needs into particular account.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11b) The investments supported under EFSI should contribute to achieve existing Union programmes, policies and Union's strategy for smart sustainable and inclusive growth adopted in the conclusions of the European Council of 17 June 2010. For this purpose they should contribute to achieve objectives set out in Article 170 TFEU, Article 173 TFEU, Article 179 TFEU and Article 194(1) TFEU.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11c) In order to improve the coordination and integration of the Union's investment policies, Regulation 1303/2013 was established with a Common Strategic Framework ('CSF'); this integrated approach should accordingly be applied to operations and projects supported by the EFSI;

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11d) The Commission Communication on the Energy Union (COM(2015)0080) has stressed the importance of energy efficiency as an energy source in its own right and states clearly that EFSI provides an opportunity to leverage major investments in renovating buildings. Investments in energy efficiency are acknowledged to create up to 2 million jobs by 2020 and possibly another 2 million jobs by 2030. In order to ensure that the EFSI fulfils its purpose of leveraging private investments, delivering jobs, fostering resilient economic developments, and reducing macro-economic imbalances, a special focus on energy efficiency is needed. Therefore technical assistance under the EIAH has to be provided for the establishment of dedicated investment platforms for aggregated energy efficiency projects.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 e (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11e) Taking into account the need for an instant boost of the European economy, guaranties under the EFSI should only be committed by the Investment Committee to operations and projects that shall be contractually agreed and signed within three years after the commitment. If the projects or operations are not signed within three years after the commitment, the commitment has to expire. By doing so, the EFSI will focus on activities that create both an immediate impact and sustainable economic growth, while providing European added value.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 f (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11f) In order to ensure that the EFSI fulfils its purpose it is imperative that an amount of at least EUR 5 000 000 000 from the EFSI is allocated for EIB funding to the EIF to be used specifically for the benefit of Small and Medium Enterprises and small mid-cap companies.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 g (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11g) In order to ensure that the EFSI fulfils its purpose it is imperative that an amount of at least EUR 5 000 000 000 from the EFSI is allocated for EIB funding to the EIF to be used specifically for the benefit of Small and Medium Enterprises and small mid-cap companies as well as innovative SMEs and innovative mid-caps.

Justification

There is no need for EFSI to reinvent the wheel. Over the past couple of years, a number of innovative financial instruments to benefit SMEs and small mid-caps have been put in place under H2020 and COSME, and are currently being implemented by the EIF. They see multiplier effects between 1:18 and 1:28 and face double the amount of eligible demand for finance than they can supply. A part of the guarantee should therefore be used to top-up and complement successful existing instruments.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11 h (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(11h) The Commission Communication on the European Energy Security Strategy (COM(2014)0330) has stressed that in order to improve energy security, Member States should complete the transposition of internal energy market legislation, notably unbundling rules, including a provision that transmission system operators controlled by non-EU entities comply with the same obligations as those controlled by EU entities; however the recent experience of certain non-EU operators seeking to avoid compliance with EU legislation on EU territory requires a stricter application and a reinforcement of the applicable rules at EU and Member State level: it can be facilitated by provision that only those projects concerning gas that are carried out in gas infrastructure sectors in Member States where the effective ownership unbundling is implemented, shall be eligible for the EU guarantee.

Justification

To improve energy security, it is essential to implement the Third Energy Liberalisation Package, especially with regard to gas market, and to ensure that gas production and supply activities are separated and the existing monopoly networks are unbundled. The recent experience of certain non-EU operators seeking to avoid compliance with EU legislation on EU territory requires a stricter application and a possible reinforcement of the applicable rules at EU and Member State level. This can be facilitated by provision that only those gas infrastructure projects that are carried out in gas infrastructure sectors in Member States where the effective ownership unbundling is implemented, shall be eligible for the EU guarantee.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) Many small and medium enterprises, as well as mid-cap companies, across the Union require assistance to attract market financing, especially as regards investments that carry a greater degree of risk. The EFSI should help these businesses to overcome capital shortages by allowing the EIB and the European Investment Fund ('EIF') to provide direct and indirect equity injections, as well as to provide guarantees for high-quality securitisation of loans, and other products that are granted in pursuit of the aims of the EFSI.

(12) Many small and medium enterprises, as well as small mid-cap companies, including start-ups and spin-offs, across the entire Union require assistance to attract market financing, especially as regards investments that carry a greater degree of risk. The EFSI should help these businesses to overcome capital shortages and market failures by allowing the EIB and the EIF, where relevant, to provide direct and indirect equity injections, as well as to provide guarantees for high-quality securitisation of loans, and other products that are granted in pursuit of the aims of the EFSI

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) The EFSI should be established within the EIB in order to benefit from its experience and proven track record and in order for its operations to start to have a positive impact as quickly as possible. The work of the EFSI on providing finance to small and medium enterprises and small mid-cap companies should be channelled through the European Investment Fund ('EIF') to benefit from its experience in these activities.

(13) The EFSI should be established within the EIB in order to benefit from its experience and proven track record and in order for its operations to start to have a positive impact as quickly as possible. The provision of EFSI funding to small and medium enterprises and small mid-cap companies, start-ups and spin-offs should be channeled through the EIF to benefit from its experience in these activities.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14) The EFSI should target projects delivering high societal and economic value. In particular, the EFSI should target projects that promote job creation, long-term growth and competitiveness. The EFSI should support a wide range of financial products, including equity, debt or guarantees, to best accommodate the needs of the individual project. This wide range of products should allow the EFSI to adapt to market needs whilst encouraging private investment in the projects. The EFSI should not be a substitute for private market finance but should instead catalyse private finance by addressing market failures so as to ensure the most effective and strategic use of public money. The requirement for consistency with State aid principles should contribute to such effective and strategic use.

(14) The EFSI should target projects delivering high social, environmental and economic added value. The EFSI should support projects that comply to the criteria and objectives set out in this Regulation, that promote sustainable high quality job creation, long-term sustainable growth and competitiveness and which help to achieve the EU’s research and development, innovation, climate and energy and digital goals. The EFSI should support a wide range of financial products, including equity, quasi-equity, debt or guarantees, to best accommodate the needs of the individual project. This wide range of products should allow the EFSI to adapt to market needs whilst encouraging private investment in the projects. The EFSI should not be a substitute for, or crowd-out, private market finance or products provided by regional and national promotional banks, but should instead catalyse private finance by addressing market failures so as to ensure the most effective and strategic use of public money. The requirement for consistency with State aid principles should contribute to such effective and strategic use.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(14a) When selecting the projects eligible under EFSI support, specific attention should be given to energy efficiency; when deciding on projects for energy generation or energy transport, it should be assessed whether the goals in terms of security of supply cannot be reached instead in a more sustainable and cost-effective way by reducing energy demand, through raising energy efficiency or through demand response; this to ensure that energy efficiency projects are competing on equal terms, including equal cost-benefit analysis terms, with projects that are aimed at increasing energy supply or developing new infrastructures;

Justification

The Communication of 25.2.2015 on the Energy Union, COM(2015) 80 ‘A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward Looking Climate Change Policy’, stresses that it is ‘necessary to fundamentally rethink energy efficiency and treat it as an energy source in its own right, representing the value of energy saved. As part of the market design review, the Commission will ensure that energy efficiency and demand side response can compete on equal terms with generation capacity.’

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) The EFSI should target projects with a higher risk-return profile than existing EIB and Union instruments to ensure additionality over existing operations. The EFSI should finance projects across the Union, including in the countries most affected by the financial crisis. The EFSI should only be used where financing is not available from other sources on reasonable terms.

(15) The EFSI should target projects with a higher risk-return profile than existing EIB and Union instruments to ensure additionality and complementarity over existing operations. An even higher risk profile should be accepted for research, development and innovation projects. The EFSI should finance projects across the entire Union, avoiding geographical concentration and facilitating investment in regions where capital markets are less developed, including in the countries most affected by the financial crisis and where investment in percentage of GDP has substantially declined. The EFSI should only be used where financing is not available from other sources on reasonable terms.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(15a) Market based incentives and the additionality provided by the EFSI should ensure that the EFSI targets socially and economically viable projects, without any regional pre-allocation, in particular to address high investment needs or market failures. For Member States where financial markets are less developed, appropriate technical assistance should be provided to ensure that the general objectives of this Regulation can be achieved. At the same time, the EFSI should be able to support environmentally sound projects and benefit industries and technologies with high growth potential.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) The EFSI should target investments that are expected to be economically and technically viable, which may entail a degree of appropriate risk, whilst still meeting the particular requirements for EFSI financing.

(16) The EFSI should target investments that are expected to be economically and technically viable, and bankable under conditions offered by the EFSI product portfolio, but which face barriers for market uptake. In addition, average project risk under EFSI should be higher than under any other available investment portfolio in the EU and it should target close-to market innovations where further support is needed to bridge the 'valley-of- death'.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(16a) The EFSI should be endowed with an appropriate governance structure whose function should be commensurate with the sole purposes of ensuring the appropriate use of the EU guarantee. That governance structure should be composed of a Steering Board, a Managing Director and an Investment Committee. It should not encroach upon or interfere with the decision making of the EIB, or be a substitute of the governing bodies of the latter. The Steering Board should set up the investment guidelines according to which the Investment Committee should decide on the use of the EU guarantee. These guidelines should be in addition to, but not in conflict with, those set out in this Regulation for the use of the EU guarantee. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts concerning the investment guidelines. The Managing Director should be responsible for the daily management of the EFSI and carry out the preparatory work of the meetings of the Investment Committee.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) Decisions on the use of the EFSI support for infrastructure and large mid-cap projects should be made by an Investment Committee. The Investment Committee should be composed of independent experts who are knowledgeable and experienced in the areas of investment projects. The Investment Committee should be accountable to a Steering Board of the EFSI, who should supervise the fulfilment of the EFSI's objectives. To effectively benefit from the experience of the EIF, the EFSI should support funding to the EIF to allow the EIF to undertake individual projects in the areas of small and medium enterprises and small mid-cap companies.

(17) Decisions on the use of the EFSI support for infrastructure and large mid-cap projects should be made by an Investment Committee. The Investment Committee should be composed of independent experts who are knowledgeable and experienced in the areas of project structuring and project financing, and investment projects in the sectorial domains specified in this Regulation as well as in geographic markets within the Union. The Investment Committee should be accountable to a Steering Board of the EFSI, who should supervise the fulfilment of the EFSI's objectives. To effectively benefit from the experience of the EIF, the EFSI should support funding to the EIF to allow the EIF to undertake individual projects in the areas of small and medium enterprises and small mid-cap companies. The decisions made by the Investment Committee should be free from any undue interference so as to ensure its full independence, which is the key to maintain the investor trust.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(17a) For the purpose of transparency, accountability and independence of the Steering board and the Investment committee, a system of prevention of conflict of interest should be adopted and implemented.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(17b) The investment committee shall safeguard that the general investment strategy of the EIF, for the investments granted by the EU guarantee, is in compliance with the objectives and criteria under this regulation. The daily management, project selection and follow-up, should, however, be the competence of the EIF.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(17c) In order to ensure that the goals laid down in this Regulation are met and a wide geographical scope of the projects within the Union is achieved, technical assistance to Member States, where capital markets are less developed in comparison to other Member States, should be provided.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18) In order to enable the EFSI to support investments, the Union should grant a guarantee of an amount equal to EUR 16 000 000 000. When provided on a portfolio basis, the guarantee coverage should be capped depending upon the type of instrument, such as debt, equity or guarantees, as a percentage of the volume of the portfolio of outstanding commitments. It is expected that when the guarantee is combined with EUR 5 000 000 000 to be provided by the EIB, that the EFSI support should generate EUR 60 800 000 000 additional investment by the EIB and EIF. This EUR 60 800 000 000 supported by the EFSI is expected to generate a total of EUR 315 000 000 000 in investment in the Union within the period 2015 to 2017. Guarantees that are attached to projects which are completed without a call on a guarantee are available for supporting new operations.

(18) In order to enable the EFSI to support investments, the Union should grant a guarantee of an amount equal to EUR 16 000 000 000. When provided on a portfolio basis, the guarantee coverage should be capped depending upon the type of instrument, such as debt, equity or guarantees, as a percentage of the volume of the portfolio of outstanding commitments. It is expected that when the guarantee is combined with EUR 5 000 000 000 to be provided by the EIB, that the EFSI support should generate EUR 60 800 000 000 additional investment by the EIB and EIF. This EUR 60 800 000 000 supported by the EFSI is expected to generate a total of at least EUR 315 000 000 000 in investment in the Union within a period of three years starting from the entry into force of this Regulation. Guarantees that are attached to projects which are completed without a call on a guarantee are available for supporting new operations within the availability period of the guarantee.

Justification

With a view to the need for an immediate boost to Europe's investment climate, signing contracts under EFSI should not be delayed. Of course, only truly eligible projects should be selected for support.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(18a) On 13 January 2015, the European Commission presented a Communication on how it will apply the existing rules of the Stability and Growth Pact. National co-financing of operations supported by the EFSI, including in the transition period, are eligible to the flexibility within the existing rules of the Stability and Growth Pact, provided for by the Commission Communication of 13 January 2015, in accordance with the conditions and limits there included.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(18b) In order to ensure that the EFSI fulfils its twofold purpose it is imperative that an amount equivalent to EUR 5 000 000 000 from the EFSI is allocated for EIB funding to the EIF to be used specifically for the benefit of Small and Medium Enterprises and small mid-cap companies as well as innovative SMEs and innovative mid-caps.

Justification

In order for EFSI to be able to fulfil its twofold purpose it is important to clarify that part of the guarantee has to be reserved for access to risk finance for the benefit of SMEs and small mid-caps. Linked to AM on Article 1, Article 5,2 (e) and Article 7.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(18c) In order to ensure that the EFSI fulfils its objective it is imperative that an amount equivalent to EUR 5 000 000 000 from the EFSI is allocated for EIB funding to the EIF to be used specifically for the benefit of Small and Medium Enterprises and small mid-cap companies as well as innovative SMEs;

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19) In order to allow for further increase in its resources, participation in the EFSI should be open to third parties, including Member States, national promotional banks or public agencies owned or controlled by Member States, private sector entities and entities outside the Union subject to the consent of existing contributors. Third parties may contribute directly to the EFSI and take part in the EFSI governance structure.

(19) In order to reach the target of EUR 315 000 000 000 within the shortest possible time, national promotional banks or institutions and investment platforms and funds, with support of the EFSI guarantee, should play a prominent role in identifying viable projects, developing and, where appropriate, bundling projects, and attracting potential investors. In that context, it should be possible to establish macro-regional platforms to promote cross-border projects or a group of projects across Member States in a regional perspective.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(20) At the level of projects, third parties may co-finance together with EFSI on a project-by-project basis or in investment platforms related to specific geographic or thematic sectors.

(20) At the level of projects, third parties may co-finance together with EFSI on a project-by-project basis or in investment platforms related to specific geographic or thematic sectors. Special attention should be given to investment platforms that focus on transformative sectors with high economic and societal added value, and investment platforms that aggregate small scale sustainable and innovative projects, notably driven by regions, cities and SMEs; for example energy efficiency projects such as the refurbishment of building stock, smart grids projects and new citizen services based on digital innovative tools.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21) Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use European Structural Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects that are supported by the EU guarantee. The flexibility of this approach should maximise the potential to attract investors to the areas of investment targeted by the EFSI.

(21) The EFSI should complement and be additional to ongoing regional, national and EU programmes as well as traditional EIB activities. Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, third parties may co-finance together with EFSI on a project-by-project basis or in investment platforms related to geographic or thematic sectors and Member States may use any type of Union financing, including European Structural Investment Funds, to contribute to the financing of eligible projects that are supported by the EU guarantee. The flexibility of this approach should maximise the potential to attract investors to the areas of investment targeted by the EFSI and to involve social partners and public authorities.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 22

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(22) In accordance with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Infrastructure and project investments supported under EFSI should be consistent with State aid rules. To that end, the Commission has announced that it will formulate a set of core principles, for the purpose of State aid assessments, which a project will have to meet to be eligible for support under the EFSI. If a project meets these criteria and receives support from the EFSI, the Commission has announced that any national complementary support, will be assessed under a simplified and accelerated State aid assessment whereby the only additional issue to be verified by the Commission will be the proportionality of public support (absence of overcompensation). The Commission has also announced that it will provide further guidance on the set of core principles with a view to ensuring an efficient use of public funds.

(22) In accordance with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, Infrastructure and project investments supported under EFSI should be consistent with State aid rules. To that end, the Commission has announced that it will formulate a set of core principles, for the purpose of State aid assessments, which a project will have to meet to be eligible for support under the EFSI. If a project meets these criteria and receives support from the EFSI, the Commission has announced that any national complementary support, will be assessed under a simplified and accelerated State aid assessment whereby the only additional issue to be verified by the Commission will be the proportionality of public support (absence of overcompensation). With a view to ensuring an efficient use of public funds, the Commission should provide further guidelines to guarantee full consistency with sector specific State aid rules. The requirement for consistency with state aid principles should contribute to the effective use of EFSI resources.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25) The EIB should regularly evaluate activities supported by the EFSI with a view to assessing their relevance, performance and impact and to identifying aspects that could improve future activities. Such evaluations should contribute to accountability and analysis of sustainability.

(25) The EIB and the Commission should regularly evaluate activities supported by the EFSI with a view to assessing their relevance, performance, impact as well as their coordination and consistency with other Union policies and instruments, and to identifying aspects that could improve future activities. Such evaluations should contribute to accountability and analysis of sustainability.

Justification

Given the needs to ensure transparency and an adequate level of scrutiny by the legislator, evaluation and subsequent reporting is key to ensure a smooth implementation of the EFSI.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(26) Alongside the financing operations that will be conducted through the EFSI, a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') should be created. The EIAH should provide strengthened support for project development and preparation across the Union, by building on the expertise of the Commission, the EIB, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds. This should establish a single point of entry for questions related to technical assistance for investments within the Union.

(26) Alongside the financing operations that will be conducted through the EFSI, a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') should be created. The EIAH should provide strengthened support for project development, preparation and aggregation across the Union, by building on the expertise of the Commission, the EIB, national promotional banks, the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds and best practices from projects such as ELENA (European Local Energy Assistance), InnovFin (EU Finance for Innovators) and the EEIF (European Energy Efficiency Fund). This should establish a single point of entry for questions related to technical assistance for investments within the Union where possible providing technical assistance on a decentralised basis. The setting up of the EIAH as a single entry point and the new services provided by it shall in no way alter the objective of existing technical assistance programmes or affect the quality or capacity of these in carrying out their dedicated tasks.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(26a) The EIAH shall especially build upon the good practices in existing programmes, such as ELENA , EEIF , JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises), JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions), JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) and JASMINE (Joint Action to Support Micro-finance Institutions in Europe); The EIAH shall, when relevant, redirect project promoters to these entities and channel the delivery of technical assistance through them.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(27) In order to cover the risks related to the EU guarantee to the EIB, a guarantee fund should be established. The guarantee fund should be constituted by a gradual payment from the Union budget. The guarantee fund should subsequently also receive revenues and repayments from projects that benefit from EFSI support and amounts recovered from defaulting debtors where the guarantee fund has already honoured the guarantee to the EIB.

(27) In order to cover the risks related to the EU guarantee to the EIB, a guarantee fund should be established. The guarantee fund should be constituted by a gradual payment from the Union budget. The guarantee fund should subsequently also receive revenues and repayments from projects that benefit from EFSI support and amounts recovered from defaulting debtors where the guarantee fund has already honoured the guarantee to the EIB. Any remuneration that arises from EFSI operations which surmounts the target amount/needs of the guarantee fund shall be transferred to the respective EU budget lines which were reduced in order to establish the EFSI guarantee fund.

Justification

Surplus reflows and revenues that exceed the target amount of the EU guarantee should be re-entered into the general budget of the Union and reassigned to the budget lines that initially contributed to the guarantee fund.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 29

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(29) To partially finance the contribution from the Union budget, the available envelopes of the Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2014-2020, provided by Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council2, and the Connecting Europe Facility, provided by Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council3 , should be reduced. Those programmes serve purposes that are not replicated by the EFSI. However, the reduction of both programmes to finance the guarantee fund is expected to ensure a greater investment in certain areas of their respective mandates than is possible through the existing programmes. The EFSI should be able to leverage the EU guarantee to multiply the financial effect within those areas of research, development and innovation and transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructure compared to if the resources had been spent via grants within the planned Horizon 2020 and Connecting Europe Facility programmes. It is, therefore, appropriate to redirect part of the funding presently envisaged for those programmes to the benefit of EFSI.

(29) The contribution from the Union budget to the EU budget Guarantee Fund will be progressively authorised by the European Parliament and the Council in the framework of the annual budgetary procedures up to 2020. For this purpose, the budgetary authority should make use, where appropriate, of all available mechanisms of flexibility and relevant provisions under the 2014-2020 MFF Regulation ensuring a maximum linearity and securing the functioning and viability of the funding according to the budget provided for in the MFF of the multiannual commitments characterising some current EU programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Connecting Europe Facility. The financing of the Guarantee Fund, should be revised in the frame of the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework due to be launched by the end of 2016 at the latest, as foreseen in Article 2 of Council Regulation (EU) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the Multiannual Financial Framework for the years 2014 -2020. Given the soaring need for policy action and spending programmes at Union level to incentivise economic growth and job-creation in Europe, the revision should increase the available margins and commitment appropriations under heading 1a.

__________________

 

2 Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 104).

 

3 Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility, amending Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 680/2007 and (EC) No 67/2010 (OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p. 129).

 

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 32 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(32a) Member States should be able to participate in the creation of the European investment directory including by providing information on investment projects in their territory to the Commission and the EIB. Before launching the directory, the Commission and the EIB should carry out appropriate consultations with Member States, experts and stakeholders, regarding the principles and guidelines for projects to be listed in the directory, and regarding the template for publishing information about individual projects.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 34

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(34) To ensure accountability to European citizens, the EIB should regularly report to the European Parliament and the Council on the progress and impact of the EFSI.

(34) To ensure accountability to European citizens, from the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission should submit to the European Parliament and to the Council annual report containing an evaluation of the use of the EU guarantee and of the fulfilment of the general objectives and criteria laid down in this Regulation, including the mobilisation of private capital, the additionality and the economic and societal added value. If appropriate, the report should be accompanied by a proposal to the European Parliament and to the Council to amend this Regulation. The EIB in cooperation with the EIF, should report semi-annually to the European Commission, to the European Parliament and to the Council on EIB and EIF financing and investment operations, including which projects have been financed, the financial instruments used and the state of implementation of funded projects and losses incurred under EFSI. In case of failed projects, the Report shall include a thorough analysis of the situation, highlighting possible repercussion on the Guarantee fund.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 36

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(36) Since the objectives of this Regulation, namely to support investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing for companies having up to 3000 employees, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States by reason of the disparities in their fiscal capacity to act but can rather, by reason of its scale and effects, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives,

(36) Since the objectives of this Regulation, namely to support investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing for companies having up to 3 000 employees cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States alone but can rather, by reason of its scale and effects, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives,

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 36 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(36a) The Commission and the EIB should conclude an Agreement that specifies the conditions laid down in this Regulation for their management of the EFSI. That Agreement should not encroach upon the competences of the Union legislator, of the budgetary authority, and of the EIB, as laid down in the Treaties and should, therefore, be confined to elements which are mainly technical and administrative in nature and which, whilst not being essential, are necessary for the effective implementation of the EFSI. This Agreement, together with the Investment Guidelines, should be adopted by the Commission by means of a delegated act.

Justification

The EFSI agreements should be of a solely administrative nature, leaving crucial elements of the initiative to the legislator. The agreement should implement these decisions. The EFSI agreement should be adopted through a delegated act to allow adequate scrutiny of the legislator.

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall conclude an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the establishment of a European Fund for Strategic Investments ('EFSI').

1. This Regulation establishes a European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), an EU guarantee and an EU guarantee fund.

 

2. To that effect, this Regulation provides for the Commission to negotiate a draft agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the management of the European Fund for Strategic Investments ('EFSI'). This agreement shall solely contain technical and administrative elements, and shall be in full compliance with the requirements set-out in this Regulation.

 

3. The Commission shall be empowered to enter into the EFSI Agreement on behalf of the Union, and to accept later amendments to it, by means of a delegated act in accordance with Article 17, provided that the EFSI Agreement meets the requirements of this Regulation.

The purpose of the EFSI shall be to support investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing for companies having up to 3000 employees, with a particular focus on small and medium enterprises, through the supply of risk bearing capacity to the EIB ('EFSI Agreement').

4. The purpose of the EFSI shall be to support investments in the Union conducive to competitive and sustainable growth with a view to overcome the investment gap among its Member States. Through the supply of risk bearing capacity to the EIB the EFSI shall:

 

- support long term, productive and strategic investments;

 

- ensure increased access to financing for companies having up to 3000 employees, with a particular focus on start-ups, micro-enterprises, small, and medium-sized enterprises, small mid-caps.

2. The EFSI Agreement shall be open to accession by Member States. Subject to the consent of existing contributors, the EFSI Agreement shall also be open to accession by other third parties, including national promotional banks or public agencies owned or controlled by Member States, and private sector entities.

5. The EFSI Agreement shall be open to accession by Member States under the terms laid out in the EFSI Agreement. Subject to the consent of existing contributors, the EFSI Agreement shall also be open to accession by other third parties, including national promotional banks or public agencies owned or controlled by Member States, and private sector entities.

 

6. Guarantees under this Regulation shall only be committed by the Investment Committee to operations and projects that shall be contractually agreed and signed within three years after the commitment. If the operations and projects are not singed within three years after the commitment, the commitment has to expire.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 1a

 

Definitions

 

For the purposes of this Regulation the following definitions apply:

 

(a) 'national promotional banks' or 'national promotional institutions' means legal entities carrying out financial activities on a professional basis which are conferred a mandate by a Member State, whether at central, regional or local level, to carry out public development or promotional activities seeking to address market failures or sub-optimal investment situations;

 

(b) 'investment platforms' means special purpose vehicles, managed accounts, contract-based co-financing or risk sharing arrangements or arrangements established by any other means via which entities channel a financial contribution in order to finance a number of investment projects in the Union;

 

(c) 'small and medium-sized enterprises' or 'SMEs' means micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as defined in Recommendation 2003/361/EC.

 

(d) 'small mid-cap companies' means legal entities having up to 499 employees as defined by Commission Guidelines C(2014) 34/2; 1a

 

(g) 'additionality’ means the support by the EFSI of operations which address market failures, investment gaps or sub-optimal investment situations and which could not have been carried out without EFSI support during that period, or to the same extent, or under reasonable conditions, through normal EIB instruments, through the EIF, through EU Instruments or through instruments offered by regional promotional banks, national promotional banks and commercial banks. Consequently, the EU guarantee can be combined with, or can be used to complement, accelerate or strengthen existing EU financial instruments.

 

(h) 'EFSI Agreement' means the legal instrument whereby the Commission and the EIB specify the conditions laid down in this Regulation for the management of the EFSI.

 

(i) 'EIAH Agreement' means the legal instrument whereby the Commission and the EIB specify the conditions laid down in this Regulation for the implementation of EIAH.

 

_____________

 

1a Guidelines on State aid to promote risk finance investments

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) provisions governing the establishment of the EFSI as a distinct, clearly identifiable and transparent guarantee facility and separate account managed by the EIB;

(a) arrangements concerning the establishment of the EFSI as well as the amount and terms of the financial contribution to be provided by the EIB, including the terms of the funding or guarantees which shall be provided by the EIB through the EFSI to the European Investment Fund ('EIF') which shall be at least EUR 5 000 000 000.

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) the terms of the funding which shall be provided by the EIB through the EFSI to the European Investment Fund ('EIF');

(c) The arrangements concerning the EU guarantee, that shall be an unconditional, irrevocable, first demand guarantee in favour of the EIB, including:

 

(i) detailed rules on the provision of the EU guarantee, in accordance with Article 7, among which its modalities of coverage, its defined coverage of portfolios of specific types of instruments;

 

(ii) requirements that remuneration for risk-taking be allocated amongst contributors in proportion with their respective risk share in risk taking;

 

(iii) requirements that remuneration to the Union and payments on the EU guarantee shall be made in timely manner and only occur once a year after remuneration and losses from operations have been netted;

 

(iv) requirements governing the use of the EU guarantee in accordance with Article 5, among which payment conditions, such as specific time frames, interest on due amounts and the necessary liquidity arrangements;

 

(v) provisions and procedures relating to recovery of claims that shall be entrusted to the EIB, in line with Article 7(4);

Justification

The EFSI agreements should be of a solely administrative nature, leaving crucial elements of the initiative to the legislator. Therefore relevant provisions should be part of the regulation rather than the EFSI agreement. Detailed provisions have been put in place accordingly.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) the governance arrangements concerning the EFSI, in accordance with Article 3, without prejudice to the Statute of the European Investment Bank;

(d) The modalities for the approval by the Investment Committee of the use of the EU guarantee for individual projects in line with this Regulation and in particular with Article 2a;

Justification

The EFSI agreements should be of a solely administrative nature, leaving crucial elements of the initiative to the legislator. Therefore relevant provisions should be part of the regulation rather than the EFSI agreement. Detailed provisions have been put in place accordingly.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(e) detailed rules on the provision of the EU guarantee, in accordance with Article 7, including its capped coverage of portfolios of specific types of instruments, calls on the EU guarantee, that – with the exception of possible losses on equity - shall only occur once a year after profits and losses from operations have been netted, and its remuneration and the requirement that remuneration for risk-taking be allocated amongst contributors in proportion with their respective risk share;

(e) The procedures for the submission of investment proposals and approval of proposals for the use of the EU guarantee, including:

 

(i) the procedure for the transmission to the Investment Committee of projects;

 

(ii) the requirement that the procedure for submission and approval of proposals for the use of the EU guarantee is without prejudice to the EIB decision making rules laid down under the Statute of the European Investment Bank;

 

(iii) rules further detailing the transitional provisions under Article 20, and in particular the manner how operations signed by the EIB during the period referred to in Article 20 will be included under the EU guarantee coverage.

Justification

The EFSI agreements should be of a solely administrative nature, leaving crucial elements of the initiative to the legislator. Therefore relevant provisions should be part of the regulation rather than the EFSI agreement. Detailed provisions have been put in place accordingly.

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(f) provisions and procedures relating to recovery of claims;

(f) The procedures for the submission of investment proposals and approval of proposals for the use of the EU guarantee, including:

 

(i) the procedure for the transmission to the Investment Committee of projects;

 

(ii) the requirement that the procedure for submission and approval of proposals for the use of the EU guarantee is without prejudice to the EIB decision making rules laid down under the Statute of the European Investment Bank;

 

(iii) rules further detailing the transitional provisions under Article 20, and in particular the manner how operations signed by the EIB during the period referred to in Article 20 will be included under the EU guarantee coverage.

Justification

The EFSI agreements should be of a solely administrative nature, leaving crucial elements of the initiative to the legislator. Therefore relevant provisions should be part of the regulation rather than the EFSI agreement. Detailed provisions have been put in place accordingly.

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point g

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(g) requirements governing the use of the EU guarantee, including within specific time frames and key performance indicators;

(g) requirements governing the use of the EU guarantee, such as the compliance with the objectives and criteria set out in Article 5.2, as well as specific time frames and key performance indicators, including job creation and SME participation.

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point j

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(j) the modalities of the EU guarantee coverage.

deleted

Justification

Detailed provisions covering this aspect have been inserted above.

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point j a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ja) any other conditions of an administrative or organisational nature necessary for the management of the EFSI.

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that there is a clear distinction between operations carried out with the EFSI support and other operations of the EIB.

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that there is a clear distinction between operations carried out with the EFSI support and other operations of the EIB. However, the investment guidelines and criteria adopted by the EIB on 23 July 2013 shall apply.

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The EFSI Agreement shall provide for the creation of a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') within the EIB. The EIAH shall have as its objective to build upon existing EIB and Commission advisory services in order to provide advisory support for investment project identification, preparation and development and act as a single technical advisory hub for project financing within the Union. This shall include support on the use of technical assistance for project structuring, use of innovative financial instruments, use of public-private partnerships and advice, as appropriate, on relevant issues of EU legislation.

The EFSI Agreement shall provide for the creation of a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') within the EIB, which shall deliver advisory support for investment projects in line with the objectives and criteria set out in Article 5(2) of this Regulation.

 

The EIAH shall build upon existing EIB and Commission advisory services, where possible in a decentralised way, and shall:

 

(a) act as a technical advisory hub and provide support for investment project identification, preparation and development; as well as provide support on the use of technical assistance for project structuring, innovative financial instruments, public-private partnerships and advice, as appropriate, on relevant issues of EU legislation, taking into account differences of Member States, especially for those with less developed capital markets;

 

(b) give special support to investment platforms that focus on sectors with high economic and societal added value or that aggregate smaller projects, notably driven by regions, cities and SMEs, into larger bankable projects; award particular focus to information and support of innovative entrepreneurs;

 

(c) create a specific facility for technical assistance for the establishment of investment platforms for aggregated energy efficiency projects at decentralized level;

 

(d) provide technical and financial support on the use of EFSI to decentralized institutions that implement similar technical assistance schemes at local level; leverage local knowledge to facilitate EFSI support in the whole Union;

 

(e) act as a single point of contact for authorities and project promoters or redirect them to the institutions mentioned in point 4;

 

(f) provide for a structural exchange of information and best practices between all the stakeholders involved in the EFSI, namely on project development.

 

(g) provide decentralised technical assistance platforms for supporting development of SMEs, including start-ups and spin-offs, and their collaboration with universities and research organisations.

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

To meet that objective, the EIAH shall use the expertise of the EIB, the Commission, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds.

To meet that objective, the EIAH shall use the expertise of the EIB, the Commission, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds. The EIAH shall especially build upon the good practices from existing technical assistance programmes.

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

National contributions to the EFSI shall follow the same rules as other public spending and investing, must be a priority of budget policy and not undermine the rules of the stability pact.

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall be governed by a Steering Board, which shall determine the strategic orientation, the strategic asset allocation and operating policies and procedures, including the investment policy of projects that EFSI can support and the risk profile of the EFSI, in conformity with the objectives under Article 5(2). The Steering Board shall elect one of its members to be Chairperson.

1. The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall be governed by a Steering Board. The Steering Board shall determine the strategic orientation, the strategic asset allocation and operating policies and procedures, including the investment policy of projects that EFSI can support and the risk profile of the EFSI, in conformity with this Regulation and set up investment guidelines in addition to but not in conflict with those of Article 5(2) for the use of the EU guarantee to be implemented by the Investment Committee. The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 17 concerning the investment guidelines.

2. For as long as the only contributors to the EFSI are the Union and the EIB, the number of members and votes within the Steering Board shall be allocated based on the respective size of contributions in the form of cash or guarantees.

2. For as long as the only contributors to the EFSI are the Union and the EIB, the number of members and votes within the Steering Board shall be allocated based on the respective size of contributions in the form of cash or guarantees.

The Steering Board shall take decisions by consensus.

The Steering Board shall take decisions by consensus.

3. When other parties accede to the EFSI Agreement in accordance with Article 1(2), the number of members and votes within the Steering Board shall be allocated based on the respective size of contributions from contributors in the form of cash or guarantees. The number of members and votes of the Commission and the EIB, according to paragraph 2, shall be recalculated accordingly.

3. When other parties accede to the EFSI Agreement in accordance with Article 1(2), the number of members and votes within the Steering Board shall be allocated based on the respective size of contributions from contributors in the form of cash or guarantees. The number of members and votes of the Commission and the EIB, according to paragraph 2, shall be recalculated accordingly.

The Steering Board shall strive to make decisions by consensus. If the Steering Board is not able to decide by consensus within a deadline set by the Chairperson, the Steering Board shall take a decision by simple majority.

The Steering Board shall strive to make decisions by consensus. If the Steering Board is not able to decide by consensus within a deadline set by the Chairperson, the Steering Board shall take a decision by simple majority.

No decision of the Steering Board shall be adopted if the Commission or the EIB votes against it.

No decision of the Steering Board shall be adopted if the Commission or the EIB votes against it.

4 The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have a Managing Director, who shall be responsible for the day-to-day management of the EFSI and the preparation and chairing of meetings of the Investment Committee referred to in paragraph 5. The Managing Director shall be assisted by a Deputy Managing Director..

4 The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have a Managing Director, who shall be responsible for the day-to-day management of the EFSI and the preparation and chairing of meetings of the Investment Committee referred to in paragraph 5. The Managing Director shall be assisted by a Deputy Managing Director.

The Managing Director shall report every quarter on the activities of the EFSI to the Steering Board.

The Managing Director shall report every quarter on the activities of the EFSI to the Steering Board.

The Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director shall be appointed by the Steering Board on a joint proposal of the Commission and the EIB for a renewable fixed term of three years.

The Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director shall be appointed by the Steering Board on a joint proposal of the Commission and the EIB for a renewable fixed term of three years.

5. The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have an Investment Committee, which shall be responsible for examining potential operations in line with the EFSI investment policies and approving the support of the EU guarantee for operations in line with Article 5, irrespective of their geographic location.

5. The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have an Investment Committee, which shall be responsible for examining potential operations that are fully in line with objectives and criteria established in Article 5 of this Regulation and irrespective of their geographic location.

The Investment Committee shall be composed of six independent experts and the Managing Director. Independent experts shall have a high level of relevant market experience in project finance and be appointed by the Steering Board for a renewable fixed term of three years.

The Investment Committee shall be composed of at least six independent experts and the Managing Director. In appointing the experts to the Investment Committee, the Steering Board shall ensure that the composition of the Investment Committee is diversified and that these experts have a high level of relevant market experience in project structuring and project financing in the areas of investment projects as listed in Article 5.2.

 

The Investment Committee shall be appointed by the Steering Board for a renewable fixed term of up to three years The experts shall be appointed in an open and transparent selection procedure.

Decisions of the Investment Committee shall be taken by simple majority.

Decisions of the Investment Committee shall be taken by simple majority.

Amendment  61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Union shall provide a guarantee to the EIB for financing or investment operations carried out within the Union covered by this Regulation ('EU guarantee'). The EU guarantee shall be granted as a guarantee on demand in respect of instruments referred to in Article 6.

The Union shall provide an irrevocable, and unconditional guarantee for financing or investment operations carried out within the Union, covered by this Regulation ('EU guarantee'). The EU guarantee shall be granted as a guarantee on demand in respect of instruments referred to in Article 6.

Amendment  62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The EU guarantee shall be granted for EIB financing and investment operations approved by the Investment Committee referred to in Article 3(5) or funding to the EIF in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations in accordance with Article 7(2). The operations concerned shall be consistent with Union policies and support any of the following general objectives:

The EU guarantee shall be granted for EIB financing and investment operations approved by the Investment Committee referred to in Article 3(5) or for funding to the EIF in accordance with Article 7(2) in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations approved by that Investment Committee. The operations concerned shall be consistent with Union policies and shall support one or more of the following general objectives:

(a) development of infrastructure, including in the areas of transport, particularly in industrial centres; energy, in particular energy interconnections; and digital infrastructure;

(a) development of transport infrastructure, particularly in industrial centres;

(b) investment in education and training, health, research and development, information and communications technology and innovation;

(b) development and modernisation of energy infrastructure in accordance with the Energy Union priorities and the 2020, 2030 and 2050 Climate and Energy frameworks, in particular interconnections, smart grids at distribution level, energy storage and the synchronisation of markets;

(c) expansion of renewable energy and energy and resource efficiency;

(c) expansion of renewable energy, resource efficiency, energy efficiency and energy savings, with a particular focus on reducing demand through demand-side management and the refurbishment of buildings;

(d) infrastructure projects in the environmental, natural resources, urban development and social fields;

(d) development of information and communication technologies, of digital and telecom infrastructures and of broadband networks across the entire Union;

(e) providing financial support for the companies referred to in Article 1(1), including working capital risk financing.

(e) investment in innovation, research and development, including research infrastructure, pilot and demonstration projects, collaborations between the academia and industry, and knowledge and technology transfer;

 

(f) investment in education, training, entrepreneurial skills;

 

(g) investment in innovative health solutions, such as eHealth and new effective medicines, and in the social sector; 

 

(h) investment in the cultural and creative industries;

 

(i) investment in projects and infrastructure in the field of environmental protection and management; strengthening of eco-system services and sustainable urban development;

 

(j) financial support, including the provision of working capital risk financing, for SMEs, start-ups, spin-offs and small mid-cap companies through the EIF, and for mid-cap companies, in order to ensure technology leadership in innovative and sustainable sectors;

 

(k) financing of projects which are in line with the objectives of Horizon 2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility;

 

The EFSI shall support only projects and operations that:

 

(a) are consistent with Union policies and create smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; that comply with the objectives of Article 9 and that are in line with Article 10 and Annex I of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013;

 

(b) are economically and technically viable;

 

(c) ensure additionality;

 

(d) maximise the mobilisation of private sector capital;

 

(e) have a net societal benefit, including the creation of sustainable jobs, taking into account the costs and benefits of the project throughout its expected lifetime;

In addition, the EU guarantee shall be granted for support of dedicated investment platforms and national promotional banks, via the EIB, that invest in operations meeting the requirements of this Regulation. In that case, the Steering Board shall specify policies regarding eligible investment platforms.

In addition, the EU guarantee shall be granted, through the EIB, for financing and investment operations conducted by dedicated investment platforms and national promotional banks, after approval by the Investment Committee referred to in Article 3(5). The operations concerned shall be consistent with Union policies and shall comply with the eligibility criteria laid down in Article 5(2). The Steering Board shall specify policies regarding eligible investment platforms.

Amendment  63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. The EFSI shall offer privileged access to guarantees for small projects and small actors, following a de-risking strategy. Such guarantees shall be granted inter alia for the establishment of:

 

(a) a dedicated Energy Efficiency Fund covering an amount of guarantees of at least EUR 5 000 000 000 notably to support projects promoted by cities and local governments;

 

(b) a dedicated SME Fund covering an amount of at least EUR 5 000 000 000 which shall be implemented by the EIF, as defined in Article 7.

Amendment  64

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2b. Investments shall comply with the investment guidelines and criteria adopted by the EIB on 23 July 2013.

Amendment  65

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use European Structural and Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects in which the EIB is investing with the support of the EU guarantee.

4. Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use any type of Union financing, including European Structural and Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects in which the EIB is investing with the support of the EU guarantee

Justification

It should made be clear that any type of Union financing can be used to co-finance operations and projects backed by the EU guarantee, not only the financing made available by the European Structural and Investment Funds

Amendment  66

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a. The Commission, the EIB and the Member States shall ensure that all the investments with the support of the EFSI take into consideration their impact by sector at local and regional level on economic, social and territorial cohesion, increasing demand without affecting supply, and foster synergies and effective coordination between the EFSI and the European Structural and Investment Funds, in order to ensure that they contribute to the achievement of the Union’s economic, social and territorial cohesion and to reduce unemployment.

Amendment  67

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) EIB loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees, capital market instruments, any other form of funding or credit enhancement instrument, equity or quasi-equity participations. These Instruments shall be granted, acquired or issued for the benefit of operations carried out in the Union, including cross-border operations between a Member State and a third country, in compliance with this Regulation and where EIB financing has been granted in accordance with a signed agreement which has neither expired nor been cancelled;

(a) EIB loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees, capital market instruments, any other form of funding or credit enhancement instrument, equity or quasi-equity participations, including through national promotional banks or institutions or investment platforms. These Instruments shall be granted, acquired or issued for the benefit of operations carried out in the Union, including cross-border operations between a Member State and a third country, in compliance with this Regulation and where EIB financing has been granted in accordance with a signed agreement which has neither expired nor been cancelled;

Amendment  68

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 2 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) EIB funding to the EIF enabling it to undertake loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees, any other form of credit enhancement instrument, capital market instruments and equity or quasi-equity participations. These Instruments shall be granted, acquired or issued for the benefit of operations carried out in the Union, in compliance with this Regulation and where EIF financing has been granted in accordance with a signed agreement which has neither expired nor been cancelled.

(b) EIB funding to the EIF enabling it to undertake loans, guarantees, counter-guarantees, any other form of credit enhancement instrument, capital market instruments and equity or quasi-equity participations, including through national promotional banks or institutions or investment platforms. These Instruments shall be granted, acquired or issued for the benefit of operations carried out in the Union, in compliance with this Regulation and where EIF financing has been granted in accordance with a signed agreement which has neither expired nor been cancelled.

Amendment  69

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The EU guarantee to the EIB shall be of an amount equal to EUR 16 000 000 000, of which a maximum amount of EUR 2 500 000 000 may be allocated for EIB funding to the EIF in accordance with paragraph 2. Without prejudice to Article 8(9), aggregate payments from the Union under the guarantee to the EIB shall not exceed the amount of the guarantee.

1. The EU guarantee to the EIB shall be of an amount equal to EUR 16 000 000 000, of which at least EUR 5 000 000 000 shall be allocated for EIB funding to the EIF in accordance with paragraph 2, for the purposes set out in Article 1. Without prejudice to Article 8(9), aggregate payments from the Union under the guarantee to the EIB shall not exceed the amount of the guarantee. An amount of at least EUR 5 000 000 000 shall be allocated for EIB funding to the Dedicated Energy Efficiency Fund in accordance with Article 5(2)..

 

1a. The EU guarantee shall be granted for support of alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFM), which manage alternative investment funds (AIFs) authorised in accordance with Directive 2011/61/EU, managers of collective investment undertakings authorised in accordance with Regulation 2013/345/EU, and managers of collective investment undertakings in accordance with Regulation 2013/346/EC, based on an agreement with the EIB or the EIF in accordance with paragraph 2 and provided that these activities comply with the objectives and eligibility criteria set out in Article 5.2.

2. The coverage of the guarantee over a particular type of instrument portfolio, referred to in Article 6, shall be determined by the risk of that portfolio. The EU guarantee shall be eligible to provide either first loss guarantees on a portfolio basis or a full guarantee. The EU guarantee may be granted on a pari passu basis with other contributors.

2. The coverage of the guarantee over a particular type of instrument portfolio, referred to in Article 6, shall be determined by the risk of that portfolio. The EU guarantee shall be eligible to provide either first loss guarantees on a portfolio basis or a full guarantee. The EU guarantee may be granted on a pari passu basis with other contributors.

Where the EIB provides funding to the EIF in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations, the EU guarantee shall provide for a full guarantee on funding by the EIB provided that an equal amount of funding is provided by the EIB without EU guarantee. The amount covered by the EU guarantee shall not exceed EUR 2 500 000 000.

Where the EIB provides funding to the EIF in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations, the EU guarantee shall provide for a full guarantee on funding by the EIB provided that an equal amount of funding is provided by the EIB without EU guarantee. The amount covered by the EU guarantee shall be at least EUR 5 000 000 000. This funding shall be used to support SMEs, start-ups, spin-offs and small mid-caps.

3. Where the EIB calls the EU guarantee in accordance with the EFSI Agreement, the Union shall pay on demand in accordance with the terms of that Agreement.

3. Where the EIB calls the EU guarantee in accordance with the EFSI Agreement, the Union shall pay on demand in accordance with the terms of that Agreement.

4. Where the Union makes any payment under the EU guarantee, the EIB shall pursue the recovery of claims for the amounts paid and reimburse the Union from the sums recovered.

4. Where the Union makes any payment under the EU guarantee, the EIB shall pursue the recovery of claims for the amounts paid and reimburse the Union from the sums recovered.

Amendment  70

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. An EU guarantee fund ('guarantee fund') shall be established from which the EIB may be paid in the event of a call on the EU guarantee.

1. An EU guarantee fund ('guarantee fund') shall be established which shall constitute a liquidity cushion from which the EIB shall be paid in the event of a call on the EU guarantee.

2. The guarantee fund shall be endowed by:

2. The guarantee fund shall be endowed by:

(a) payments from the general budget of the Union,

(a) contributions from the general budget of the Union;

(b) returns on guarantee fund resources invested,

(b) returns on guarantee fund resources invested;

(c) amounts recovered from defaulting debtors in accordance with the recovery procedure laid down in the EFSI Agreement as provided for in Article 2(1)(f),

(c) amounts recovered from defaulting debtors in accordance with the recovery procedure laid down in the EFSI Agreement as provided for in point (f) of Article 2(1);

(d) any other payments received by the Union in accordance with the EFSI Agreement.

(d) revenues and any other payments received by the Union in accordance with the EFSI Agreement.

3. Endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 shall constitute internal assigned revenues in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU) No 966/2012.

3. Endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 shall constitute internal assigned revenues in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU) No 966/2012.

4. The resources of the guarantee fund provided to it under paragraph 2 shall be directly managed by the Commission and invested in accordance with the principle of sound financial management and follow appropriate prudential rules.

4. The resources of the guarantee fund provided to it under paragraph 2 shall be directly managed by the Commission and invested in accordance with the principle of sound financial management and follow appropriate prudential rules.

5. Endowments to the guarantee fund referred to in paragraph 2 shall be used to reach an appropriate level to reflect the total EU guarantee obligations ('target amount'). The target amount shall be set at 50% of the Union's total guarantee obligations.

5. Endowments to the guarantee fund referred to in paragraph 2 shall be used to reach an appropriate level to reflect the total EU guarantee obligations ('target amount'). The target amount shall be set at 50% of the Union's total guarantee obligations.

The target amount shall initially be met by the gradual payment of resources referred to in paragraph 2(a). If there have been calls on the guarantee during the initial constitution of the guarantee fund, endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 shall also contribute to meet the target amount up to an amount equal to the calls on the guarantee.

The target amount shall initially be met by 2022 at the latest through the gradual payment of resources referred to in point (a) of paragraph 2 as well as endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2.

 

5a. The necessary appropriations to meet the initial target amount shall be gradually authorised by the European Parliament and the Council in the framework of the annual budgetary procedure, taking due account of all means available under the Council Regulation No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, with particular recourse to the Global Margin for Commitments and the Flexibility Instrument.

 

The financing of the guarantee fund, both in respect of commitment and payment appropriations, shall be reviewed by the European Parliament and the Council in the context of the post-electoral review / revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, to be launched by the end of 2016 at the latest, as foreseen in Article 2 of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013.

 

In the event that redeployments from EU programmes were agreed in the framework of the annual budgetary procedure as source of financing for the EU guarantee in the years preceding the MFF review /revision, the European Parliament and the Council shall restore their initial budgets.

6. By 31 December 2018, and every year thereafter, the Commission shall review the adequacy of the level of the guarantee fund taking into account any reduction of resources resulting from the activation of the guarantee and the EIB's assessment submitted in accordance with Article 10(3).

6. By 31 December 2018, and every year thereafter, the Commission shall review the adequacy of the level of the guarantee fund taking into account any reduction of resources resulting from the activation of the guarantee and the EIB's assessment submitted in accordance with Article 10(3).

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 17 adjusting the target amount provided for in paragraph 5 by a maximum of 10% to better reflect the potential risk of the EU guarantee being called.

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 17 adjusting downwards the target level provided for in paragraph 5 by a maximum of 10% to better reflect the potential risk of the EU guarantee being called.

7. Following an adjustment in year n of the target amount or an assessment on the adequacy of the level of the guarantee fund in accordance with the review provided for in paragraph 6:

7. Following an adjustment in year n of the target level or an assessment on the adequacy of the resources available in the guarantee fund in accordance with the review provided for in paragraph 6:

(e) any surplus shall be paid in one transaction to a special heading in the statement of revenue in the general budget of the European Union of the year n+1,

(a) any surplus in the guarantee fund shall constitute internal assigned revenue in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 for any lines which may have been used as a source of redeployment to the EFSI guarantee fund,

(f) any replenishment of the guarantee fund shall be paid in annual tranches during a maximum period of three years starting on year n+1.

(b) any replenishment of the guarantee fund shall be paid in annual tranches during a maximum period of three years starting on year n+1.

8. From 1 January 2019, if as a result of calls on the guarantee, the level of the guarantee fund falls below 50% of the target amount, the Commission shall submit a report on exceptional measures that may be required to replenish it.

8. If as a result of calls on the guarantee, the resources of the guarantee fund fall below 50% of the liabilities that have been incurred at the given moment the Commission shall submit a report on exceptional measures that may be required to replenish it.

9. Subsequent to a call on the EU guarantee, endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 over and above the target amount shall be used to restore the EU guarantee up to its initial amount.

9. Subsequent to a call on the EU guarantee, endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 shall be used to restore the EU guarantee up to its target amount. Any remaining remuneration shall constitute internal assigned revenue in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 for any lines which may have been used as a source of redeployment to the EFSI guarantee fund.

 

9a. In the event that additional surplus remains, after requirements under paragraphs 7(a) and 9 have been fully met, the Commission shall present a proposal on an increase of the overall level of the EU guarantee, leading to a reinforcement of the investment plan.

Amendment  71

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, shall promote the creation of a transparent pipeline of current and potential future investment projects in the Union. The pipeline is without prejudice to the final projects selected for support according to Article 3(5).

1. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, involving regional and local authorities and economic and social partners, shall promote the creation of a transparent pipeline of current and potential future investment projects in the Union. The pipeline is without prejudice to the final projects selected for support according to Article 3(5) but should state the compliance of the proposed projects to the objectives and eligibility criteria laid down in Article 5.

Amendment  72

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission and the EIB shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular and structured basis, information on current and future investments which significantly contribute to achieving EU policy objectives.

2. The Commission and the EIB shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular, structured and transparent basis, information on current and future investments which significantly contribute to achieving EU policy objectives, specifically information concerning energy and the environment for 2020, 2030 so as to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, circular and sharing economy.

Amendment  73

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Member States shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular and structured basis, information on current and future investment projects in their territory.

3. Member States and regional and local authorities shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular and structured basis, information on current and future investment projects in their territory.

Amendment  74

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall report semi-annually to the Commission on EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation. The report shall include an assessment of compliance with the requirements on the use of the EU guarantee and the key performance indicators established pursuant to Article 2(1)(g). The report shall also include statistical, financial and accounting data on each EIB financing and investment operation and on an aggregated basis.

1. The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall report semi-annually to the Commission on EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation. The report shall include an assessment of compliance with the requirements on the use of the EU guarantee and the key performance indicators established pursuant to Article 2(1)(g). The report shall also include statistical, financial and accounting data on each EIB financing and investment operation and on an aggregated basis. The report shall be set up in a transparent, independent way and shall be made public.

2. The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall report annually to the European Parliament and to the Council on EIB financing and investment operations. The report shall be made public and include:

2. The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall report annually to the European Parliament and to the Council on EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation. The report shall be made public and include:

(a) an assessment of EIB financing and investment operations at operation, sector, country and regional levels and their compliance with this Regulation, together with an assessment of the allocation of EIB financing and investment operations between the objectives in Article 5(2);

(a) an assessment of EIB financing and investment operations at operation, sector, country and regional levels, their level of additionality and their compliance with this Regulation, together with an assessment of the allocation of EIB financing and investment operations between the objectives in Article 5(2) with a specific mentioning of guarantees granted to energy efficiency projects;

(b) an assessment of the added value, the mobilisation of private sector resources, the estimated and actual outputs, outcomes and impact of EIB financing and investment operations at an aggregated basis;

(b) an assessment of the economic and societal added value, the territorial cohesion, the mobilisation of private sector resources, the estimated and actual outputs, outcomes and impact of EIB financing and investment operations at an aggregated basis, and by project level, where disclosure of data is allowed; this assessment should specify how and to what extent the objectives and criteria set out in Article 5(2) have been achieved, such as the impact on the creation of future-oriented, sustainable and local jobs, with special attention to SMEs, the sustainable transition of the EU's economy, the further development of digital technologies, the preservation and increase of the viability of ecosystem services, the diminishing of EU's dependency on imported energy and on natural resources, the increase of the competiveness and the innovation potential of the Union's economy and the EU's leadership in new technologies and markets;

(c) an assessment of the financial benefit transferred to beneficiaries of EIB financing and investment operations on an aggregated basis;

(c) an assessment of the financial benefit transferred to beneficiaries of EIB financing and investment operations on an aggregated basis;

(d) an assessment of the quality of EIB financing and investment operations;

(d) an assessment of the quality of EIB financing and investment operations;

(e) detailed information on calls on the EU guarantee;

(e) detailed information on calls on the EU guarantee;

(f) the financial statements of the EFSI.

(f) the financial statements of the EFSI.

3. For the purposes of the Commission's accounting and reporting of the risks covered by the EU guarantee and management of the guarantee fund, the EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall provide the Commission every year:

3. For the purposes of the Commission's accounting and reporting of the risks covered by the EU guarantee and management of the guarantee fund, the EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall provide the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council semi-annually with:

(a) the EIB's and EIF's risk assessment and grading information concerning EIB financing and investment operations;

(a) the EIB's and EIF's risk assessment and grading information concerning EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation;

(b) the outstanding financial obligation for the EU concerning the guarantees provided towards EIB financing and investment operations broken down by the individual operations;

(b) the outstanding financial obligation for the EU concerning the guarantees provided towards EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation broken down by the individual operations;

(c) the total profits or losses deriving from the EIB financing and investment operations within the portfolios provided by the EFSI Agreement pursuant to Article 2(1)(e).

(c) the total profits or losses deriving from the EIB financing and investment operations within the portfolios provided by the EFSI Agreement pursuant to Article 2(1)(e).

4. The EIB shall provide to the Commission upon request any additional information necessary to fulfil the Commission's obligations in relation to this Regulation.

4. The EIB shall provide to the Commission upon request any additional information necessary to fulfil the Commission's obligations in relation to this Regulation.

5. The EIB, and EIF as appropriate, shall provide the information referred to in paragraphs 1 to 4 at their own expense.

5. The EIB, and EIF as appropriate, shall provide the information referred to in paragraphs 1 to 4 at their own expense.

6. The Commission shall, by 30 June of each year, send to the European Parliament, the Council and the Court of Auditors an annual report on the situation of the guarantee fund and the management thereof in the previous calendar year.

6. The Commission shall, by 30 June of each year, send to the European Parliament, the Council and the Court of Auditors an annual report on the situation of the guarantee fund and the management thereof in the previous calendar year.

Amendment  75

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. At the request of the European Parliament, the Managing Director shall participate in a hearing of the European Parliament on the performance of the EFSI.

1. On a quarterly basis or upon specific request of the European Parliament, the Managing Director shall participate in a hearing of the European Parliament on the performance of the EFSI and the decisions taken by the investment committee.

Amendment  76

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 12

Article 12

Evaluation and Review

Evaluation

1. At the latest [PO insert date: 18 months after the entry into force of this Regulation] the EIB shall evaluate the functioning of the EFSI. The EIB shall submit its evaluation to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission;

1. At the latest [PO insert date: 12 months after the entry into force of this Regulation] the EIB shall submit an evaluation on the functioning of the EFSI to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission;

At the latest [PO insert date: 18 months after the entry into force of this Regulation] the Commission shall evaluate the use of the EU guarantee and the functioning of the guarantee fund, including the use of endowments according to Article 8(9). The Commission shall submit its evaluation to the European Parliament and the Council.

At the latest [PO insert date: 12 months after the entry into force of this Regulation] the Commission shall evaluate the use of the EU guarantee and the functioning of the guarantee fund, including the use of endowments according to Article 8(9). The Commission shall annually submit its evaluation to the European Parliament and the Council.

2. By 30 June 2018 and every three years thereafter:

2. Annually, and 6 months after the date of termination of the agreement of EFSI:

(a) the EIB shall publish a comprehensive report on the functioning of the EFSI;

(a) the EIB shall publish a comprehensive report on the functioning of the EFSI;

(b) the Commission shall publish a comprehensive report on the use of the EU guarantee and the functioning of the guarantee fund.

(b) the Commission shall publish a comprehensive report on the use of the EU guarantee and the functioning of the guarantee fund.

3. The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall contribute to and provide the necessary information for the Commission evaluation and report under paragraph 1 and 2 respectively.

3. The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall contribute to and provide the necessary information for the Commission evaluation and report under paragraph 1 and 2 respectively.

4. The EIB and EIF shall on a regular basis provide the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission with all their independent evaluation reports which assess the practical results achieved by the specific activities of the EIB and EIF under this Regulation.

4. The EIB and EIF shall on a regular basis provide the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission with all their independent evaluation reports which assess the practical results achieved by the specific activities of the EIB and EIF under this Regulation.

5. At the latest [PO insert date three years after the entry into force of this Regulation], the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation accompanied by any relevant proposal.

5. At the latest [PO insert date three years after the entry into force of this Regulation], the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation and the evaluation of the eligibility criteria applied by the investment committee and defined in Article 5, accompanied by any relevant proposal.

Amendment  77

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In accordance with its own transparency policies on access to documents and information, the EIB shall make publicly available on its website information relating to all EIB financing and investment operations and how they contribute to the general objectives referred to in Article 5(2).

In accordance with its own transparency policies on access to documents and information, the EIB shall make publicly available on its website information relating to all EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation and specify how they contribute to the general objectives and eligibility criteria referred to in Article 5(2), to ensure a transparent communication to the public.

Amendment  78

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The EIB shall notify OLAF promptly and provide it with the necessary information when, at any stage of the preparation, implementation or closure of operations subject to the EU guarantee, it has grounds to suspect that there is a potential case of fraud, corruption, money laundering or other illegal activity that may affect the financial interests of the Union.

1. The EIB shall notify OLAF promptly and provide it with the necessary information when, at any stage of the preparation, implementation or closure of operations subject to the EU guarantee, it has grounds to suspect that there is a potential case of conflict of interests, fraud, corruption, money laundering or other illegal activity that may affect the financial interests of the Union.

Amendment  79

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. In its financing and investment operations, the EIB shall not support any activities carried out for illegal purposes, including money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax fraud and tax evasion, corruption, or fraud affecting the financial interests of the Union. In particular the EIB shall not participate in any financing or investment operation through a vehicle located in a non-cooperative jurisdiction, in line with its policy towards weakly regulated or non-cooperative jurisdictions based on policies of the Union, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development or the Financial Action Task Force.

1. In its financing and investment operations under this Regulation, the EIB shall not support any activities carried out for illegal purposes, including money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax fraud and tax evasion, corruption, or fraud affecting the financial interests of the Union. In particular the EIB shall not participate in any financing or investment operation through a vehicle located in a non-cooperative jurisdiction, in line with its policy towards weakly regulated or non-cooperative jurisdictions based on policies of the Union, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development or the Financial Action Task Force.

Amendment  80

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. In its financing and investment operations, the EIB shall not support activities that hamper the Union on its path towards sustainable economic, scientific and social progress; in that regard, the EIB shall not participate in any projects that create a lock-in into technologies, production processes or infrastructures that are at the risk of stranding as they are not in line with the EU’s digital, energy and climate objectives for 2020, 2030 and 2050

Amendment  81

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. In its financing and investment operations, the EIB shall apply the principles and standards set out in Union law on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing, including a requirement to take reasonable measures to identify the beneficial owners where applicable.

2. In its financing and investment operations under this Regulation, the EIB shall apply the principles and standards set out in Union law on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing, including a requirement to take reasonable measures to identify the beneficial owners where applicable.

Amendment  82

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a. A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 2(2) shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or by the Council within a period of one month of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by one month at the initiative of the European Parliament or of the Council.

Justification

The delegated act containing the EFSI agreement should be adopted in a swift manner, hence the response time by Parliament and Council has been reduced to one month.

Amendment  83

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18

Regulation (EU) No 1291/2014

Article 6

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

Justification

Linked to amendment on Article 8. The funding of the GF does not have to be fixed at the time of the adoption of the EFSI Regulation. It can be left to the annual budgetary procedure. Horizon 2020 already contributes greatly, to investment in R&D and Innovation with a great leverage effect. It has been adopted through a lengthy legislative process that carefully identified the priority areas, the different instruments and the recipients, reaching a delicate balance.

Amendment  84

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19

Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013

Article 5

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

Justification

Linked to amendment on Article 8. The funding of the GF does not have to be fixed at the time of the adoption of the EFSI Regulation. It can be left to the annual budgetary procedure. CEF already contributes greatly, to investment in energy, telecom and transport infrastructures, with a high leverage effect. It has been adopted through a lengthy legislative process that carefully identified the projects of common interest and the different instruments to be used.

Amendment  85

Proposal for a regulation

Annex I

Regulation (EU) No 1291/2014

Annex II

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

Justification

Linked to amendment on Article 8. The funding of the GF does not have to be fixed at the time of the adoption of the EFSI Regulation. It can be left to the annual budgetary procedure. Horizon 2020 already contributes greatly, to investment in R&D and Innovation with a great leverage effect. It has been adopted through a lengthy legislative process that carefully identified the priority areas, the different instruments and the recipients– reaching a delicate balance.

PROCEDURE

Title

European Fund for Strategic Investments

References

COM(2015)0010 – C8-0007/2015 – 2015/0009(COD)

Committees responsible

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

28.1.2015

ECON

28.1.2015

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

ITRE

28.1.2015

Associated committees - date announced in plenary

9.3.2015

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Kathleen Van Brempt

10.2.2015

Rule 55 – joint committee meetings

       Date announced in plenary

       

9.3.2015

Discussed in committee

9.3.2015

24.3.2015

 

 

Date adopted

14.4.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

53

5

6

Members present for the final vote

Zigmantas Balčytis, Bendt Bendtsen, Jerzy Buzek, Soledad Cabezón Ruiz, Philippe De Backer, Pilar del Castillo Vera, Christian Ehler, Peter Eriksson, Fredrick Federley, Ashley Fox, Adam Gierek, Theresa Griffin, András Gyürk, Roger Helmer, Hans-Olaf Henkel, Dawid Bohdan Jackiewicz, Kaja Kallas, Barbara Kappel, Seán Kelly, Jeppe Kofod, Miapetra Kumpula-Natri, Janusz Lewandowski, Paloma López Bermejo, Ernest Maragall, Edouard Martin, Angelika Mlinar, Csaba Molnár, Nadine Morano, Dan Nica, Aldo Patriciello, Morten Helveg Petersen, Miroslav Poche, Miloslav Ransdorf, Michel Reimon, Herbert Reul, Paul Rübig, Algirdas Saudargas, Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Antonio Tajani, Dario Tamburrano, Patrizia Toia, Evžen Tošenovský, Claude Turmes, Miguel Urbán Crespo, Vladimir Urutchev, Adina-Ioana Vălean, Kathleen Van Brempt, Henna Virkkunen, Martina Werner, Hermann Winkler, Anna Záborská, Flavio Zanonato

Substitutes present for the final vote

José Blanco López, Simona Bonafè, Lefteris Christoforou, Eugen Freund, Werner Langen, Michèle Rivasi, Marco Zullo

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Daniela Aiuto, Enrique Calvet Chambon, Stanisław Ożóg, Helga Stevens

(1)

Luca Bergamaschi, Louia Casson, Jonathan Gaventa, ERG, "Europe's choice: low-carbon growth or high-carbon risks? Analysis of Member State Proposals for the European Investment Plan", 28 January 2015.


OPINION of the Committee on Transport and Tourism(*) (15.4.2015)

for the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee of the Budgets

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Fund for Strategic Investments and amending Regulations (EU) No 1291/2013 and (EU) No 1316/2013

(COM(2015)0010 – C8-0007/2015 – 2015/0009(COD))

Rapporteurs(*): Inés Ayala Sender and Dominique Riquet

(*)       Associated committee – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

I. General remarks

Europe has been suffering from a lack of investment since the financial and economic crisis. The absolutely needed decision to recapitalise the banking system has increased public debt levels - and in most cases this came on top of already tensed budgets - which reduced the amount of public money available for investment. At the same time, there are significant amounts of liquid assets held by the private sector, notably as a result of quantitative easing policies led by central banks, which are not redirected into the real economy. The consequences of this under-investment have been disastrous for competitiveness, growth and jobs. While other regions of the world have started overcoming the crisis by investing in their industrial equipment, some European countries are still lagging behind.

In this context, your rapporteurs welcome the Commission proposal of a European Fund for Strategic Investments aimed at boosting economic activity and thus job creation through a common effort at EU level. They support the resort to innovative financial instruments which will allow, through the association of public and private partners and if carried in an efficient, sure and centralised way, the optimisation of the use of resources. Your rapporteurs also agree with the idea that the EFSI should be based on a list of projects with European added value, which are potentially viable and can foster growth. The areas targeted by the fund, namely infrastructures, in the field of transport, energy and telecommunications, as well as research, development, education, sustainable use of resources and SMEs, also seem very relevant.

However, while they support the principle of creating this fund, your rapporteurs have a number of concerns, especially on its concrete implementation.

II. Size and origin of the funds supporting the EU guarantee fund

First of all, your rapporteurs have some doubts about the size of the fund which appears rather modest given the investment needs. An EU budget contribution of 8 billion for a 16-billion guarantee will necessitate a very high leverage effect given the risk profile of the projects concerned in order to reach the target of 315 billion of euros of investment. Moreover, this target is only a small part of estimated investment needs which amount to 1000 billion of euros for the achievement of trans-European networks in the field of transport and energy and for the deployment of broadband alone. As a comparison, the United States have injected 800 billion euros in their economy since 2009.

The origin of the appropriations to be used to support this fund and its guarantee besides the unallocated margins, namely Horizon 2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), cannot be accepted by your rapporteurs as a first resource. It is most unfortunate to jeopardise the two major programmes under the EU budget heading related to competiveness and growth which benefited from a large consultation and an overwhelming support from all stakeholders, are in line with Union policies and priorities, and already operational.

Your rapporteurs believe that transport should be an essential component of any EU investment plan as it boost all others economic sectors. Transport infrastructures projects generate jobs at three levels: during the building phase, during the exploitation process (services and industries) and through the increased competitiveness of the area concerned and beyond. Unfortunately, this sector suffers dramatically from the lack of investment.

This situation has led the European institutions to the creation of the CEF which entered into force on the 1st of January 2014. Based on a far-reaching consultation and democratically approved, this fund already targets projects with a European added value. These projects have to be viable and mature and have a clear economic and social impact while contributing to the achievement of the internal market. Additionally, it foresees the possibility of using innovative financial instruments for certain projects, therefore creating a leverage effect when possible. Finally, the CEF has already launched the first call for proposals of 12,2 billion. The proposed reduction of the CEF budget might lead to reducing the total amount available for the next 5 years of 2,2 billion, which is an average of only 400 million euros per year, very far away from the investment needs of the EU.

Horizon 2020 also plays an essential role for transport. By supporting the development of new technologies aimed at making aircraft, vehicles and vessels cleaner, this programme contributes to reduce the transport impact on the environment. Moreover, new mobility concepts developed under Horizon 2020 should help improve road safety and reduce congestion. Potential gains in terms of efficiency are of the upmost importance for the competitiveness of European transport industries and related services.

Under these circumstances, the decrease of the Horizon 2020 and CEF envelopes to finance the guarantee of the EFSI does not seem appropriate to your rapporteurs. While they do not question the principle of a 16-billion guarantee supported by the EU budget, your rapporteurs propose to alleviate its impact on these programmes by funding the EFSI in priority through non-allocated resources within the EU budget. Only as a last resort, the guarantee fund may call for commitments from the non-used funds from programmes under heading 1A of the Multiannual Financial Framework.

III. Governance and criteria for the selection of projects

The necessity to act quickly has led to the creation of a mechanism which is fully integrated to the European Investment Bank (EIB) given its experience and its capability to start working immediately.

This might hamper the participation of major institutional actors and private capital holders. Moreover, the necessity to stay in line with the Union policies and to apply strategic choices made by the European institutions must be ensured and therefore the governance should not be only financial. Your rapporteurs therefore suggest to rebalance the system by replacing the Commission within the game, in particular when it comes to the investment committee’s decisions, and to reaffirm the importance to follow, in the transport sector, the guidelines for the development of the trans-European network which were agreed two years ago. This is all the more necessary that the democratic control will only be ex post and not on the day-to-day operating of the fund.

While they agree that the EFSI should finance projects that are potentially viable, mature and which can be implemented in the short term, your rapporteurs would like to recall the difficulties of the transport infrastructure projects to be financed under market conditions, even if these are improved through financial instruments. To avoid that the EIB concentrates on the business-as-usual type of transport projects which might not be totally aligned with the EU priorities, the draft report includes a series of amendments to incentivise the EIB to focus on priorities projects that the EU legislators have previously identified and that also have a strong socio- economic impact, including environmental sustainability.

In order to align EFSI with the EU policy on this field, this draft report introduces as eligible projects for EFSI support the pipeline pre-identified in the two regulations which set up the framework of EU policy on transport infrastructure in the medium term. Member States, the Commission, the Parliament, regions and stakeholders did this exercise when approving the TEN-T and CEF regulations at the end of 2013. CEF provides not only a comprehensive list of projects and priorities that both Member States are ready to implement in the next few years but it also identifies areas that could ensure a quick economical return and be potentially viable. Projects for instance in urban nodes where the high density of population can ensure enough revenues, intermodal stations, high-speed connexions with airports, urban and suburban rail systems are also just some examples of projects that could be of interest for investors. The draft opinion also conditions the EFSI support for projects that meet the standards of the trans-European transport guidelines which will avoid undesired problems of interoperability and network coherence.

IV. Incentives for public and private participation to the Juncker Plan

In order to make this investment plan successful, more work is needed on the regulatory adjustments so that the fund is more attractive to both the public and the private sector.

As regards Member States' participation, the new guidelines presented by the Commission(1) on the fiscal treatment that EFSI investments will have vis-à-vis the Stability and Growth Pact is a crucial point. It represents one of the main novelties of the investment package which paradoxically is not included in the EFSI regulation.

The European Parliament already proposed back in 2010 to grant to long-term investments in transport infrastructure a differentiated treatment when calculating the public deficit in the framework of the Pact(2). In this sense your rapporteurs welcome the new interpretation by the Commission, but in order to provide legal certainty, they suggest introducing this important change into the present legal proposal.

Furthermore, Member States under the excessive deficit procedure (EDP) should also be able to benefit from the application of the so-called "investment clause" (application to indirect national contributions) as it is precisely here where there is an urgent need to boost investments.

The fact that these projects have been approved by the EFSI governing bodies, the EIB and the Commission qualify them as genuinely projects of European Added Value which deserves a differentiated treatment. This will allow help Member States, in particular those with more difficulties to invest and to contribute to the EFSI.

As concerns the private sector' participation, and in order to restore investors' confidence, your rapporteurs consider that the regulatory environment should be significantly improved.

Action is needed to reduce the risk profile of projects targeted by the fund, which will require efforts in the field of taxation, public procurement and market opening. Particular attention should be paid to the supply side in order to boost European industry competitiveness, for example as regards energy prices. Finally, your rapporteurs think that a slight change to the Solvency II rules would be appropriate in order to attract more funds from the private sector. To put it in a nutshell, our regulatory environment must become more stable, readable and attractive to investment, which should have been a pre-condition to any EU investment plan.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Transport and Tourism calls on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee of the Budgets, as the committees responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) The economic and financial crisis has led to a lowering of the level of investments within the Union. Investment has fallen by approximately 15% since its peak in 2007. The Union suffers in particular from a lack of investment as a consequence of market uncertainty regarding the economic future and the fiscal constraints on Member States. This lack of investment slows economic recovery and negatively affects job creation, long-term growth prospects and competitiveness.

(1) The economic and financial crisis has led to a lowering of the level of investments within the Union. Investment has fallen by approximately 15% since its peak in 2007. The Union suffers in particular from a lack of investment as a consequence of market uncertainty regarding the economic future, of the fiscal constraints on Member States and of the absence of a business-friendly regulatory environment. This lack of investment, which has been particularly severe in Member States most affected by the crisis, slows economic recovery and negatively affects job creation, long-term growth prospects and competitiveness. According to the Commission, the investment needs for the trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and telecommunications for the period up to 2020 is EUR 970 billion.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) The EFSI is part of a comprehensive approach to address uncertainty surrounding public and private investments. The strategy has three pillars: mobilising finance for investment, making investment reach the real economy and improving the investment environment in the Union.

(8) The EFSI is part of a comprehensive approach to address uncertainty surrounding public and private investments. The strategy has three pillars: mobilising finance for investment, making investment reach the real economy and improving the investment environment in the Union. The strategy must complement the Union's economic, social, environmental and territorial cohesion objectives, as well as the EU 2020 Strategy.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) The investment environment within the Union should be improved by removing barriers to investment, reinforcing the Single Market and by enhancing regulatory predictability. The work of the EFSI, and investments across Europe generally, should benefit from this accompanying work.

(9) The investment environment within the Union should be improved by removing barriers to investment such as administrative burdens, reinforcing the Single Market and by enhancing the regulatory framework in order to make it more attractive in terms of simplicity, flexibility and stability. The work of the EFSI, and investments across Europe generally, should benefit from this accompanying work.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) The purpose of the EFSI should be to help resolve the difficulties in financing and implementing productive investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing. It is intended that increased access to financing should be of particular benefit to small and medium enterprises. It is also appropriate to extend the benefit of such increased access to financing to mid-cap companies, which are companies having up to 3000 employees. Overcoming Europe's current investment difficulties should contribute to strengthening the Union's economic, social and territorial cohesion.

(10) The purpose of the EFSI should be to help resolve the difficulties in financing and implementing productive investments in the Union and to ensure increased and fair access to financing for projects at all levels. It is intended that increased access to financing should be of particular benefit to small and medium-sized enterprises as well as innovative start-ups. It is also appropriate to extend the benefit of such increased access to financing to mid-cap companies, which are companies having up to 3000 employees. Overcoming Europe's current investment difficulties should contribute to strengthening the Union's economic, social and territorial cohesion.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) The EFSI should support strategic investments with high economic value added contributing to achieving Union policy objectives.

(11) The EFSI should support strategic investments with high economic value added contributing to achieving Union policy objectives in line with the Europe 2020 strategy. All operations under EFSI should be consistent with Union's policies including cohesion policy, and complementary to other relevant EU financial instruments. The investments should guarantee a high economic and social added value, promoting sustainable growth, innovation and high quality employment and skills, integrating and completing the single market and boosting the competitiveness of the Union. The EFSI should help to overcome Europe's current investment difficulties and thus should contribute to strengthening the Union's economic, social and territorial cohesion.

 

EFSI support to transport infrastructure should contribute to the objectives of Regulations (EU) 1315/2013 (CEF) and 1316/2013 (TEN-T) by creating new or missing infrastructure but also modernising and rehabilitating existing facilities while allowing financing operations of research and innovation in this sector. Particular attention should be given to synergy projects strengthening the connections between transport, telecommunications and energy sectors and smart and sustainable transport projects.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) The EFSI should target projects with a higher risk-return profile than existing EIB and Union instruments to ensure additionality over existing operations. The EFSI should finance projects across the Union, including in the countries most affected by the financial crisis. The EFSI should only be used where financing is not available from other sources on reasonable terms.

(15) The EFSI should target projects with a higher risk-return profile than those targeted by existing EIB and Union instruments to ensure additionality over existing operations. The EFSI should finance projects across the Union, especially in the countries most affected by the economic and financial crisis. The EFSI should only be used where financing is not available from other sources on reasonable terms.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) The EFSI should target investments that are expected to be economically and technically viable, which may entail a degree of appropriate risk, whilst still meeting the particular requirements for EFSI financing.

(16) The EFSI should target investments that are expected to be economically and technically viable and sustainable when they have an environmental impact, which may entail a degree of appropriate risk, whilst still meeting the particular requirements for EFSI financing.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) Decisions on the use of the EFSI support for infrastructure and large mid-cap projects should be made by an Investment Committee. The Investment Committee should be composed of independent experts who are knowledgeable and experienced in the areas of investment projects. The Investment Committee should be accountable to a Steering Board of the EFSI, who should supervise the fulfilment of the EFSI's objectives. To effectively benefit from the experience of the EIF, the EFSI should support funding to the EIF to allow the EIF to undertake individual projects in the areas of small and medium enterprises and small mid-cap companies.

(17) Decisions on the use of the EFSI support for infrastructure and large mid-cap projects should be made by an Investment Committee. The Investment Committee should be composed of independent experts who are knowledgeable and experienced in the areas of investment projects as well as in the investment areas concerned by the EFSI as defined in article 2a, paragraph 2, and a representative of the European Commission. This representative should co-operate closely with the respective Directorates-General of the Commission depending on the investment areas of the projects and ensure and confirm the consistency of potential operations with Union policies. The Investment Committee should be accountable to a Steering Board of the EFSI, who should supervise the fulfilment of the EFSI's objectives. To effectively benefit from the experience of the EIF, the EFSI should support funding to the EIF to allow the EIF to undertake individual projects in the areas of small and medium enterprises and small mid-cap companies.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(20) At the level of projects, third parties may co-finance together with EFSI on a project-by-project basis or in investment platforms related to specific geographic or thematic sectors.

(20) At the level of projects, third parties may co-finance together with EFSI on a project-by-project basis or in investment platforms which can relate to specific geographic or thematic sectors.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(21 a)The Commission Communication ("Making the best use of the flexibility within the existing rules of the Stability and Growth Pact") of 13 January 2015 sets out the specific considerations applicable to contributions to the EFSI in the context of its assessment of public finances according to Article 126 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Projects that have been approved by the EFSI governing bodies and according to the EU’s policies, qualify as genuinely projects of European Added Value which deserve a differentiated treatment vis à vis the Stability and Growth Pact. In order to promote Member States, national promotional banks and investment platforms to contribute to EFSI and its operations, these contributions and participations in EFSI projects should be considered as one-off measures within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No1467/97. And 1466/97.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(21 b) The financial contributions to the EFSI or to the dedicated investment platforms by Member States or by national promotional banks shall not be taken into account by the European Commission when defining the fiscal adjustment under either the preventive or the corrective arm of the Stability and Growth Pact. In addition, making the best use of the flexibility of the Pact, the financial contributions on behalf of the State for individual operations which are supported by the EFSI shall not be taken into account by the European Commission when defining the fiscal adjustment under either the preventive or the corrective arm of the Pact.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 23

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(23) Given the need for urgent action within the Union, the EIB and the EIF may have financed additional projects, outside of their usual profile, in the course of 2015 before the entry into force of this Regulation. In order to maximise the benefit of the measures provided for in this Regulation, it should be possible for such additional projects to be included within the EU guarantee coverage in the event that they fulfil the substantive criteria set out in this Regulation.

(23) Given the need for urgent action within the Union, the EIB and the EIF may have financed additional projects, outside of their usual profile, in the course of 2015 before the entry into force of this Regulation. In order to maximise the benefit of the measures provided for in this Regulation, it should be possible for such additional projects to be included ex post within the EU guarantee coverage in the event that they fulfil the substantive criteria set out in this Regulation and that they present a higher risk-return profile than those targeted by the EIB to ensure additionality over existing operation.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(26) Alongside the financing operations that will be conducted through the EFSI, a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') should be created. The EIAH should provide strengthened support for project development and preparation across the Union, by building on the expertise of the Commission, the EIB, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds. This should establish a single point of entry for questions related to technical assistance for investments within the Union.

(26) Alongside the financing operations that will be conducted through the EFSI, a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') should be created. The EIAH should provide strengthened support to Member States and their authorities, private investors and investment platforms at all levels for project development and preparation across the Union, by building on the expertise of the Commission, the EIB, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds. This should establish a single point of entry for questions related to technical assistance for investments within the Union where possible in a decentralised manner and without altering the objective of existing technical assistance programmes or affect the quality or capacity of these in carrying out their dedicated tasks. In order to ensure sectorial diversification of beneficiaries of financial instruments as well as to encourage geographical diversification across the Member States, the Steering Board through the EIAH should provide support to Member States and project promoter in developing an appropriate pipeline of projects that could be considered for project financing. In the transport sector, the EIAH should closely work with the Commission with the support of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency, in particular as regards compliance with the EU policy on transport infrastructure. In this perspective, the EIAH should have sectorial knowledge.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 27

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(27) In order to cover the risks related to the EU guarantee to the EIB, a guarantee fund should be established. The guarantee fund should be constituted by a gradual payment from the Union budget. The guarantee fund should subsequently also receive revenues and repayments from projects that benefit from EFSI support and amounts recovered from defaulting debtors where the guarantee fund has already honoured the guarantee to the EIB.

(27) In order to cover the risks related to the EU guarantee to the EIB, a guarantee fund should be established. The guarantee fund should be constituted by a gradual payment from the Union budget. The guarantee fund should subsequently also receive revenues and repayments from projects that benefit from EFSI support, returns on guarantee fund resources invested and amounts recovered from defaulting debtors where the guarantee fund has already honoured the guarantee to the EIB.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 29

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(29) To partially finance the contribution from the Union budget, the available envelopes of the Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2014-2020, provided by Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council2 , and the Connecting Europe Facility, provided by Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council3 , should be reduced. Those programmes serve purposes that are not replicated by the EFSI. However, the reduction of both programmes to finance the guarantee fund is expected to ensure a greater investment in certain areas of their respective mandates than is possible through the existing programmes. The EFSI should be able to leverage the EU guarantee to multiply the financial effect within those areas of research, development and innovation and transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructure compared to if the resources had been spent via grants within the planned Horizon 2020 and Connecting Europe Facility programmes. It is, therefore, appropriate to redirect part of the funding presently envisaged for those programmes to the benefit of EFSI.

(29) The guarantee fund should be partially financed by the Union budget, using in priority unallocated resources, budget surpluses, the flexibility mechanisms and all available budgetary resources and mechanisms under the regulation laying down the Multiannual Financial Framework. The guarantee should avoid affecting programmes that already serve the purpose of investment and that aim to foster competitiveness and growth, that are operational and foresee the possibility to use innovative financial instruments. Therefore, only if demonstrated by actual demand, available envelopes of programmes under heading 1A of the Multiannual Financial Framework for the years 2014-2020 should be reduced. In line with the Treaties, it should be up to the budgetary authority to allow annually the budgetary lines to be used for financing the guarantee fund. The financing of the guarantee fund for both commitments and payments should be reassessed at the end of 2016 as part of the mid-term review of the Multiannual Financial Framework (under Article 2 of Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013). Only if proven by actual demand and based on the analysis of the performance and execution rates of the different programmes, alternative funding options should be identified to avoid redeployment of funds from heading 1A for the 2016-2020 period.

__________________

 

2 Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 104).

 

3 Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility, amending Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 680/2007 and (EC) No 67/2010 (OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p. 129).

 

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 33

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(33) Although the projects identified under the project pipeline may be used by the EIB in the identification and selection of EFSI supported projects, the project pipeline should have a broader scope of identifying projects across the Union. This scope may include projects that are capable of being fully financed by the private sector or with the assistance of other instruments provided at European or national level. The EFSI should be able to support financing and investment to projects identified by the project pipeline, but there should be no automaticity between inclusion on the list and access to EFSI support and the EFSI be conferred with discretion to select and support projects that are not included on the list.

(33) Although the projects identified under the project pipeline may be used in the identification and selection of EFSI supported projects, the project pipeline should ensure sectorial and geographical diversification and have a broader scope of identifying projects across the Union. This scope may include projects that are capable of being fully financed by the private sector or with the assistance of other instruments provided at European or national level. The EFSI should be able to support financing and investment to projects identified by the project pipeline, but there should be no automaticity between inclusion on the list and access to EFSI support and the EFSI be conferred with discretion to select and support projects that are not included on the list.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 34

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(34) To ensure accountability to European citizens, the EIB should regularly report to the European Parliament and the Council on the progress and impact of the EFSI.

(34) To ensure accountability to European citizens, the Commission and the EIB, the Chairperson of the EFSI Steering Group and the Managing Director of the EFSI Investment Committee should regularly report to the European Parliament and the Council on the progress and impact of the EFSI.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall conclude an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the establishment of a European Fund for Strategic Investments ('EFSI').

The Commission shall conclude an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the establishment of a European Fund for Strategic Investments ('EFSI') for the period 2015-2020.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The purpose of the EFSI shall be to support investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing for companies having up to 3000 employees, with a particular focus on small and medium enterprises, through the supply of risk bearing capacity to the EIB ('EFSI Agreement').

The purpose of the EFSI shall be to support investments that are strategic for the Union and to ensure increased and fair access to financing for companies having up to 3000 employees, with a particular focus on small and medium-sized enterprises as well as innovative start-ups, through the supply of risk bearing capacity to the EIB ('EFSI Agreement').

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 1 a

 

Definition

 

For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definition shall apply:

 

(1) "investment platform" means special purpose vehicles managed accounts, contract-based co-financing or risk-sharing arrangements allowing the gathering of several investors' resources. They can target a specific geographic area or sector and be managed either by a public or a private body;

 

(2) 'national promotional banks or institutions' means legal entities carrying out financial activities on a professional basis which are conferred a mandate by a Member State, whether at central, regional or local level, to carry out public development or promotional activities.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) the amount and terms of the financial contribution which shall be provided by the EIB through the EFSI;

(b) the amount and terms of the financial contribution which shall be provided by the EIB through the EFSI and which shall not be inferior to 5 000 000 000 euros of guarantee;

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The EFSI Agreement shall provide for the creation of a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') within the EIB. The EIAH shall have as its objective to build upon existing EIB and Commission advisory services in order to provide advisory support for investment project identification, preparation and development and act as a single technical advisory hub for project financing within the Union. This shall include support on the use of technical assistance for project structuring, use of innovative financial instruments, use of public-private partnerships and advice, as appropriate, on relevant issues of EU legislation.

The EFSI Agreement shall provide for the creation of a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') within the EIB. The EIAH shall have as its objective to build upon and complement existing EIB and Commission advisory services where possible in a decentralised manner in order to provide advisory support to Member States and their authorities, private investors and investment platforms at all levels for investment project identification, preparation and development and act as a single technical advisory hub for project financing within the Union. This shall include support on the use of technical assistance for project structuring, use of innovative financial instruments, use of public-private partnerships and advice, as appropriate on relevant issues of EU legislation.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(1a) The Commission shall be empowered to adopt the EFSI Agreement by means of a delegated act in accordance with Article 17 of this Regulation.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

For as long as the only contributors to the EFSI are the Union and the EIB, the number of members and votes within the Steering Board shall be allocated based on the respective size of contributions in the form of cash or guarantees.

For as long as the only contributors to the EFSI are the Union and the EIB, the Steering committee shall consist of five members of which four should be appointed by the European Commission and one by the EIB . The Steering Board shall elect one of its members to be the Chairperson for a renewable fixed term of three years. The number of members and votes for the Union shall reflect the sectorial contributions from the Union Budget in accordance with the different policy sectors of Article 5(2).

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Steering Board shall take decisions by consensus.

The Steering Board shall meet at least once per quarter and shall take decisions by consensus. When determining the policy of projects and the strategic orientation foreseen in paragraph 1 and in order to avoid excessive exposure, the Steering Board should ensure sectoral and geographical diversification of beneficiaries.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have an Investment Committee, which shall be responsible for examining potential operations in line with the EFSI investment policies and approving the support of the EU guarantee for operations in line with Article 5, irrespective of their geographic location.

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have an Investment Committee, which shall be responsible for examining potential operations in line with the EFSI investment policies and approving the support of the EU guarantee for operations in line with Article 5, irrespective of their geographic location.

The Investment Committee shall be composed of six independent experts and the Managing Director. Independent experts shall have a high level of relevant market experience in project finance and be appointed by the Steering Board for a renewable fixed term of three years.

The Investment Committee shall be composed of eight independent experts, and the Managing Director and a representative of the Commission. Independent experts shall have a high level of relevant market experience in project finance as well as in the investment areas concerned by the EFSI as defined in article 5, paragraph 2, and be selected by the Steering Board for a renewable fixed term of three years not exceeding six years in total. Their recruitment follows a transparent procedure and their declaration of financial interests is transmitted to the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council. The representative of the Commission shall have no voting power but shall confirm the consistency of potential operations with Union policies. He/she shall co-operate closely with the respective Directorates-General of the Commission depending on the investment areas of the projects. In the transport sector, the Investment Committee shall take into account recommendations expressed by respective Directorate-General of the Commission.

Decisions of the Investment Committee shall be taken by simple majority.

Decisions of the Investment Committee shall be taken by simple majority and approved by the Steering Board.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Union shall provide a guarantee to the EIB for financing or investment operations carried out within the Union covered by this Regulation ('EU guarantee'). The EU guarantee shall be granted as a guarantee on demand in respect of instruments referred to in Article 6.

The Union shall provide an irrevocable and unconditional guarantee to the EIB via the EFSI for financing or investment operations carried out within the Union covered by this Regulation ('EU guarantee'). The EU guarantee shall be granted as a guarantee on demand in respect of instruments referred to in Article 6. The guarantee shall be available for projects in third countries provided that these projects involve cross-border cooperation with a Member State and that there is a written agreement between the countries concerned by the project.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 5

Article 5

Requirements for use of the EU guarantee

Requirements for use of the EU guarantee

1. The granting of the EU guarantee shall be subject to the entry into force of the EFSI Agreement.

1. The granting of the EU guarantee shall be subject to the entry into force of the EFSI Agreement.

2. The EU guarantee shall be granted for EIB financing and investment operations approved by the Investment Committee referred to in Article 3(5) or funding to the EIF in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations in accordance with Article 7(2). The operations concerned shall be consistent with Union policies and support any of the following general objectives:

2. The EU guarantee shall be granted, provided that the Steering Board approves it for EIB financing and investment operations approved by the Investment Committee referred to in Article 3(5) or funding to the EIF in accordance with Article 7(2) in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations approved by the same Investment Committee. The operations concerned shall be consistent with Union policies and support any of the following general objectives:

(a) development of infrastructure, including in the areas of transport, particularly in industrial centres; energy, in particular energy interconnections; and digital infrastructure;

(a) development of new, existing or missing transport infrastructure and innovative technologies, in accordance with Regulations (EU)  1316/2013  (CEF) and  1315/2013 (TEN-T Guidelines) as far as both core and comprehensive networks as well as horizontal priorities are concerned;

(b) investment in education and training, health, research and development, information and communications technology and innovation;

(b) development of smart and sustainable urban mobility projects that include targets for accessibility, reduction of greenhouse gases, energy and accidents;

(c) expansion of renewable energy and energy and resource efficiency;

(c) development and modernisation of the energy infrastructure, in line with the Energy Union priorities and the 2020, 2030 and 2050 Climate and Energy framework, in particular interconnections, smart grids at distribution level, energy storage and synchronisation of markets;

(d) infrastructure projects in the environmental, natural resources, urban development and social fields;

(d) expansion of renewable energy; resource efficiency; energy efficiency and energy savings, with a particular focus on reducing demand through demand-side management and refurbishment of buildings;

(e) providing financial support for the companies referred to in Article 1(1), including working capital risk financing.

(e) development of information and communication technologies; digital and telecom infrastructures and broadband networks across the entire Union;

 

(f) development of synergy projects between transport, telecommunication and energy trans-European Networks, as defined in CEF Regulation 1315/2013;

 

(g) investment in innovation, research and development including research infrastructure, pilot and demonstration projects, collaborations between the academia and industry, and knowledge and technology transfer;

 

(h) investments in education, training, entrepreneurial skills;

 

(i) investments in innovative health solutions, such as eHealth and new effective medicines, and in the social sector;

 

(j) investments in the cultural and creative industries;

 

(k) investments in projects and infrastructure in the field of environmental protection and management; strengthening of eco-system services and sustainable urban development;

 

(l) providing financial support, including working capital risk financing, for SMEs, start-ups, spin-offs and small mid-caps through the EIF and for mid-caps to ensure technology leadership in innovative and sustainable sectors;

 

(m) financing of projects which are in line with the objectives of Horizon 2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility;

 

The EFSI is to support only projects and operations which:

 

a) have European added value and are consistent with Union policies, in accordance with the Europe 2020 strategy and create smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; they shall comply with the objectives of Article 9 and are in line with Article 10 and Annex I of Regulation (EU) No 1303/2013;

 

b) are economically and technically viable;

 

c) ensure additionality, as they could not have been otherwise carried out with existing EU funding instruments;

 

d) maximise, where possible, the mobilisation of private sector capital;

 

e) are sustainable with a proven net societal benefit and added value, as regards sustainable job creation, investments and competitiveness, taking into account the costs and benefits of the project throughout its expected lifetime;

 

The EFSI shall offer privileged access to guarantees for small projects and small actors, following a de-risking strategy. For this purpose, the EU guarantee shall be granted, inter alia to the establishment of:

 

- a Dedicated Energy Efficiency Fund covering an amount of guarantees of at least 5 billion Euros notably to support projects promoted by cities and local governments,

 

- a Dedicated SME Fund covering an amount of at least 5 billion Euros and implemented by the EIF as defined in Article 7.

 

Investments shall be in line with the investment guidelines and criteria adopted by the EIB on 23 July 2013.

In addition, the EU guarantee shall be granted for support of dedicated investment platforms and national promotional banks, via the EIB, that invest in operations meeting the requirements of this Regulation. In that case, the Steering Board shall specify policies regarding eligible investment platforms.

In addition, the EU guarantee shall be granted for support of dedicated investment platforms and national promotional banks, via the EIB, that invest in operations meeting the requirements of this Regulation. In that case, the Steering Board shall specify policies regarding eligible investment platforms.

3. In accordance with Article 17 of the Statute of the European Investment Bank, the EIB shall charge the beneficiaries of the financing operations to cover its expenses related to the EFSI. Without prejudice to sub-paragraph 2 and 3, no administrative expenditure or any other fees of the EIB for financing and investment activities conducted by the EIB under this Regulation shall be covered from the Union budget.

3. In accordance with Article 17 of the Statute of the European Investment Bank, the EIB shall charge the beneficiaries of the financing operations to cover its expenses related to the EFSI. Without prejudice to sub-paragraph 2 and 3, no administrative expenditure or any other fees of the EIB for financing and investment activities conducted by the EIB under this Regulation shall be covered from the Union budget.

The EIB may call the EU guarantee, in accordance with Article 2(1)(e), within a cumulated maximum limit corresponding to 1% of the total outstanding EU guarantee obligations to cover expenses that whilst charged to beneficiaries of the financing operations, have not been recovered

The EIB may call the EU guarantee, in accordance with Article 2(1)(e), within a cumulated maximum limit corresponding to 1% of the total outstanding EU guarantee obligations to cover expenses that whilst charged to beneficiaries of the financing operations, have not been recovered.

Fees of the EIB should the EIB provide funding to the EIF on behalf of the EFSI which is backed by the EU guarantee in accordance with Article 7(2) may be covered from the Union budget.

Fees of the EIB should the EIB provide funding to the EIF on behalf of the EFSI which is backed by the EU guarantee in accordance with Article 7(2) may be covered from the Union budget.

4. Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use European Structural and Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects in which the EIB is investing with the support of the EU guarantee.

4. Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use any type of Union financing, including European Structural and Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects in which the EIB is investing with the support of the EU guarantee.

 

The Commission, the EIB and the Member States shall ensure that all the investments with the support of the EFSI take into consideration their impact by sector at local and regional level on economic, social and territorial cohesion, increasing demand without affecting supply, and foster synergies and effective coordination between the EFSI and the European Structural and Investment Funds, in order to ensure that they contribute to the achievement of the Union’s economic, social and territorial cohesion and to reduce unemployment.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) payments from the general budget of the Union,

(a) contributions from the general budget of the Union,

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) any other payments received by the Union in accordance with the EFSI Agreement.

(d) any other contributions received by the Union in accordance with the EFSI Agreement.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 shall constitute internal assigned revenues in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU) No 966/2012.

3. Endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 shall constitute internal assigned revenues in accordance with Article 21(4) of Regulation (EU) No 966/2012.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The target amount shall initially be met by the gradual payment of resources referred to in paragraph 2(a). If there have been calls on the guarantee during the initial constitution of the guarantee fund, endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 shall also contribute to meet the target amount up to an amount equal to the calls on the guarantee.

The target amount shall initially be met by the gradual mobilisation of resources referred to in paragraph 2(a). If there have been calls on the guarantee during the initial constitution of the guarantee fund, endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 shall also contribute to meet the target amount up to an amount equal to the calls on the guarantee.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

5a . Without prejudice to Article 8(5), the target amount shall be met by gradual budgetary commitments to the guarantee fund to be decided in the frame of the annual budgetary procedure, using any budgetary surplus entered in the general budget of the European Union and all budgetary resources available as well as taking due account of all means available under Council Regulation 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, in particular:

 

(i) Global margin for payments

 

(ii) Global margin for commitments

 

(iii) Flexibility Instrument

 

(iv) Contingency Margin

 

If demonstrated by actual demand and as a last resort solution - in full respect of point 17 and 18 of the IIA of 2 December 2013 - funds from multiannual programs under heading 1A if these programs prove to be under committed may be redeployed.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 5 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

5b . The financing of the guarantee Fund, both in respect of commitment and payment appropriations shall be reviewed in the frame of the mid-term review of the MFF 2014-2020 due to be launched by the end of 2016 at the latest as foreseen in Article 2 of Council Regulation 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the MFF 2014-2020. If proven by actual demand and based on the analysis of the performance and execution rates of the different programmes, alternative funding options shall be identified to avoid redeployment of funds from heading 1A for the 2016-2020 period.

 

In the event that redeployments from EU programmes were agreed in the framework of the annual budgetary procedure as source of financing for the EU guarantee in the years preceding the MFF mid-term review, the European Parliament and the Council shall, on that occasion, explore ways to compensate them to the largest possible extent.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 7 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) any surplus shall be paid in one transaction to a special heading in the statement of revenue in the general budget of the European Union of the year n+1,

(a) any surplus shall be paid in one transaction to a special heading in the statement of revenue in the general budget of the European Union of the year n+1, and shall be reallocated to programmes whose envelopes have been reduced to finance the guarantee fund, if any and as referred to in paragraph 5a (new), in order to compensate these losses

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, shall promote the creation of a transparent pipeline of current and potential future investment projects in the Union. The pipeline is without prejudice to the final projects selected for support according to Article 3(5).

1. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, shall create a transparent pipeline of current and potential investment projects in the Union. The pipeline is without prejudice to the final projects selected for support according to Article 3(5). In the transport sector, the pipeline should take as a basis the priorities and projects identified in regulations TEN-T 1515/2013 and CEF 1316/2013.

2. The Commission and the EIB shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular and structured basis, information on current and future investments which significantly contribute to achieving EU policy objectives.

2. The Commission and the EIB shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular, transparent and structured basis, information on current and future investments which significantly contribute to achieving EU policy objectives.

3. Member States shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular and structured basis, information on current and future investment projects in their territory.

3. Member States shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular, transparent and structured basis, information on current and future investment projects in their territory.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point aa (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(aa) an assessment of the socio-economic and environmental impact of projects financed under the EFSI, based on a list of performance indicators. For transport operations, the assessment shall be based on the list of indicators set up in paragraph 2 of article 4 of Regulation 1316/2013(CEF);

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point e a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(e a) an assessment of the activities carried by the EIAH;

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 11

Article 11

Accountability

Accountability

1. At the request of the European Parliament, the Managing Director shall participate in a hearing of the European Parliament on the performance of the EFSI.

1. At the request of the European Parliament and at least once a year, the Chairperson and the Managing Director shall participate in a joint hearing of the relevant committees within the European Parliament on the performance of the EFSI.

2. The Managing Director shall reply orally or in writing to questions addressed to the EFSI by the European Parliament, in any event within five weeks of receipt of a question.

2. The Managing Director shall reply orally or in writing to questions addressed to the EFSI by the European Parliament, in any event within five weeks of receipt of a question.

3. At the request of the European Parliament, the Commission shall report to the European Parliament on the application of this Regulation.

3. At the request of the European Parliament and at least once a year, the Commission shall report to the European Parliament on the application of this Regulation.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 2 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. By 30 June 2018 and every three years thereafter:

2. By 30 June 2018, and every two years thereafter and by 6 months from the date of termination of the agreement on EFSI:

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In accordance with its own transparency policies on access to documents and information, the EIB shall make publicly available on its website information relating to all EIB financing and investment operations and how they contribute to the general objectives referred to in Article 5(2).

In accordance with its own transparency policies on access to documents and information, the EIB shall make publicly available on its website information relating to all EIB financing and investment operations and how they contribute to the general objectives and other eligibility criteria referred to in Article 5. A regular exchange of information will be organised between the European Parliament and the EIB on the financing and investment operations conducted by the EIB under this Regulation.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 17 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 17 a

 

Investment clause

 

With regard to Article 5(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1466/97 and Article 3(4) of Regulation (EC) No1467/97, the following contributions are considered to be one-off measures:

 

(a) financial contributions to the EFSI by Member States or by national promotional banks;

 

(b) financial contributions to dedicated investment platforms that are eligible under this regulation by Member States or by national promotional banks;

 

(c) financial contributions on behalf of the State for individual operations which are supported by the EFSI.

 

All of the financial contributions mentioned in paragraph 1 help towards the achievement of the Union's policy goals and are considered to be a relevant factor with regard to Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 1467/97, so that they cannot result in an excess beyond the reference value, as referred to in Article 126(2) TFEU.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 18

deleted

Amendments to Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013

 

Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 is hereby amended as follows:

 

(1) In Article 6, paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 are replaced by the following:

 

'1. The financial envelope for the implementation of Horizon 2020 is set at EUR 74 328,3 million in current prices, of which a maximum of EUR 71 966,9 million shall be allocated to activities under Title XIX TFEU.

 

The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the European Parliament and by the Council within the limits of the multiannual financial framework.

 

2. The amount for activities under Title XIX TFEU shall be distributed among the priorities set out in Article 5(2) of this Regulation as follows:

 

(a) Excellent science, EUR 23 897,0 million in current prices;

 

(b) Industrial leadership, EUR 16 430,5 million in current prices;

 

(c) Societal challenges, EUR 28 560,7 million in current prices.

 

The maximum overall amount for the Union financial contribution from Horizon 2020 to the specific objectives set out in Article 5(3) and to the non-nuclear direct actions of the JRC shall be as follows:

 

(i) Spreading excellence and widening participation, EUR 782,3 million in current prices;

 

(ii) Science with and for society, EUR 443,8 million in current prices;

 

(iii) Non-nuclear direct actions of the JRC, EUR 1 852,6 million in current prices.

 

The indicative breakdown for the priorities and specific objectives set out in Article 5(2) and (3) is set out in Annex II.

 

3. The EIT shall be financed through a maximum contribution from Horizon 2020 of EUR 2 361,4 million in current prices as set out in Annex II.'

 

(2) Annex II is replaced by the text set out in Annex I to this Regulation.

 

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Article 19

deleted

Amendment to Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013

 

In Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013, paragraph 1 is replaced by the following:

 

'1. The financial envelope for the implementation of the CEF for the period 2014 to 2020 is set at EUR 29 942 259 000 (*) in current prices. That amount shall be distributed as follows:

 

(a) transport sector: EUR 23 550 582 000, of which EUR 11 305 500 000 shall be transferred from the Cohesion Fund to be spent in line with this Regulation exclusively in Member States eligible for funding from the Cohesion Fund;

 

(b) telecommunications sector: EUR 1 041 602 000;

 

(c) energy sector: EUR 5 350 075 000.

 

These amounts are without prejudice to the application of the flexibility mechanism provided for under Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013(*).

 

(*) Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-20 (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884).'

 

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Annex 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

[...]

deleted

PROCEDURE

Title

European Fund for Strategic Investments

References

COM(2015)0010 – C8-0007/2015 – 2015/0009(COD)

Committees responsible

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

28.1.2015

ECON

28.1.2015

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

TRAN

28.1.2015

Associated committees - date announced in plenary

9.3.2015

Rule 55 – joint committee meetings

       Date announced in plenary

       

9.3.2015

Date adopted

14.4.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

43

3

0

Members present for the final vote

Daniela Aiuto, Lucy Anderson, Inés Ayala Sender, Georges Bach, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Deirdre Clune, Michael Cramer, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Andor Deli, Karima Delli, Isabella De Monte, Ismail Ertug, Jacqueline Foster, Bruno Gollnisch, Tania González Peñas, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Stelios Kouloglou, Merja Kyllönen, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Bogusław Liberadzki, Peter Lundgren, Georg Mayer, Gesine Meissner, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Renaud Muselier, Jens Nilsson, Markus Pieper, Salvatore Domenico Pogliese, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Gabriele Preuß, Christine Revault D’Allonnes Bonnefoy, Dominique Riquet, Massimiliano Salini, David-Maria Sassoli, Claudia Schmidt, Keith Taylor, Pavel Telička, István Ujhelyi, Wim van de Camp, Janusz Zemke, Kosma Złotowski

Substitutes present for the final vote

Rosa D’Amato, Markus Ferber, Olga Sehnalová, Patricija Šulin

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

(1)

COM(2015)12 "Making the best use of the flexibility within the existing rules of the stability and growth pact"

(2)

European Parliament resolution of 6 July 2010 on a sustainable future for transport P7_TA(2010)0260 paragraph 32


OPINION of the Committee on Budgetary Control (14.4.2015)

for the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Fund for Strategic Investments and amending Regulations (EU) No 1291/2013 and (EU) No 1316/2013

(COM(2015)0010 – C8-0007/2015 – 2015/0009(COD))

Rapporteur: Michael Theurer

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

CONT opinion focuses on sound financial management issues and, in particular, on Article 14 of the draft Regulation: Auditing by the Court of Auditors.

The Court of Auditors should be entitled to perform audits concerning the activities undertaken in accordance with this Regulation as all these activities are activities in managing Union expenditure and revenue as meant in Article 287 TFEU. It has to be stressed in particular that:

1.  The EFSI is defined as a clearly identifiable and transparent guarantee facility and that the guarantee is mainly supported by the Union budget.

2.  The members of the Investment Committee are designated under proposal of the Commission.

3.  The Commission will be represented in the EFSI Steering Board.

4.  The Commission is a member of the EIB Board of Directors and is consulted before the EIB approves each financing and investment operation.

5.  The European Investment Advisory Hub will be built partly on existing Commission advisory services.

6.  The resources of the guarantee fund shall be managed by the Commission.

7.  The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, shall promote the creation of a transparent pipeline of current and potential future investment projects in the Union.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Budgetary Control calls on the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, as the committees responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Citation 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Having regard to the opinions of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions,

Having regard to the opinions of the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Court of Auditors,

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 7 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(7a) On 12 March 2015, the Court of Auditors adopted Opinion No 4/2015, pursuant to Article 287(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), concerning the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Fund for Strategic Investments and amending Regulations (EU) No 1291/2013 and (EU) No 1316/2013, in which it outlines its remarks to the Commission proposal and presents suggestions for the improvement of the Regulation.

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(9a) The expediency of an investment should also be judged by the extent to which it can persuade private investors to move towards long-term financing of the economy, bearing in mind that, at present, a high proportion of European private savings (approximately EUR 16 000 billion) is invested mainly on a short-term basis, often outside the Union.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) The EFSI should support strategic investments with high economic value added contributing to achieving Union policy objectives.

(11) The EFSI should support strategic investments with high economic value added contributing to achieving the objectives of Europe 2020 strategy. In this regard, EFSI support to infrastructure networks should contribute to the objectives of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 for transport, Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 for energy networks and Regulation (EU) No 283/2014 for telecommunications infrastructure. Projects with synergies between the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors should be given particular attention.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) The EFSI should target projects with a higher risk-return profile than existing EIB and Union instruments to ensure additionality over existing operations. The EFSI should finance projects across the Union, including in the countries most affected by the financial crisis. The EFSI should only be used where financing is not available from other sources on reasonable terms.

(15) The EFSI should target projects with a higher risk-return profile than existing EIB and Union instruments to ensure additionality over existing operations. The EFSI should finance projects across the Union, especially in the countries most affected by the financial crisis. The EFSI should only be used where financing is not available from other sources on reasonable terms.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 19 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(19a) Payments into the guarantee fund should have a target amount of EUR 200 million in 2016, EUR 300 million in 2017, EUR 1 billion in 2018, EUR 2 billion in 2019, to be gradually authorised by the European Parliament and the Council in the framework of the annual budgetary procedure, taking into account the effective use of the EU guarantee and the assessment of the additionality of operation conducted under EFSI compared to normal EIB operations.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(21a) The EFSI implementation and oversight arrangements, as well as the formal commitment of Member States, will have a decisive bearing on its success, and it will be necessary to ensure in particular that the best projects are selected on the basis of objective criteria, regardless of their nationality.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 24

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(24) EIB financing and investment operations supported by the EFSI should be managed in accordance with the EIB’s own rules and procedures, including appropriate control measures and measures taken to avoid tax evasion, as well as with the relevant rules and procedures concerning the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the Court of Auditors, including the Tripartite agreement between the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors and the European Investment Bank.

(24) EIB financing and investment operations supported by the EFSI should be managed in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council1a, including appropriate control measures and measures taken to avoid tax evasion, as well as with the relevant rules and procedures concerning the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the Court of Auditors. Therefore, it should be established without delay that the new transparency policies adopted recently by the EIB have not been watered down in any way.

 

________________

 

1a Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

Justification

Superfluous.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25) The EIB should regularly evaluate activities supported by the EFSI with a view to assessing their relevance, performance and impact and to identifying aspects that could improve future activities. Such evaluations should contribute to accountability and analysis of sustainability.

(25) The EIB and the Investment Committee should regularly evaluate and report on activities supported by the EFSI with a view to assessing their added value to existing Union funded activities, relevance, performance and impact and to identifying aspects that could improve future activities. Such evaluations should contribute to public accountability, sound financial management, transparency and analysis of economic, environmental and social sustainability.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(26) Alongside the financing operations that will be conducted through the EFSI, a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') should be created. The EIAH should provide strengthened support for project development and preparation across the Union, by building on the expertise of the Commission, the EIB, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds. This should establish a single point of entry for questions related to technical assistance for investments within the Union.

(26) Alongside the financing operations that will be conducted through the EFSI, a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') should be created. The EIAH should provide strengthened support for project development and preparation across the Union, by building on the expertise of the Commission, the EIB, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds. This should establish a single point of entry for questions related to technical assistance for investments within the Union. The EIAH should cooperate with the existing advisory entities involving the EIB, the Commission and the Member States, such as the 'European PPP Expertise Centre' (EPEC) and the 'Financial Instruments - Technical Advisory Platform (FI-TAP) for EFSI'. The EIAH should enable Member States and regions across the Union to benefit from free expertise so as to ensure fair access to EFSI financing.

Justification

Idea from the ECA Opinion 4/2015 on the EFSI - paragraph 29, 30 and 31

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 27 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(27a) In order to ensure that the Union budget will not be exposed to contingent liabilities beyond the committed funds, there should be a general immunity and waiver against legal claims by EFSI beneficiaries.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 30

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(30) Given the nature of their constitution, neither the EU guarantee to the EIB nor the guarantee fund are 'financial instruments' within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council4 .

(30) Given their assimilation to Union financial instruments, the EU guarantee to the EIB and the guarantee fund should comply with the principles of sound financial management, transparency, proportionality, non-discrimination, equal treatment and subsidiarity referred to in Article 140 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council4 and, where appropriate, with Article 139 of Regulation (EU, Euratom ) No 966/2012.

__________________

__________________

4 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

4 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 (OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1).

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 31

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(31) Within the Union, there are a significant number of potentially viable projects that are not being financed due to a lack of certainty and transparency with respect to such projects. Often, this is because private investors are not aware of the projects or have insufficient information to make an assessment of the investment risks. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, should promote the creation of a transparent pipeline of current and future investment projects in the Union suitable for investment. This 'project pipeline' should ensure that information is made publicly available regarding investment projects on a regular and structured basis to ensure that investors have reliable information on which to base their investment decisions.

(31) Within the Union, there are a significant number of potentially viable projects that are not being financed due to a lack of certainty and transparency with respect to such projects. Often, this is because private investors are not aware of the projects or have insufficient information to make an assessment of the investment risks. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, should promote the creation of a transparent directory of current and future investment projects in the Union suitable for investment. This 'project directory' should ensure that information is made publicly available regarding investment projects on a regular and structured basis to ensure that investors have reliable information on which to base their investment decisions.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 32

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(32) Member States have also begun work at national level on establishing and promoting project pipelines for projects of national significance. The information prepared by the Commission and the EIB should provide links to the accompanying national project pipelines.

(32) Member States have also begun work at national level on establishing and promoting project directories for projects of national significance. The information prepared by the Commission and the EIB should provide links to the accompanying national project directories.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 33

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(33) Although the projects identified under the project pipeline may be used by the EIB in the identification and selection of EFSI supported projects, the project pipeline should have a broader scope of identifying projects across the Union. This scope may include projects that are capable of being fully financed by the private sector or with the assistance of other instruments provided at European or national level. The EFSI should be able to support financing and investment to projects identified by the project pipeline, but there should be no automaticity between inclusion on the list and access to EFSI support and the EFSI be conferred with discretion to select and support projects that are not included on the list.

(33) Although the projects identified under the project directory may be used by the EIB in the identification and selection of EFSI supported projects, the project directory should have a broader scope of identifying projects across the Union. This scope may include projects that are capable of being fully financed by the private sector or with the assistance of other instruments provided at European or national level. The EFSI should be able to support financing and investment to projects identified by the project directory, but there should be no automaticity between inclusion on the list and access to EFSI support and the EFSI be conferred with discretion to select and support projects that are not included on the list.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 34

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(34) To ensure accountability to European citizens, the EIB should regularly report to the European Parliament and the Council on the progress and impact of the EFSI.

(34) To ensure accountability to Union citizens, the EIB, the Chairperson of the Steering Group and the Managing Director of the Investment Committee should regularly report to the European Parliament and the Council on the progress and impact of the EFSI, in particular as regards the additionality of operations conducted under EFSI compared to normal EIB operations.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 35 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(35a) Since the Guarantee Fund will be composed of significant reallocations from the Union budget, Parliament shall have the right to call the Commissioner responsible for the Union Budget before it in order to exercise scrutiny over the use of the Union budget, especially with regard to performance and spending outcomes. 

Justification

The Budget Commissioner and the Court of Auditors have called for a culture change in how the EU institutions deal with the EU Budget - in particular, the need for an increased emphasis on accountability and a focus on performance and spending outcomes. It is therefore important that the Parliament exercises scrutiny over these elements and holds the Commissioner to account. The right of scrutiny should only extend to the Commissioner in order to safeguard the independence of EFSI governance.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The purpose of the EFSI shall be to support investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing for companies having up to 3000 employees, with a particular focus on small and medium enterprises, through the supply of risk bearing capacity to the EIB ('EFSI Agreement').

The purpose of the EFSI shall be to support investments in the Union, including projects between Member States and third countries, and to ensure increased access to financing for companies having up to 3000 employees, with a particular focus on small and medium enterprises, through the supply of risk bearing capacity to the EIB ('EFSI Agreement'), in accordance with the principles of sound financial management, transparency, proportionality, non-discrimination, equal treatment and subsidiarity.

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 1 a

 

Definitions

 

For the purposes of this Regulation, the following definitions apply:

 

a) ´EFSI Agreement´ means the legal instrument whereby the Commission and the EIB specify the conditions laid down in this Regulation for the management of the EFSI;

 

b) ´national promotional banks or institutions´ means the legal entities   carrying out a financial activity on a professional basis and upon whom a public mandate has been conferred by a Member State, whether at central, regional or local level, to carry out public development or promotional activities on a principally on a non-commercial basis;

 

c) ´investment platforms´ means special purpose vehicles, managed accounts, contract-based co-financing or risk sharing arrangements or arrangements established by any other means by which investors channel a financial contribution in order to finance a number of investment projects and which may include national platforms that regroup several investment projects on the territory of a given Member State, multi-country or regional platforms that regroup several Member States interested in large projects in a given geographic area, or thematic platforms, which could gather investment projects in a given sector;

 

d) 'small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)' means micro, small and   medium-sized enterprises as defined in Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC1a;

 

e) ´mid-cap companies´ means legal entities having up to 3000 employees and that are not SMEs;

 

f) ‘EFSI-beneficiaries’ means all borrowers of EU guaranteed financial instruments implemented by the EIB under the EFSI Agreement;

 

g) ‘risk bearing capacity’ means that the EFSI assumes an ex ante limited part of the possible credit risk associated with the financing of a specific investment project through a financial instrument managed by the EIB in such a manner that the aggregated credit risk in a portfolio maximally equals the share of the portfolio secured by the EU guarantee;

 

______________

 

1a Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (OJ L 124, 20.5.2003, p. 36).

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) provisions governing the establishment of the EFSI as a distinct, clearly identifiable and transparent guarantee facility and separate account managed by the EIB;

(a) provisions governing the establishment of the EFSI as a distinct, clearly identifiable and transparent guarantee facility and separate account managed by the EIB for which the EIB and the Commission are subject to an annual discharge decision by Parliament and Council in accordance with Article 319 TFEU and Articles 164, 165 and 166 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 996/2012;

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point a a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(aa) provisions on how the Commission will assume full responsibility for the actual use of Union funds managed by the EFSI, as provided by Article 17(1) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 317 of the Treaty on Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and prevent the diffusion of accountability;

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) the governance arrangements concerning the EFSI, in accordance with Article 3, without prejudice to the Statute of the European Investment Bank;

(d) the governance arrangements concerning the EFSI, in accordance with Article 3, without prejudice to the Statute of the European Investment Bank, including a cap on managing costs of the EIB and with respect to the Commission responsibilities provided for by Article 17(1) TEU, Article 317 TFEU and Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012;

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point g

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(g) requirements governing the use of the EU guarantee, including within specific time frames and key performance indicators;

(g) requirements governing the use of the EU guarantee, including within specific time frames and key performance indicators aimed at measuring the achievement of the objectives pursued by the EFSI as expressed by this Regulation in terms of growth and employment, impact on the internal market and promotion of SMEs; those requirements shall be adapted if needed by the Steering Board;

Justification

Performance assessment should be linked to the achievement of the political objectives of the EFSI as defined in particular by recitals 9 to 14.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point g a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ga) provisions ensuring that SMEs and micro-enterprises get priority access to EFSI support;

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point h

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(h) provisions on the financing necessary for the EIAH in accordance with the third subparagraph of paragraph 2;

(h) provisions on the legal form, the operational structure and the financing of the EIAH in accordance with the third subparagraph of paragraph 2;

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point h a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ha) provisions on an unconditional capping of expenses incurred by the EIB on behalf of the EFSI;

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1 – point j a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ja) provisions ensuring the external audit by the Court of Auditors of all projects funded under the EFSI.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that remuneration attributable to the Union from EFSI supported operations shall be provided following the deduction of payments due to calls on the EU guarantee and, subsequently, costs in accordance with the third subparagraph of paragraph 2 and with Article 5(3).

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that remuneration attributable to the Union from EFSI supported operations shall be provided up to an unconditional cap following the deduction of payments due to calls on the EU guarantee and, subsequently, costs in accordance with the third subparagraph of paragraph 2 of this Article and with Article 5(3).

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The EIAH shall be partially financed by the Union up to a maximum amount of EUR 20 000 000 per year during the period ending on 31 December 2020 for the additional services provided for by the EIAH over existing EIB technical assistance. For the years after 2020 the financial contribution from the Union shall be directly linked to the provisions included in the future multi-annual financial frameworks.

The EIAH shall be partially financed by the Union up to a maximum amount of EUR 20 000 000 per year during the period ending on 31 December 2018 for the additional services provided for by the EIAH over existing EIB technical assistance. A review shall be conducted before the end of 2018 to assess the success and added value of the EIAH before initiating a second funding period from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2020. For the years after 2020 the financial contribution from the Union shall be directly linked to the provisions included in the future multi-annual financial frameworks.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall be governed by a Steering Board, which shall determine the strategic orientation, the strategic asset allocation and operating policies and procedures, including the investment policy of projects that EFSI can support and the risk profile of the EFSI, in conformity with the objectives under Article 5(2). The Steering Board shall elect one of its members to be Chairperson.

1. The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the Commission and the EIB are directly responsible and accountable to Parliament and the Council for the management of all funds and guarantees handled by the EFSI. For this purpose the EFSI is to be governed by a Steering Board, which, for the use of the EU guarantee, is to determine the strategic orientation, the strategic asset allocation and operating policies and procedures, including the investment policy of projects that EFSI can support and the risk profile of the EFSI, in conformity with the objectives under Article 5(2).

The Steering Board shall elect one of its members as its Chairperson.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

The Chairperson, together with the Managing Director of the Investment Committee referred to in paragraph 4, shall be present at least once a year in a joint hearing of the responsible committees of the European Parliament to report on the progress of the EFSI activities.

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Steering Board shall take decisions by consensus.

The Steering Board shall take its decisions by consensus. Those decisions shal be publicly accessible.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3 a. The EFSI Agreement shall provide for the creation of an advisory group. The advisory group shall be composed of representatives of all banks, including national promotional banks, participating in projects at national and local level covered by the EU guarantee in accordance with Article 4.

 

The advisory group shall meet once a year in Luxembourg, in the premises of the EIB. Its meetings shall be organised by the EIB. All other communication and exchange among the advisory group members shall be conducted in writing and published after one year. The advisory group may provide the Steering Board, the Investment Committee and the Managing Director with research in order to constantly improve the operations of the EFSI. All costs and travel expenses related to the advisory group shall be borne by the entities that wish to be represented in it.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 4 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director shall be appointed by the Steering Board on a joint proposal of the Commission and the EIB for a renewable fixed term of three years.

The Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director shall be appointed by the Steering Board on a joint proposal of the Commission and the EIB, subject to prior approval by the European Parliament, for a once renewable fixed term of three years.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 4 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

4a. After hearing the Steering Board, the Commission shall, upon receiving the consent of the EIB, provide the European Parliament with a shortlist of candidates for the positions of Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director.

 

The Commission shall, upon receiving the consent of the EIB, submit to the European Parliament for approval a proposal for the appointment of the Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director. Following the approval of that proposal, the Steering Board shall appoint the Managing Director and the Deputy Managing Director for a once renewable fixed term of three years.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have an Investment Committee, which shall be responsible for examining potential operations in line with the EFSI investment policies and approving the support of the EU guarantee for operations in line with Article 5, irrespective of their geographic location.

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have an Investment Committee. The Investment Committee shall be responsible for examining potential operations in line with the EFSI investment policies and approving the support of the EU guarantee for operations:

 

(a) in line with Article 5;

 

(b) in line with the overall objectives of Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 and Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 as well as the TEN-T annual work programmes;

 

(c) with a proven economic, societal and sustainable added value regarding the promotion of jobs, skills, innovation and competiveness in the Union, and which would not have been possible to carry out with the existing Union funds and instruments;

 

(d) irrespective of their geographic location within the Union.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Investment Committee shall be composed of six independent experts and the Managing Director. Independent experts shall have a high level of relevant market experience in project finance and be appointed by the Steering Board for a renewable fixed term of three years.

The Investment Committee shall be composed of eight independent experts and the Managing Director. Those experts shall have a high level of market experience in project structuring and project financing, as well as macroeconomic expertise. The members of the Investment Committee shall be appointed by the Steering Board for a renewable fixed term of three years, through an open and transparent selection procedure.

 

For these purposes, the Steering Board shall draw up a list of at least 16 experts (eight men and eight women) and submit it to the European Parliament. After having heard all the experts from this list, the European Parliament shall adopt a decision proposing eight of them to the Steering Board for appointment.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 2a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. The CVs and declarations of interests of the members of the Investment Committee shall be made public, frequently updated and subject to thorough validity checks by the Commission and the EIB.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Decisions of the Investment Committee shall be taken by simple majority.

The decisions of the Investment Committee shall be taken by simple majority. They shall be independent, free from any undue interference, and publicly accessible.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

Article 3a

 

Financial rules of the EFSI and the EIAH

 

The financial rules applicable to the EFSI and the EIAH shall be adopted by the Steering Board. They shall not deviate from Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012.

 

In the framework of the negotiations on the EFSI Agreement prior to the setup of the EFSI or upon a formal request of the Steering Board, the Commission may be empowered to allow, in duly justified cases, for derogations in the form of transitional financial rules by means of a delegated act in accordance with Article 290 TFEU and Article 17 of this Regulation. Such transitional rules shall be valid for a maximum of three years or until Parliament and Council amend Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 to incorporate the special requirements of the EFSI.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Union shall provide a guarantee to the EIB for financing or investment operations carried out within the Union covered by this Regulation ('EU guarantee'). The EU guarantee shall be granted as a guarantee on demand in respect of instruments referred to in Article 6.

1. The Union shall provide a guarantee to the EIB for financing or investment operations carried out within the Union covered by this Regulation ('EU guarantee'). The EU guarantee shall also be provided to national promotional banks or institutions, in accordance with Article 58(c) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, and investment platforms. The EU guarantee shall be granted as a guarantee on demand in respect of the eligible instruments referred to in Article 6 of this Regulation.

 

2. Contingent legal claims against the Commission by EFSI beneficiaries shall be limited to the EU guarantee.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The EU guarantee shall be granted for EIB financing and investment operations approved by the Investment Committee referred to in Article 3(5) or funding to the EIF in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations in accordance with Article 7(2). The operations concerned shall be consistent with Union policies and support any of the following general objectives:

2. The EU guarantee shall only be granted for EIB financing and investment operations approved by the Investment Committee or funding to the EIF in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations in accordance with Article 7(2) and approved by the Investment Committee.

 

The operations referred to in the first subparagraph shall be consistent with Union policies, economically and technically viable, and shall provide additionality, maximise where possible the mobilisation of private sector capital, be complementary to existing Union funds or aid schemes, provide European added value, contribute to achieving the Europe 2020 targets and support any of the following general objectives:

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) development of infrastructure, including in the areas of transport, particularly in industrial centres; energy, in particular energy interconnections; and digital infrastructure;

(a) development of infrastructure, including in the areas of transport, particularly for clean urban transport and projects along the trans-European network for transport, as defined by Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013; energy, in particular energy interconnections; and digital infrastructure;

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. In accordance with Article 17 of the Statute of the European Investment Bank, the EIB shall charge the beneficiaries of the financing operations to cover its expenses related to the EFSI. Without prejudice to sub-paragraph 2 and 3, no administrative expenditure or any other fees of the EIB for financing and investment activities conducted by the EIB under this Regulation shall be covered from the Union budget.

3. In accordance with Article 17 of the Statute of the European Investment Bank, the EIB shall charge the beneficiaries of the financing operations to cover its expenses related to the EFSI up to an unconditional cap provided for in the EFSI agreement. The risk of non-recoverable EIB expenses shall be borne entirely by the EIB. Without prejudice to subparagraphs 2 and 3 of this paragraph, no administrative expenditure or any other fees of the EIB for financing and investment activities conducted by the EIB under this Regulation shall be covered from the Union budget.

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The EIB may call the EU guarantee, in accordance with Article 2(1)(e), within a cumulated maximum limit corresponding to 1% of the total outstanding EU guarantee obligations to cover expenses that whilst charged to beneficiaries of the financing operations, have not been recovered. 

The EIB may call the EU guarantee, in accordance with Article 2(1)(e), up to an unconditional cap provided for in the EFSI agreement, to cover expenses that whilst charged to beneficiaries of the financing operations, have not been recovered. 

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Fees of the EIB should the EIB provide funding to the EIF on behalf of the EFSI which is backed by the EU guarantee in accordance with Article 7(2) may be covered from the Union budget.

Fees of the EIB should the EIB provide funding to the EIF on behalf of the EFSI which is backed by the EU guarantee in accordance with Article 7(2) may be covered from the Union budget. Such fees shall be unconditionally capped in the EFSI Agreement.

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use European Structural and Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects in which the EIB is investing with the support of the EU guarantee.

4. Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use European Structural and Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects in which the EIB is investing with the support of the EU guarantee. Where, in such cases, several legal frameworks of the Union are applicable to the management and control of such eligible projects, Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 and the relevant sectoral funding legislation shall prevail.

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 6 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

For the purposes of Article 5(2), the EIB shall use the EU Guarantee towards risk coverage for instruments as a rule on a portfolio basis.

For the purposes of Article 5(2), the EIB shall use the EU guarantee only for the coverage of credit risk of eligible instruments. As a rule, the EU guarantee shall only be used on the basis of the portfolio of eligible instruments used to fund projects approved by the Investment Committee.

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The EU guarantee to the EIB shall be of an amount equal to EUR 16 000 000 000, of which a maximum amount of EUR 2 500 000 000 may be allocated for EIB funding to the EIF in accordance with paragraph 2. Without prejudice to Article 8(9), aggregate payments from the Union under the guarantee to the EIB shall not exceed the amount of the guarantee.

1. The EU guarantee to the EIB shall be of an amount equal to EUR 16 000 000 000, of which a maximum amount of EUR 2 500 000 000 may be allocated for EIB funding to the EIF in accordance with paragraph 2. Without prejudice to Article 8(9), aggregate payments from the Union under the guarantee to the EIB shall not exceed the amount of the guarantee, thus excluding contingent liabilities for the Union budget. Legal claims of final beneficiaries against the Union above and beyond this guarantee shall be excluded.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

2a. The Managing Director shall make the risk measures of the portfolios covered by the EU guarantee easily accessible to the public, as well as the methodology and the data with which the risk of a particular instrument portfolio is determined, and update that information regularly.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Where the EIB calls the EU guarantee in accordance with the EFSI Agreement, the Union shall pay on demand in accordance with the terms of that Agreement.

3. Where the EIB calls the EU guarantee in accordance with the EFSI Agreement, the Union shall pay on demand in accordance with the terms of that Agreement. Such a payment is limited to the amount of the funds not yet called by the EIB from the EU guarantee. All further losses and risks are borne by the other contributors to the portfolio and the stakeholders of the projects. The Union assumes no contingent liabilities exceeding the EU guarantee.

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 7 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. The EFSI Agreement shall incorporate a general immunity of the Union and waivers against legal claims by EFSI beneficiaries against the Commission that go beyond the EU guarantee.

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 2 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) payments from the general budget of the Union,

(a) contributions from the general budget of the Union,

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The target amount shall initially be met by the gradual payment of resources referred to in paragraph 2(a). If there have been calls on the guarantee during the initial constitution of the guarantee fund, endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2 shall also contribute to meet the target amount up to an amount equal to the calls on the guarantee.

The target amount shall initially be met by the gradual payment of resources referred to in paragraph 2(a) and shall be accompanied by endowments to the guarantee fund provided for in points (b), (c) and (d) of paragraph 2.

Amendment  55

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 6 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 17 adjusting the target amount provided for in paragraph 5 by a maximum of 10% to better reflect the potential risk of the EU guarantee being called.

The Commission shall be empowered to adopt delegated acts in accordance with Article 17 adjusting the target level provided for in paragraph 5 of this Article by a maximum of 10 % to better reflect the potential risk of the EU guarantee being called. If a situation arises in which 50 % payment of the guarantee obligations were insufficient, the Commission shall propose an increase in the liquidity cushion, indicating the origin of additional payment appropriations, while leaving the final decision to the Parliament and the Council.

Justification

Idea from the ECA Opinion 4/2015 on the EFSI - paragraph 37

Amendment  56

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

8. From 1 January 2019, if as a result of calls on the guarantee, the level of the guarantee fund falls below 50% of the target amount, the Commission shall submit a report on exceptional measures that may be required to replenish it.

8. From 1 January 2018, if as a result of calls on the guarantee, the resources of the guarantee fund falls below 50 % of the target amount, the Commission shall submit a report on exceptional measures that may be required to replenish it. If the Commission deems this to be necessary, it shall present recommendations on adjusting the level of the guarantee.

Justification

Idea from the ECA Opinion 4/2015 on the EFSI - paragraph 37

Amendment  57

Proposal for a regulation

Article 8 – paragraph 9 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

9a. The budgetary expenditure linked to the EFSI and the financial liability of the Union shall in no case exceed the amount of the relevant budgetary commitment made for it, thus excluding contingent liabilities for the Union budget.

Justification

The EFSI text should explicitly state that the EU budget will not, under any circumstances, cover more than the budgetary contribution to the guarantee laid down in the regulation proper.

Amendment  58

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, shall promote the creation of a transparent pipeline of current and potential future investment projects in the Union. The pipeline is without prejudice to the final projects selected for support according to Article 3(5).

1. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, shall promote the creation of a transparent  pipeline of current and potential future investment projects in the Union. The pipeline shall be for visibility to investors and information purposes only, and shall be without prejudice to the final projects selected for support according to Article 3(5).

Amendment  59

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission and the EIB shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular and structured basis, information on current and future investments which significantly contribute to achieving EU policy objectives.

2. The Commission and the EIB shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular and structured basis, information on all current and future investments in a publicly accessible project database.

Amendment  60

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Member States shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular and structured basis, information on current and future investment projects in their territory.

3. Member States shall develop, update and disseminate, together with the EIB, on a regular and structured basis, information on all current and future investment projects in their territory.

Amendment  61

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall report semi-annually to the Commission on EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation. The report shall include an assessment of compliance with the requirements on the use of the EU guarantee and the key performance indicators established pursuant to Article 2(1)(g). The report shall also include statistical, financial and accounting data on each EIB financing and investment operation and on an aggregated basis.

1. The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall report semi-annually to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation. One of the two reports shall be completed in due time, so that the Commission can incorporate the relevant information in the annual accounts, and shall include an assessment of compliance with the requirements on the use of the EU guarantee and the key performance indicators established pursuant to Article 2(1)(g). The report shall also include statistical, financial and accounting data on each EIB financing and investment operation and on an aggregated basis.

Justification

Idea from the ECA Opinion 4/2015 on the EFSI - paragraph 40

Amendment  62

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall report annually to the European Parliament and to the Council on EIB financing and investment operations. The report shall be made public and include:

2. The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall report annually to the European Parliament, to the Council and to the Court of Auditors on EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation. The annual report shall be made public and include:

Amendment  63

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) an assessment of EIB financing and investment operations at operation, sector, country and regional levels and their compliance with this Regulation, together with an assessment of the allocation of EIB financing and investment operations between the objectives in Article 5(2);

(a) an assessment of EIB financing and investment operations at operation, sector, country and regional levels and their compliance with this Regulation and Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012, together with an assessment of the allocation of EIB financing and investment operations between the objectives:

Amendment  64

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) an assessment of the added value, the mobilisation of private sector resources, the estimated and actual outputs, outcomes and impact of EIB financing and investment operations at an aggregated basis;

(b) an assessment of the added value and the performance of projects in terms of estimated and realised return on investment at project maturity, the additionality of operations conducted under EFSI compared to normal EIB operations, the mobilisation of private sector resources, the estimated and actual outputs, outcomes and impact of EIB financing and investment operations at an aggregated basis;

Amendment  65

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point b a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ba) the targeted leverage effect, and the achieved leverage effect of EIB financing and investment operations;

Amendment  66

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point b b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(bb) an assessment of the contribution to the objectives of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 for transport, Regulation (EU) No 347/2013 for energy networks and Regulation (EU) No 283/2014 for telecommunications infrastructure;

Amendment  67

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point c

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(c) an assessment of the financial benefit transferred to beneficiaries of EIB financing and investment operations on an aggregated basis;

(c) an assessment of the financial amount transferred to beneficiaries and an assessment of EIB financing and investment operations on an aggregated basis;

Amendment  68

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) an assessment of the quality of EIB financing and investment operations;

(d) an assessment of the added value of EIB financing and investment operations and the risks associated with those operations;

Amendment  69

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point d a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(da) a list of the financial intermediaries involved in the implementation of EIB financing and investment operations, including any issues relating to the application of Articles 14 and 15;

Amendment  70

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point d b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(db) a list of EFSI beneficiaries, including borrowers of Union-guaranteed financial instruments implemented by the EIB under the EFSI agreement;

Amendment  71

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point e

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(e) detailed information on calls on the EU guarantee;

(e) detailed information on calls on the EU guarantee, losses, returns, amounts recovered and any other payments received;

Amendment  72

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point e a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ea) the value of equity investments, with respect to previous years, and the accumulated figures for impairments of assets of equity;

Amendment  73

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point f

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(f) the financial statements of the EFSI.

(f) the financial statements of the EFSI accompanied by an opinion of an independent external auditor;

Justification

Self-explanatory.

Amendment  74

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point f a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(fa) detailed information on projects which received contributions from the European Structural and Investment Funds to the financing of eligible projects in which the EIB is investing with the support of the EU guarantee, as provided for in Article 5(4);

Amendment  75

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 2 – point f b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(fb) statistical, financial and accounting data on EIB financing and investment operations on an aggregated basis.

Amendment  76

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 3 – introductory part

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. For the purposes of the Commission's accounting and reporting of the risks covered by the EU guarantee and management of the guarantee fund, the EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall provide the Commission every year:

3. For the purposes of the Commission's accounting and reporting of the risks covered by the EU guarantee and management of the guarantee fund, the EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall provide the Commission and the Court of Auditors every year:

Amendment  77

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 3 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) the EIB's and EIF's risk assessment and grading information concerning EIB financing and investment operations;

(a) the EIB's and EIF's risk assessment and grading information concerning EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation;

Amendment  78

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 3 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) the outstanding financial obligation for the EU concerning the guarantees provided towards EIB financing and investment operations broken down by the individual operations;

(b) the outstanding financial obligation for the Union concerning the guarantees provided towards EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation broken down by the individual operations;

Amendment  79

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 3 – point c a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(ca) the development of the value at risk and other risk measures for all project portfolios held and for the portfolios of each type of eligible instruments.

Amendment  80

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 6

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

6. The Commission shall, by 30 June of each year, send to the European Parliament, the Council and the Court of Auditors an annual report on the situation of the guarantee fund and the management thereof in the previous calendar year.

6. The Commission shall, by 31 March of each year, send to the European Parliament, the Council and the Court of Auditors the annual accounts, the financial statement and an annual report in accordance with Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 996/2012 on the situation of the EFSI and the management thereof in the previous calendar year. This report shall also give information on the adequacy of the level of the EU guarantee and, if necessary, recommendations on adjusting its level.

Justification

Idea from the ECA Opinion 4/2015 on the EFSI - paragraph 37 and 41

Amendment  81

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. At the request of the European Parliament, the Managing Director shall participate in a hearing of the European Parliament on the performance of the EFSI.

1. At the request of the European Parliament, and at least twice a year, the Managing Director, the Chairperson of the Steering Board, the Commissioner responsible for the Union Budget and the Chair of the EIB Board of Directors shall participate in annual discharge hearings of the European Parliament on the performance and financial management of the EFSI.

Amendment  82

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. At the request of the European Parliament, the Commissioner responsible for the Union Budget shall participate in a hearing at the European Parliament on the use of Union funds in the guarantee fund.

Justification

Since Guarantee Fund will be composed of significant reallocations from the EU budget, Parliament should have the right to call the EU Budget Commissioner before Parliament in order to exercise scrutiny over the use of the EU budget, especially with regard to performance and spending outcomes.

Amendment  83

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Managing Director shall reply orally on in writing to questions addressed to the EFSI by the European Parliament, in any event within five weeks of receipt of a question.

2. The Managing Director, the Chairperson of the Steering Board, the Commissioner responsible for the Union Budget and the Chair of the EIB Board of Directors shall reply orally or in writing to questions addressed to the EFSI by the European Parliament, in any event within four weeks of receipt of a question.

Amendment  84

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 3 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3a. In cooperation with the EIB and the EIF as appropriate, the Commission shall report on the financial performance of the EFSI in the evaluation report referred to in Article 318 TFEU.

Justification

In its last resolutions on the Commission discharge the European Parliament requested that the evaluation report drafted by the Commission pursuant to Article 318 TFEU focuses in particular on the growth and jobs strategy. This request had been confirmed in the initiative report on the evaluation of the Union’s finances based on the results achieved: a new tool for the European Commission’s improved discharge procedure, see point 11(2013/2172(INI)).

Amendment  85

Proposal for a regulation

Article 11 – paragraph 3 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

3b. At the request of the European Parliament, the EIB shall submit to it any information during the discharge procedure.

Amendment  86

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

At the latest [PO insert date: 18 months after the entry into force of this Regulation] the EIB shall evaluate the functioning of the EFSI. The EIB shall submit its evaluation to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission;

At the latest [PO insert date: 12 months after the entry into force of this Regulation] the EIB shall evaluate the functioning of the EFSI, also with regard to the EFSI projects based on the sub-programmes, and evaluate the lifecycle of the targeted investments. The EIB shall submit its evaluation to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. This evaluation shall be accompanied by an opinion of the Court of Auditors.

Amendment  87

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

At the latest [PO insert date: 18 months after the entry into force of this Regulation] the Commission shall evaluate the use of the EU guarantee and the functioning of the guarantee fund, including the use of endowments according to Article 8(9). The Commission shall submit its evaluation to the European Parliament and the Council.

At the latest [PO insert date: 12 months after the entry into force of this Regulation] the Commission shall evaluate the use of the EU guarantee and the functioning of the guarantee fund, also with regard to the projects benefiting from the guarantees based on the sub-programmes, and evaluate the lifecycle of the targeted investments, including the use of endowments according to Article 8(9). The Commission shall submit its evaluation to the European Parliament and the Council. This evaluation shall be accompanied by an opinion of the Court of Auditors.

Amendment  88

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

At the request of the European Parliament or the Council, independent external parties shall evaluate the functioning of the EFSI as well as the use of the EU guarantee and the functioning of the guarantee fund, including the use of endowments in accordance with Article 8(9).

Justification

Idea from the ECA Opinion 4/2015 on the EFSI - paragraph 42

Amendment  89

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 2 – point a

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(a) the EIB shall publish a comprehensive report on the functioning of the EFSI;

(a) the EIB shall publish a comprehensive report on the functioning of the EFSI and on the EFSI projects based on the sub-programmes, in order to match the lifecycle of the targeted investments;

Amendment  90

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 2 – point b

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) the Commission shall publish a comprehensive report on the use of the EU guarantee and the functioning of the guarantee fund.

(b) the Commission shall publish a comprehensive report on the use of the EU guarantee and the functioning of the guarantee fund and on the projects benefitting from the guarantee based on the sub-programmes, in order to match the lifecycle of the targeted investments.

Amendment  91

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. The EIB and EIF shall on a regular basis provide the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission with all their independent evaluation reports which assess the practical results achieved by the specific activities of the EIB and EIF under this Regulation.

4. The EIB and EIF shall on a regular basis provide the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission with all their independent evaluation reports which assess the practical results achieved by the specific activities of the EIB and EIF under this Regulation, focusing on outcomes and impacts.

Amendment  92

Proposal for a regulation

Article 12 – paragraph 5

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

5. At the latest [PO insert date three years after the entry into force of this Regulation], the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation accompanied by any relevant proposal.

5. At the latest [PO insert date three years after the entry into force of this Regulation], the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Regulation, including assessment of the added value of the EFSI and its additionality to existing Union funding instruments, accompanied by any relevant proposal for improvements.

Amendment  93

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

In accordance with its own transparency policies on access to documents and information, the EIB shall make publicly available on its website information relating to all EIB financing and investment operations and how they contribute to the general objectives referred to in Article 5(2).

1. In accordance with its own transparency policies on access to documents and information, the EIB shall make publicly available on its website information relating to all EIB financing and investment operations and how they contribute to the general objectives and specific operations referred to in Article 5(2).

 

2. The EIB shall guarantee that any citizen of the Union and any natural and legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State have access to documents related to the EFSI, in accordance with Regulation No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and the Council1a.

 

3. In case of a detailed arrangement between the Commission and the EIB with regard to exchange and public disclosure of information, such arrangement shall be made public.

 

_______________

 

1a Regulation No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and the Council, of 30 May 2001, regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43).

Amendment  94

Proposal for a regulation

Article 13 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. The EFSI Agreement shall be published.

Justification

Idea from the ECA Opinion 4/2015 on the EFSI - paragraph 44

Amendment  95

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The EU guarantee and the payments and recoveries under it that are attributable to the general budget of the Union shall be audited by the Court of Auditors.

1. The external audit of the activities undertaken in accordance with this Regulation shall be carried out by the Court of Auditors in accordance with Article 287 TFEU and is thus subject to the discharge procedure in accordance with Article 319 TFEU. The Commission shall ensure that the Court of Auditors is able to exercise its right as provided for in the first subparagraph of Article 287(3) TFEU and has full access to all the information it needs to carry out its audits. The Commission and the EIB shall ensure that all parties concerned by the activities undertaken in accordance with this Regulation are made aware of the right of the Court of Auditors as provided for in the first subparagraph of Article 287(3) TFEU. The EIB, the EIF, all financial intermediaries involved in the activities undertaken in accordance with this Regulation and final recipients shall afford the Court of Auditors all the facilities and give it all the information it considers necessary for the performance of its task, pursuant to Article 161 of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012. The Tripartite agreement between the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors and the European Investment Bank shall be revised in order to reflect the requirements of this Article.

Amendment  96

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1a. The European Parliament and the Council may request that the Court of Auditors examine any other relevant matter falling within their competence set out in article 287(4) TFUE.

Amendment  97

Proposal for a regulation

Article 14 – paragraph 1 b(new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

1b. The Court of Auditors shall produce a special report for each 12-month period starting on 1 April each year. Each special report shall examine whether:

 

(a) sufficient regard was had to efficiency and effectiveness in the use of the EFSI;

 

(b) the EFSI support contributed to the objectives of sustainable job creation, long-term growth and competitiveness;

 

(c) the EFSI activities were conducted in accordance with the principles of sound financial management, transparency, proportionality, non-discrimination, additionality, equal treatment and subsidiarity.

 

Each special report shall be produced within six months of the end of the period to which it relates.

 

The Court of Auditors shall send all the special reports to the governing bodies of the EFSI, the BEI, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, and shall make them public without delay.

 

The Court of Auditors shall have the power to obtain from the governing bodies of the EFSI, the BEI and the Commission any information relevant for performing the tasks conferred on it by this Article and shall provide any relevant information requested within such a timeframe as may be specified by the Court of Auditors.

Justification

This amendments mirrors the existing provisions in regulation of the Single Resolution Fund (Reg No 806/2014) as regards the mandate to the Court of Auditors to provide an annual special report on the performance of the EFSI and accordingly to the principles of sound financial management.

Amendment  98

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The EIB shall notify OLAF promptly and provide it with the necessary information when, at any stage of the preparation, implementation or closure of operations subject to the EU guarantee, it has grounds to suspect that there is a potential case of fraud, corruption, money laundering or other illegal activity that may affect the financial interests of the Union.

1. The EIB shall notify OLAF promptly and provide it with the necessary information when, at any stage of the preparation, implementation or closure of operations subject to the EFSI, it has grounds to suspect that there is a potential case of fraud, corruption, embezzlement, money laundering or other illegal activity that may affect the financial interests of the Union.

Amendment  99

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. OLAF may carry out investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, in accordance with the provisions and procedures laid down in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5 ), Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96(6 ) and Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 (7 ) in order to protect the financial interests of the Union, with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption, money laundering or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests of the Union in connection with any operations supported by the EU guarantee. OLAF may transmit to the competent authorities of the Member States concerned information obtained in the course of investigations.

2. OLAF shall carry out investigations, including on-the-spot checks and inspections, in accordance with the provisions and procedures laid down in Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5 ), Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96(6 ) and Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 (7 ) in order to protect the financial interests of the Union, with a view to establishing whether there has been fraud, corruption, money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax fraud and tax evasion, or any other illegal activity affecting the financial interests in connection with any operations under this Regulation. OLAF may transmit to the competent authorities of the Member States concerned information obtained in the course of investigations.

__________________

__________________

5 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999 (OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1).

5 Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999 (OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1).

6 Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2).

6 Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities' financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2).

7 Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities financial interests (OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p. 1).

7 Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities financial interests (OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p. 1).

Amendment  100

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Where such illegal activities are proven, the EIB shall undertake recovery efforts with respect to its operations supported by the EU guarantee.

Where OLAF recommends the recovery due to illegal activities, including money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax fraud and tax evasion, corruption, or fraud affecting the financial interests established during its investigations are proven, the EIB and the Commission shall undertake recovery with respect to its operations.

Amendment  101

Proposal for a regulation

Article 15 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Financing agreements signed in relation to operations supported under this Regulation shall include clauses allowing exclusion from EIB financing and investment operations and, if necessary, appropriate recovery measures in cases of fraud, corruption or other illegal activity in accordance with the EFSI Agreement, EIB policies and applicable regulatory requirements. The decision whether to apply an exclusion from the EIB financing and investment operation shall be taken in accordance with the relevant financing or investment agreement..

3. Financing agreements signed in relation to operations supported under this Regulation shall include clauses allowing exclusion from EIB financing and investment operations and, if necessary, appropriate recovery measures in cases of fraud, corruption or other illegal activity in accordance with the EFSI Agreement, EIB policies and applicable regulatory requirements. The decision whether to apply an exclusion from the EIB financing and investment operation shall be taken in accordance with the relevant financing or investment agreement. These agreements shall be notified to the European Parliament.

Amendment  102

Proposal for a regulation

Article 16 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. In its financing and investment operations, the EIB shall not support any activities carried out for illegal purposes, including money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax fraud and tax evasion, corruption, or fraud affecting the financial interests of the Union. In particular the EIB shall not participate in any financing or investment operation through a vehicle located in a non-cooperative jurisdiction, in line with its policy towards weakly regulated or non-cooperative jurisdictions based on policies of the Union, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development or the Financial Action Task Force.

1. In its financing and investment operations, the EIB, the EIF and all financial intermediaries shall not support any activities carried out for illegal purposes, including money laundering, financing of terrorism, tax fraud and tax evasion, corruption, or fraud affecting the financial interests of the Union. In particular the EIB shall not participate in any financing or investment operation through a vehicle located in a non-cooperative jurisdiction in relation to the application of the internationally agreed tax standard, in line with its policy towards weakly regulated or non-cooperative jurisdictions based on policies of the Union, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development or the Financial Action Task Force. The EIB shall transpose such requirements to any third party contributing to the EFSI or any investment platform. 

Justification

This amendment takes the more specific wording of article 140. (4) of the financial regulation from which it seems to have been inspired.

Amendment  103

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

Financing and investment operations signed by the EIB or EIF, during the period from 1 January 2015 to the conclusion of the EFSI Agreement, may be submitted by the EIB or the EIF to the Commission for coverage under the EU guarantee.

1. Financing and investment operations signed by the EIB or EIF during the period from 1 January 2015 to the conclusion of the EFSI Agreement may be submitted by them to the Investment Committee for assessment. The Investment Committee may submit those operations to the Commission to propose that they be covered under the EU guarantee.

Justification

Idea from the ECA Opinion 4/2015 on the EFSI - paragraph 45

Amendment  104

Proposal for a regulation

Article 20 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Commission shall assess those operations and, where they comply with the substantive requirements set out in Article 5 and in the EFSI Agreement, decide that the EU guarantee coverage extends to them.

2. Taking into account the assessment of the Investment Committee, the Commission shall assess the operations and, where they comply with the substantive requirements set out in Article 5 and in the EFSI Agreement, decide that the EU guarantee coverage extends to them. It shall then inform the European Parliament of such decision.

Justification

Idea from the ECA Opinion 4/2015 on the EFSI - paragraph 45

PROCEDURE

Title

European Fund for Strategic Investments

References

COM(2015)0010 – C8-0007/2015 – 2015/0009(COD)

Committees responsible

       Date announced in plenary

BUDG

28.1.2015

ECON

28.1.2015

 

 

Opinion by

       Date announced in plenary

CONT

9.3.2015

Rapporteur

       Date appointed

Michael Theurer

2.3.2015

Rule 55 – joint committee meetings

       Date announced in plenary

       

9.3.2015

Discussed in committee

24.2.2015

23.3.2015

 

 

Date adopted

13.4.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

20

2

3

Members present for the final vote

Nedzhmi Ali, Louis Aliot, Inés Ayala Sender, Zigmantas Balčytis, Dennis de Jong, Martina Dlabajová, Jens Geier, Ingeborg Gräßle, Rina Ronja Kari, Bernd Kölmel, Verónica Lope Fontagné, Georgi Pirinski, Claudia Schmidt, Bart Staes, Marco Valli, Derek Vaughan, Tomáš Zdechovský, Joachim Zeller

Substitutes present for the final vote

Benedek Jávor, Karin Kadenbach, Andrey Novakov, Julia Pitera, Czesław Adam Siekierski, Patricija Šulin

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Eugen Freund


OPINION of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (1.4.2015)

for the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Fund for Strategic Investments and amending Regulations (EU) No 1291/2013 and (EU) No 1316/2013

(COM(2015)0010 – C8-0007/2015 – 2015/0009(COD))

Rapporteur: Danuta Jazłowiecka

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

As a consequence of the economic and financial crisis the level of investment in the EU dropped by 15% since its peak in 2007. Economic recovery, job creation, long-term growth and competitiveness are being hampered as a result. The investment gap poses additional risk to reaching the targets set by Europe 2020, especially the headline target of 75% employment in the population aged 24-64 by 2020. In the third quarter of 2014 the unemployment level in the EU-28 stood still at 9.7%. In addition too many young Europeans are approaching the edge of poverty. Member States however fail to make an effective use of the European funds, especially the Youth Employment Initiative.

Despite a positive impact of cohesion policy, current efforts to foster growth and boost employment have not been sufficiently successful. A new and complementary initiative aimed at growth and job-creation is thus urgently needed. In this context we should welcome the proposal to set up the European Fund for Strategic Investment that has the potential to provide, in correlation with other instruments, a rapid economic stimulus.

As empirical evidence shows, a strong correlation between unemployment and investment level, we should expect this Fund, if well-structured and managed, to boost much-needed medium to long-term employment. The Fund is expected to mobilise 315 billion EUR over three years' time and as a result generate 1.3 million additional direct and indirect job places. The potential employment impact of the Fund will depend on many factors, especially its possibility to support projects with job-creation potential, the extent to which private capital will be leveraged, its compatibility with other existing instruments as well as timely release of funds and additional measures addressed at labour markets.

Job creation potential

The main aim of projects financed under the EFSI should be to create growth and suitable, high-quality job places. This should be the main guiding principle throughout the regulation in question. In order to assess performance, a careful assessment of the number and quality of jobs generated by the Fund should be carried out, with a special focus on the respect of terms and conditions of employment in the generated job places. This assessment should also serve as a useful tool in case of future revision of EFSI.

In order for the job creation potential not to be hampered, Member States shall foster active labour market policies in order to guarantee their workforce skills' adaptability to the needs of sectors with high investment potential. The PES and EURES reforms are of high importance in this respect.

Support for SMEs and mid-cap companies

The EU-based small and medium-sized enterprises represent 99% of businesses in the EU, employ more than 90 million people and are responsible for 85% of recent net job growth. They have therefore a great job-creation potential that should be strengthened. The success of the EFSI will depend on the extent to which the private sector will be willing to invest, so incentives for private sector should be maximised. The Fund should be structured in such a way that avoids situations in which projects would be financed anyway. Therefore projects with relatively high-risk profile as well as with a potential to become economically viable due to EFSI funding should be prioritised.

Collection of additional funds

After the much needed period of fiscal consolidation it is time for European countries to invest. In order to maximise the investment potential of the Fund and, as a result, job creation, we need to establish incentives for Member States to participate financially in the EFSI. Therefore financial contribution to the EFSI by Member States, including possible participation in investment platforms, should not be taken into account by the Commission when defining the fiscal adjustment under either the preventive or the corrective arm of the Pact.

Correlation with other existing instruments

The success of the EFSI will depend also on its possibility to co-exist and reinforce already existing financial instruments in Europe, such as the European Structural and Investment Funds. In order to maximise the job creation potential of these financial instruments there should be a possibility on one hand to use European Structural Funds to contribute to the financing of projects under the EFSI and on the other to use EFSI to co-finance projects eligible under European structural policy interventions.

Additional measures

In order to make the EFSI work, the European Commission will also initiate and support additional measures to provide greater regulatory predictability and remove barriers to invest, making European a more attractive investment destination.

Moreover the selection method of investment projects should take into consideration different development levels of national financial markets and their stability, which will have a direct impact on the ability to use the fund in Member States. This would secure a distribution of financial resources throughout the EU, including the countries most affected by the crisis.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Employment and Social Affairs calls on the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, as the committees responsible, to take into account the following amendments:

Amendment  1

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(1) The economic and financial crisis has led to a lowering of the level of investments within the Union. Investment has fallen by approximately 15% since its peak in 2007. The Union suffers in particular from a lack of investment as a consequence of market uncertainty regarding the economic future and the fiscal constraints on Member States. This lack of investment slows economic recovery and negatively affects job creation, long-term growth prospects and competitiveness.

(1) The economic and financial crisis has led to a lowering of the level of investments within the Union. Investment has fallen by approximately 15% since its peak in 2007. The Union suffers in particular from a lack of targeted quality investment as a consequence of market uncertainty regarding the economic future, the fiscal constraints on Member States and/or regions, unsustainable debt and structural problems. This lack of investment slows economic recovery and negatively affects job creation, long-term growth prospects, competitiveness and welfare systems.

Amendment  2

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 1 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(1a) The EFSI should pay special attention to projects in Member States and regions still suffering most from the crisis, aiming to reduce divergences, especially in relation to unemployment and employment levels. The need to generate new quality employment at adequate levels should be specifically addressed in a European investment strategy, to which the EFSI should contribute.  

Amendment  3

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(2) Comprehensive action is required to reverse the vicious circle created by a lack of investment. Structural reforms and fiscal responsibility are necessary preconditions for stimulating investment. Along with a renewed impetus towards investment financing, these preconditions can contribute to establishing a virtuous circle, where investment projects help support employment and demand and lead to a sustained increase in growth potential.

(2) Comprehensive action is required to reverse the vicious circle created by a lack of investment. Socially responsible structural reforms and fiscal responsibility help to stimulate sound investments. Along with a renewed impetus towards investment financing, these preconditions can contribute to establishing a virtuous circle, where investment projects support and generate medium to long-term quality and sustainable employment, increase demand, lead to a sustained increase in growth potential as well as to economic, social and territorial cohesion, social inclusion and generate added value for society.

Amendment  4

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2a) The objective of strategic investments to foster sustainable growth should be pursued in parallel with the objective to generate medium to long-term quality jobs which comply with the legal terms and conditions of employment in Member States.

Amendment  5

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2b) A wide set of economic and social reforms should be undertaken at national level to generate major economic and social gains. Such reforms should for example aim at ensuring full and equal access to high quality education and training systems, to good childcare facilities and to properly financed health care systems, as well as at ensuring equal participation of women and men in the labour market, and at developing fair and effective tax policy systems which successfully eliminate tax fraud and evasion and tax avoidance practices.

Amendment  6

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 2 c new

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(2c) In order to maximise the employment impact of the EFSI, Member States should continue to undertake socially responsible structural reforms and other initiatives such as training programmes and active labour market policies, support conditions for the creation of quality and sustainable jobs and invest in targeted social policies in line with the 2013 Social Investment Package. In addition, Member States should undertake additional activities such as customised training programmes to match the skills of workers to the needs of sectors benefiting from EFSI, tailor-made business services for enterprises to prepare them to be ready to expand and create more jobs, as well as support for start-ups and self-employed individuals.

Amendment  7

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 4

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(4) Throughout the economic and financial crisis, the Union has made efforts to promote growth, in particular through initiatives set out in the Europe 2020 strategy that put in place an approach for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The European Investment Bank ('EIB') has also strengthened its role in instigating and promoting investment within the Union, partly by way of an increase in capital in January 2013. Further action is required to ensure that the investment needs of the Union are addressed and that the liquidity available on the market is used efficiently and channelled towards the funding of viable investment projects.

(4) Throughout the economic and financial crisis, the Union has made efforts to promote growth, in particular through initiatives set out in the Europe 2020 strategy that put in place an approach for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, unfortunately with an insufficient impact on employment and poverty levels in many Member States. The European Investment Bank ('EIB') has also strengthened its role in instigating and promoting investment within the Union, partly by way of an increase in capital in January 2013. Further and complementary action is thus required to ensure that the investment needs of the Union are addressed and that the liquidity available on the market is used efficiently and channelled towards the funding of viable and sustainable investment projects, with a strong focus on their potential to create growth and quality and sustainable jobs, and their benefit to society as a whole.

Amendment  8

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 8

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(8) The EFSI is part of a comprehensive approach to address uncertainty surrounding public and private investments. The strategy has three pillars: mobilising finance for investment, making investment reach the real economy and improving the investment environment in the Union.

(8) The EFSI is part of a comprehensive approach to address uncertainty surrounding public and private investments. The strategy has three pillars: mobilising finance for investment, making investment reach the real economy and improving the investment environment in the Union. With no improvement in the investment environment, it will be difficult for the EFSI to achieve its purpose. In that regard, a genuine commitment to further consolidation of the Union's internal market is needed, with emphasis on the Digital Single Market. The EFSI should be operational as soon as possible so that investments can be activated in 2015.

Amendment  9

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 9

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(9) The investment environment within the Union should be improved by removing barriers to investment, reinforcing the Single Market and by enhancing regulatory predictability. The work of the EFSI, and investments across Europe generally, should benefit from this accompanying work.

(9) The investment environment within the Union should be improved by removing barriers to investment, reducing red tape, reinforcing the Single Market, keeping labour markets sufficiently flexible, ensuring labour costs, including wages, are in line with productivity, encouraging social protection systems that make work attractive, restructuring and capitalising banks, improving the efficiency of public administration and tax systems, and by enhancing regulatory predictability. The work of the EFSI, and investments across Europe generally, should benefit from this accompanying work.

Amendment  10

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 10

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(10) The purpose of the EFSI should be to help resolve the difficulties in financing and implementing productive investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing. It is intended that increased access to financing should be of particular benefit to small and medium enterprises. It is also appropriate to extend the benefit of such increased access to financing to mid-cap companies, which are companies having up to 3000 employees. Overcoming Europe's current investment difficulties should contribute to strengthening the Union's economic, social and territorial cohesion.

(10) The purpose of the EFSI should be to help resolve the difficulties in financing and implementing productive investments in the Union and to ensure increased and simplified access to financing with the aim of generating sustainable growth and quality and sustainable jobs. It is intended that increased access to financing should be of particular benefit to small and medium enterprises, which represent 99 % of businesses in the Union, employ more than 90 million workers and have recently generated more than 80 % of new jobs in the Union. It is also appropriate to extend the benefit of such increased access to financing to mid-cap companies, which are companies having up to 3000 employees as well as social and micro-enterprises. Overcoming Europe's current investment difficulties should contribute to strengthening the Union's economic, social, and territorial cohesion.

Amendment  11

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 11

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(11) The EFSI should support strategic investments with high economic value added contributing to achieving Union policy objectives.

(11) The EFSI should support strategic investments with high socio-economic value added and potential to create quality and sustainable jobs, contributing to achieving long-term Union policy objectives, especially regarding cohesion policy and employment, education and poverty reduction targets of the Europe 2020 strategy.

Amendment  12

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 12

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(12) Many small and medium enterprises, as well as mid-cap companies, across the Union require assistance to attract market financing, especially as regards investments that carry a greater degree of risk. The EFSI should help these businesses to overcome capital shortages by allowing the EIB and the European Investment Fund ('EIF') to provide direct and indirect equity injections, as well as to provide guarantees for high-quality securitisation of loans, and other products that are granted in pursuit of the aims of the EFSI.

(12) Many micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as mid-cap companies, across the Union require assistance to attract market financing, especially as regards investments that carry a greater degree of risk. The EFSI should help these businesses to overcome capital shortages by allowing the EIB and the European Investment Fund ('EIF') to provide direct and indirect equity injections, as well as to provide guarantees for high-quality securitisation of loans, and other products that are granted in pursuit of the aims of the EFSI. It is important that the EFSI takes into account the specific investment conditions in countries with less developed financial markets.

Amendment  13

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 13

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(13) The EFSI should be established within the EIB in order to benefit from its experience and proven track record and in order for its operations to start to have a positive impact as quickly as possible. The work of the EFSI on providing finance to small and medium enterprises and small mid-cap companies should be channelled through the European Investment Fund ('EIF') to benefit from its experience in these activities.

(13) The EFSI should be established within the EIB in order to benefit from its experience and proven track record and in order for its operations to start to have a positive impact as quickly as possible. The work of the EFSI on providing finance to small, medium and micro enterprises and small mid-cap companies should be channelled through the European Investment Fund ('EIF') to benefit from its experience in these activities.

Amendment  14

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(14) The EFSI should target projects delivering high societal and economic value. In particular, the EFSI should target projects that promote job creation, long-term growth and competitiveness. The EFSI should support a wide range of financial products, including equity, debt or guarantees, to best accommodate the needs of the individual project. This wide range of products should allow the EFSI to adapt to market needs whilst encouraging private investment in the projects. The EFSI should not be a substitute for private market finance but should instead catalyse private finance by addressing market failures so as to ensure the most effective and strategic use of public money. The requirement for consistency with State aid principles should contribute to such effective and strategic use.

(14) The EFSI should target projects delivering high societal and economic value, which have a direct impact on the real economy. In particular, the EFSI should target projects that foster the creation of quality and sustainable jobs, sustainable and inclusive long-term growth, competitiveness as well as research and innovation and skills development. The EFSI should support a wide range of financial products, including equity, debt or guarantees, to best accommodate the needs of the individual project. This wide range of products should allow the EFSI to adapt to market needs whilst encouraging private investment in the projects. The EFSI should not be a substitute for private market finance but should instead catalyse private finance by addressing market failures so as to ensure the most effective and strategic use of public money. The requirement for consistency with State aid principles should contribute to such effective and strategic use.

Amendment  15

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 14 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(14a) The impact of the EFSI on employment should be systematically monitored and further encouraged, especially with a view to achieving prolonged societal gains in the form of sustainable and quality employment, as a result making both  investors and workers benefit from the EFSI.

Amendment  16

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 15

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(15) The EFSI should target projects with a higher risk-return profile than existing EIB and Union instruments to ensure additionality over existing operations. The EFSI should finance projects across the Union, including in the countries most affected by the financial crisis. The EFSI should only be used where financing is not available from other sources on reasonable terms.

(15) The EFSI should be complementary to existing financial instruments of the Union and should target projects with difficulties in attracting private financing and with a higher risk-return profile than existing EIB and Union instruments to ensure additionality over existing operations. The EFSI should finance projects across the Union, including in the countries most affected by the financial crisis and the areas affected by large pockets of unemployment. The EFSI should only be used where financing is not available from other sources on reasonable terms.

Amendment  17

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(16) The EFSI should target investments that are expected to be economically and technically viable, which may entail a degree of appropriate risk, whilst still meeting the particular requirements for EFSI financing.

(16) The EFSI should target investments that are expected to be economically and technically viable and offer significant potential for creating jobs. The level of risk entailed by those investments should be appropriate to the achievement of the EFSI’s objectives, in particular as regards job creation, provided that the particular requirements for EFSI financing are met.

Justification

As well as being viable, investments should offer significant potential for creating jobs. Classing the level of risk entailed by investments as ‘appropriate’ is extremely vague; it would be better to link it to the objectives that the EFSI is to achieve, in particular as regards job creation.

Amendment  18

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(16a) The EFSI should take into due account the labour market situations across Member States and regions, and include potential employment-enhancing outcomes achievable when assessing projects. 

Amendment  19

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(16b) The Steering Board of the EFSI should determine the investment policy of projects that can be supported and the risk profile. Given that the selection of projects will depend on that policy, the European Parliament should be involved in drawing up the criteria.

Justification

The Steering Board has a fundamental task within the EFSI, which is to determine the investment policy and consequently the criteria for selecting projects. It is essential to involve the European Parliament in drawing up those criteria.

Amendment  20

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16 c (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(16c) The EFSI should be focused on creating new investments in areas where investor appetite is subdued rather than on substituting investments that would have been produced elsewhere (crowding out), or on focusing on highly profitable investments that would have occurred in any event (deadweight). Social investments should be promoted that not only generate financial returns but promote positive social spillover effects, such as investments in human capital or investments with high impact in job creation or poverty reduction.

Amendment  21

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 16 d (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(16d) To boost the employment effect of the EFSI, the selection method of investment projects should take into consideration different levels of development of national financial markets as well as their stability, which will have a direct impact on the ability to use the EFSI in Member States. This will secure the distribution of financial resources throughout the Union, including the Member States most affected by the financial crisis.

Amendment  22

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(17) Decisions on the use of the EFSI support for infrastructure and large mid-cap projects should be made by an Investment Committee. The Investment Committee should be composed of independent experts who are knowledgeable and experienced in the areas of investment projects. The Investment Committee should be accountable to a Steering Board of the EFSI, who should supervise the fulfilment of the EFSI's objectives. To effectively benefit from the experience of the EIF, the EFSI should support funding to the EIF to allow the EIF to undertake individual projects in the areas of small and medium enterprises and small mid-cap companies.

(17) Decisions on the use of the EFSI support for infrastructure and large mid-cap projects should be made by an Investment Committee. The Investment Committee should be composed of independent experts who are knowledgeable and experienced in the areas of investment projects and have proven expertise in one of the five headline targets of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The Investment Committee should include expert(s) with relevant expertise enabling them to assess the employment and social effects of the projects. The Investment Committee should act in a transparent way. The Investment Committee should be accountable to a Steering Board of the EFSI, who should supervise the fulfilment of the EFSI's objectives. To effectively benefit from the experience of the EIF, the EFSI should support funding to the EIF to allow the EIF to undertake individual projects in the areas of small and medium enterprises and small mid-cap companies.

Amendment  23

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 17 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(17a) The Investment Committee experts should be approved by the European Parliament, in order to improve the Investment Committee's democratic governance and accountability.

Amendment  24

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 18

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(18) In order to enable the EFSI to support investments, the Union should grant a guarantee of an amount equal to EUR 16 000 000 000. When provided on a portfolio basis, the guarantee coverage should be capped depending upon the type of instrument, such as debt, equity or guarantees, as a percentage of the volume of the portfolio of outstanding commitments. It is expected that when the guarantee is combined with EUR 5 000 000 000 to be provided by the EIB, that the EFSI support should generate EUR 60 800 000 000 additional investment by the EIB and EIF. This EUR 60 800 000 000 supported by the EFSI is expected to generate a total of EUR 315 000 000 000 in investment in the Union within the period 2015 to 2017. Guarantees that are attached to projects which are completed without a call on a guarantee are available for supporting new operations.

(18) In order to enable the EFSI to support investments, the Union should grant a guarantee of an amount equal to EUR 16 000 000 000. When provided on a portfolio basis, the guarantee coverage should be capped depending upon the type of instrument, such as debt, equity or guarantees, as a percentage of the volume of the portfolio of outstanding commitments. It is expected that when the guarantee is combined with EUR 5 000 000 000 to be provided by the EIB, that the EFSI support should generate EUR 60 800 000 000 additional investment by the EIB and EIF. This EUR 60 800 000 000 supported by the EFSI is expected to generate a total of EUR 315 000 000 000 in investment in the Union within the period 2015 to 2017, thus demonstrating the emergency nature of the fund and the need for it to have an immediate impact in the next three years. Guarantees that are attached to projects which are completed without a call on a guarantee are available for supporting new operations.

Justification

Of the two general approaches that could be taken by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), it is vital to support the approach according to which it is an emergency instrument that will have a strong impact in the short term to combat unemployment, rather than promoting a modernising change of structure in Europe.

Amendment  25

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 19

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(19) In order to allow for further increase in its resources, participation in the EFSI should be open to third parties, including Member States, national promotional banks or public agencies owned or controlled by Member States, private sector entities and entities outside the Union subject to the consent of existing contributors. Third parties may contribute directly to the EFSI and take part in the EFSI governance structure.

(19) In order to allow for further increase in its resources, participation in the EFSI should be open to third parties, including Member States, national promotional and investment banks or public agencies owned or controlled by Member States or regional institutions, private sector entities and entities outside the Union subject to the consent of existing contributors. Third parties may contribute directly to the EFSI and take part in the EFSI governance structure, on condition that the Union’s overall interests are upheld in decision-making and the definition of policies and strategies.

Amendment  26

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20 a (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(20a) The EIB should use available means and resources in order to support the development of geographic and thematic investment platforms, bringing together co-investors, public authorities, experts, education, training and research institutions, and other relevant actors at Union, national and regional levels, in order to foster innovation, skills development and the creation of quality and sustainable jobs in key areas where more investment is needed.

Amendment  27

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 20 b (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

(20b) Financial contributions to the EFSI by Member States, including possible participation in investment platforms, should not be taken into account by the Commission when defining the fiscal adjustment under either the preventive or the corrective arm of the Pact. In the event of an excess over the deficit reference value, the Commission should not launch an EDP if that excess is only due to the contribution and is small and expected to be temporary. Similarly no procedure should be launched when assessing an excess over the debt reference value in the event that this is due solely to contributions to the EFSI.

Justification

We need to encourage as many MSs as possible to participate in the EFSI in order to maximise positive effects on the European economy. In this respect MSs' financial contributions, including contributions to investment platforms, shall not trigger the EDP.

Amendment  28

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 21

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(21) Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use European Structural Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects that are supported by the EU guarantee. The flexibility of this approach should maximise the potential to attract investors to the areas of investment targeted by the EFSI.

(21) Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use European Structural Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects that are supported by the EU guarantee. The flexibility of this approach should maximise the potential to attract investors to the areas of investment targeted by the EFSI. The EFSI may also be used for co-financing projects eligible under European Structural and Investment Funds.

Justification

EFSI should be treated as a complementary investment tool to already existing European Structural Funds. Therefore, in order to maximise effects of both tools, the co-financing of projects between EFSI and the ESIF should work in both ways. Especially the use of financial instruments available under EFSI such as loans may help to proceed with a number of significant projects under structural policy which have been blocked due to lack of public money.

Amendment  29

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 25

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(25) The EIB should regularly evaluate activities supported by the EFSI with a view to assessing their relevance, performance and impact and to identifying aspects that could improve future activities. Such evaluations should contribute to accountability and analysis of sustainability.

(25) The EIB should regularly evaluate activities supported by the EFSI with a view to assessing their relevance, performance and impact, notably as regards their social and economic impact, paying particular attention to job creation, and to identifying aspects that could improve future activities. Such evaluations should contribute to accountability and analysis of sustainability. They should be forwarded in the form of a report to the European Parliament, at regular intervals, for its opinion.

Justification

It is essential to evaluate the activities supported by the EFSI, particularly as regards job creation.

Amendment  30

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 26

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(26) Alongside the financing operations that will be conducted through the EFSI, a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') should be created. The EIAH should provide strengthened support for project development and preparation across the Union, by building on the expertise of the Commission, the EIB, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds. This should establish a single point of entry for questions related to technical assistance for investments within the Union.

(26) Alongside the financing operations that will be conducted through the EFSI, a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') should be created. The EIAH should provide strengthened support for project development and preparation across the Union, by building on the expertise of the Commission, the EIB, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds, SMEs' representatives as well as experts in employment and social policies. This should establish a single point of entry for questions related to technical assistance for investments within the Union, access to which shall be fostered by a multilingual and further decentralised approach to support effective dissemination of information.

Amendment  31

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 29

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(29) To partially finance the contribution from the Union budget, the available envelopes of the Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2014-2020, provided by Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council2, and the Connecting Europe Facility, provided by Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council3, should be reduced. Those programmes serve purposes that are not replicated by the EFSI. However, the reduction of both programmes to finance the guarantee fund is expected to ensure a greater investment in certain areas of their respective mandates than is possible through the existing programmes. The EFSI should be able to leverage the EU guarantee to multiply the financial effect within those areas of research, development and innovation and transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructure compared to if the resources had been spent via grants within the planned Horizon 2020 and Connecting Europe Facility programmes. It is, therefore, appropriate to redirect part of the funding presently envisaged for those programmes to the benefit of EFSI.

(29) To partially finance the contribution from the Union budget, the available envelopes of the Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation 2014-2020, provided by Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council2, and the Connecting Europe Facility, provided by Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council3, should be reduced. Those programmes serve purposes that are not replicated by the EFSI. However, the reduction of both programmes to finance the guarantee fund is expected to ensure a greater investment in certain areas of their respective mandates than is possible through the existing programmes. The EFSI should be able to leverage the EU guarantee to multiply the financial effect within those areas of research, development and innovation and transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructure compared to if the resources had been spent via grants within the planned Horizon 2020 and Connecting Europe Facility programmes. It is, therefore, appropriate to redirect part of the funding presently envisaged for those programmes to the benefit of EFSI, without sacrificing the initial objectives of those programmes.

__________________

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2 Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 104).

2 Regulation (EU) No 1291/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing Horizon 2020 - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (2014-2020) and repealing Decision No 1982/2006/EC (OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 104).

3 Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility, amending Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 680/2007 and (EC) No 67/2010 (OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p. 129).

3 Regulation (EU) No 1316/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 establishing the Connecting Europe Facility, amending Regulation (EU) No 913/2010 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 680/2007 and (EC) No 67/2010 (OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p. 129).

Amendment  32

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 31

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(31) Within the Union, there are a significant number of potentially viable projects that are not being financed due to a lack of certainty and transparency with respect to such projects. Often, this is because private investors are not aware of the projects or have insufficient information to make an assessment of the investment risks. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, should promote the creation of a transparent pipeline of current and future investment projects in the Union suitable for investment. This 'project pipeline' should ensure that information is made publicly available regarding investment projects on a regular and structured basis to ensure that investors have reliable information on which to base their investment decisions.

(31) Within the Union, there are a significant number of potentially viable projects that are not being financed due to a lack of certainty and transparency with respect to such projects. Often, this is because private investors are not aware of the projects or have insufficient information to make an assessment of the investment risks. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, should promote the creation of a transparent pipeline of current and future investment projects in the Union suitable for investment. This 'project pipeline' should ensure that information is made publicly available regarding investment projects on a regular and structured basis to ensure that investors have reliable and transparent information on which to base their investment decisions. In connection with the pipeline, value will be attached to the protection of essential business secrets.

Amendment  33

Proposal for a regulation

Recital 34

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(34) To ensure accountability to European citizens, the EIB should regularly report to the European Parliament and the Council on the progress and impact of the EFSI.

(34) To ensure accountability to European citizens, the EIB should regularly report to the European Parliament and the Council on the progress and real social and economic impact of the EFSI, paying particular attention to job creation. To that end the EIB should submit an annual report to the European Parliament and the Council for their opinion.

Justification

To specify the content of the EIB’s regular reports to the European Parliament and the Council. As has been pointed out, it is essential to assess whether the investments financed are having an impact on job creation.

Amendment  34

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission shall conclude an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the establishment of a European Fund for Strategic Investments ('EFSI').

1. Based on a mandate from the European Council and the European Parliament the Commission may conclude an agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) on the establishment of a European Fund for Strategic Investments ('EFSI'). The agreement shall be transmitted to the European Parliament and the Council and shall be made public.

Amendment  35

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The purpose of the EFSI shall be to support investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing for companies having up to 3000 employees, with a particular focus on small and medium enterprises, through the supply of risk bearing capacity to the EIB ('EFSI Agreement').

The purpose of the EFSI shall be to support quality public and private investments in the Union and to ensure increased access to financing for companies having up to 3000 employees, with a particular focus on small and medium, as well as micro and social enterprises, through the supply of risk bearing capacity to the EIB ('EFSI Agreement'). The overall objective of the EFSI shall be to support the Europe 2020 objectives and promote sustainable, inclusive and long-term growth and job creation in the Union.

Amendment  36

Proposal for a regulation

Article 1 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The EFSI Agreement shall be open to accession by Member States. Subject to the consent of existing contributors, the EFSI Agreement shall also be open to accession by other third parties, including national promotional banks or public agencies owned or controlled by Member States, and private sector entities.

2. The EFSI Agreement shall be open to accession by Member States. Subject to the consent of existing contributors, the EFSI Agreement shall also be open to accession by other third parties, including national promotional banks or public agencies owned or controlled by Member States, regional and local authorities, and private sector entities.

Amendment  37

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The EFSI Agreement shall provide for the creation of a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') within the EIB. The EIAH shall have as its objective to build upon existing EIB and Commission advisory services in order to provide advisory support for investment project identification, preparation and development and act as a single technical advisory hub for project financing within the Union. This shall include support on the use of technical assistance for project structuring, use of innovative financial instruments, use of public-private partnerships and advice, as appropriate, on relevant issues of EU legislation.

2. The EFSI Agreement shall provide for the creation of a European Investment Advisory Hub ('EIAH') within the EIB. The EIAH shall be transparent and independent.  The EIAH shall have as its objective to build upon existing EIB and Commission advisory services in order to provide advisory support for investment project identification, preparation and development and act as a single technical advisory hub for project financing within the Union. This shall include support on the use of technical assistance for project structuring, use of innovative financial instruments, use of public-private partnerships, and advice, as appropriate, on relevant issues of EU legislation. The EIAH, in cooperation with the Commission, shall introduce a communication strategy to inform the public of its activities.

Amendment  38

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

To meet that objective, the EIAH shall use the expertise of the EIB, the Commission, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds.

To meet that objective, the EIAH shall use the expertise of the EIB, the Commission, national promotional banks and the managing authorities of the European Structural and Investment Funds, experts in the employment and social affairs field as well as regularly consult with stakeholders concerned.

Amendment  39

Proposal for a regulation

Article 2 – paragraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Member States that become parties to the EFSI Agreement shall be able to provide their contribution, in particular, in the form of cash or a guarantee acceptable to the EIB. Other third parties shall be able to provide their contribution only in cash.

3. Member States that become parties to the EFSI Agreement shall be able to provide their contribution, in particular, in the form of cash or a guarantee acceptable to the EIB. Other third parties shall be able to provide their contribution only in cash. Financial contributions by Member States, including possible contributions to investment platforms, shall not be taken into account by the Commission when defining the fiscal adjustment under the preventive and corrective arm of the Stability and Growth Pact. In the event of an excess over the deficit reference value the Commission shall not launch an EDP if that excess is only due to the contribution and is small and expected to be temporary. Similarly, no procedure shall be launched when assessing an excess over the debt reference value in the event that this is due solely to contributions to the EFSI.

Justification

We need to encourage as many MSs as possible to participate in the EFSI in order to maximise its positive effects on the European Economy. In this respect MSs' financial contributions, including contributions to investment platforms, shall not trigger the EDP.

Amendment  40

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall be governed by a Steering Board, which shall determine the strategic orientation, the strategic asset allocation and operating policies and procedures, including the investment policy of projects that EFSI can support and risk profile of the EFSI, in conformity with the objectives under Article 5(2). The Steering Board shall elect one of its members to be Chairperson.

1. The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall be governed by a Steering Board, which shall determine the strategic orientation, the strategic asset allocation and operating policies and procedures, including the investment policy of projects that EFSI can support and risk profile of the EFSI, in conformity with the objectives under Article 5(2). Steering Board members shall include representative(s) with proven expertise in employment and social policies capable to address major socio-economic problems in the Union. The Steering Board shall elect one of its members to be Chairperson. The Steering Board shall act in a transparent and independent way.

Amendment  41

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 3 – subparagraph 3

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

No decision of the Steering Board shall be adopted if the Commission or the EIB votes against it.

No decision of the Steering Board shall be adopted if the Commission or the EIB votes against it. When this occurs, the reasons for the vote against shall be stated before the members of the Steering Board. The European Parliament shall be informed of any disputes in the annual report.

Amendment  42

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 5- subparagraph 1

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have an Investment Committee, which shall be responsible for examining potential operations and in line with the EFSI investment policies and approving the support of the EU guarantee for operations and in line with Article 5, irrespective of their geographic location.

The EFSI Agreement shall provide that the EFSI shall have an Investment Committee, which shall be responsible for examining potential operations (including investment platforms) in line with the EFSI investment policies and approving the support of the EU guarantee for operations (including investment platforms) in line with Article 5, irrespective of their geographic location.

Amendment  43

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 5 – subparagraph 2

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

The Investment Committee shall be composed of six independent experts and the Managing Director. Independent experts shall have a high level of relevant market experience in project finance and be appointed by the Steering Board for a renewable fixed term of three years.

The Investment Committee shall be composed of eight independent experts and the Managing Director. Independent experts shall have a high level of relevant market experience in project finance, knowledge of sectors concerned and their specificities and/ or macroeconomics. At least one expert shall possess relevant expertise to assess the employment and social effects of the projects. All experts shall be appointed by the Steering Board for a renewable fixed term of three years on the basis of their competencies following a transparent and independent procedure. All experts shall declare in a written form that they have no conflict of interest regarding investment operation.

Amendment  44

Proposal for a regulation

Article 3 – paragraph 5 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

5a. Directive (XXXX) of the European Parliament and of the Council on improving the gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges and related measures (2012/0299/COD) shall apply to any appointment, selection or recruitment procedure for EFSI bodies.

Justification

The Directive on improving gender balance is also of high relevance for the EFSI Board as a balanced gender distribution will have a positive impact on the investment structure.

Amendment  45

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – introductory part

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The EU guarantee shall be granted for EIB financing and investment operations approved by the Investment Committee referred to in Article 3(5) or funding to the EIF in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations in accordance with Article 7(2). The operations concerned shall be consistent with Union policies and support any of the following general objectives:

2. The EU guarantee shall be granted for EIB financing and investment operations approved by the Investment Committee referred to in Article 3(5) or funding to the EIF in order to conduct EIB financing and investment operations in accordance with Article 7(2). Any operations concerned shall be consistent with Union policies, contribute to achieving the objectives of the EU2020 Strategy and shall support any of the following general objectives:

Amendment  46

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – point b

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(b) investment in education and training, health, research and development, information and communications technology and innovation;

(b) capital investment to support social policies including social services, education from an early age and training, the health and care sector, research and development, information and communications technology and innovation, the social economy and social enterprises;

Amendment  47

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – point d

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(d) infrastructure projects in the environmental, natural resources, urban development and social fields;

(d) infrastructure projects in the environmental, natural resources, urban development, social fields and public services;

Amendment  48

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 – point e a (new)

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

(ea) investments with high socio- economic returns supporting sustainable and long-term growth, employment creation as well as economic, social and territorial cohesion;

Amendment  49

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 a (new)

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

 

To guide the selection of projects that the EFSI can support, the Steering Board shall include concern with employment and social impact in the strategic orientation, in the guidelines on the strategic asset allocation, and in the operating policies and procedures, including the investment policies.

Amendment  50

Proposal for a regulation

Article 5 – paragraph 4

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

4. Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use European Structural and Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects in which the EIB is investing with the support of the EU guarantee.

4. Provided that all relevant eligibility criteria are fulfilled, Member States may use European Structural and Investment Funds to contribute to the financing of eligible projects in which the EIB is investing with the support of the EU guarantee. The EFSI may also be used for co-financing projects eligible for European Structural and Investment Funds.

Justification

EFSI should be treated as a complementary investment tool to already existing European Structural Funds. Therefore, in order to maximise effects of both tools, the co-financing of projects between EFSI and the ESIF should work in both ways. Especially the use of financial instruments available under EFSI such as loans may help to proceed with a number of significant projects under structural policy which have been blocked due to lack of public money.

Amendment  51

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States, shall promote the creation of a transparent pipeline of current and potential future investment projects in the Union. The pipeline is without prejudice to the final projects selected for support according to Article 3(5).

1. The Commission and the EIB, with support from the Member States and regional and local authorities, shall promote the creation of a transparent pipeline of current and potential future investment projects in the Union. The pipeline is without prejudice to the final projects selected for support according to Article 3(5).

Amendment  52

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 2

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

2. The Commission and the EIB shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular and structured basis, information on current and future investments which significantly contribute to achieving EU policy objectives.

2. The Commission and the EIB shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular, structured and transparent basis, information on current and future investments which significantly contribute to achieving EU policy objectives.

Amendment  53

Proposal for a regulation

Article 9 – paragraph 3

 

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

3. Member States shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular and structured basis, information on current and future investment projects in their territory.

3. Member States, regional and/or local authorities shall develop, update and disseminate, on a regular, transparent and structured basis, information on current and future investment projects in their territory.

Amendment  54

Proposal for a regulation

Article 10 – paragraph 1

Text proposed by the Commission

Amendment

1. The EIB, in cooperation with the EIF as appropriate, shall report semi-annually to the Commission on EIB financing and investment operations under this Regulation. The report shall include an assessment of compliance with the requirements on the use of the EU guarantee and the key performance indicators established pursuant to Article 2(1)(g). The report shall also include statistical, financial and accounting data on each EIB financing and investment operation and on an aggregated basis.

1. The EIB an