EFSI and ESI Funds: Complementarity or contradiction?

11-01-2017

Shortly after beginning its 2014-2019 mandate, the European Commission proposed a new investment Plan for Europe, often referred to as the 'Juncker Plan'. The Investment Plan was seen as a top priority for the European Commission, aimed at strengthening Europe’s competitiveness and stimulating investment in order to create more jobs. It is based on three mutually reinforcing strands: firstly, the mobilisation of at least €315 billion in additional investment over the next three years, maximising the impact of public resources and unlocking private investment through the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI); secondly, targeted initiatives to ensure that this extra investment meets the needs of the real economy through strengthened transparency measures and advisory services; and thirdly, measures to provide greater regulatory predictability and to remove barriers to investment, making Europe more attractive and thereby multiplying the plan’s impact. The European Parliament was generally positive regarding EFSI, however, there were criticisms regarding its scope, remit and overall output in the European economy. One of the issues raised in policy fora is the complex relationship between EFSI and the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) as well as EFSI’s overall impact on the territorial cohesion objective of European Union regional policy. Various stakeholders have also mentioned that EFSI may run contrary to the aims of the ESI Funds, thus creating a competitive relationship with EU regional policy.

Shortly after beginning its 2014-2019 mandate, the European Commission proposed a new investment Plan for Europe, often referred to as the 'Juncker Plan'. The Investment Plan was seen as a top priority for the European Commission, aimed at strengthening Europe’s competitiveness and stimulating investment in order to create more jobs. It is based on three mutually reinforcing strands: firstly, the mobilisation of at least €315 billion in additional investment over the next three years, maximising the impact of public resources and unlocking private investment through the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI); secondly, targeted initiatives to ensure that this extra investment meets the needs of the real economy through strengthened transparency measures and advisory services; and thirdly, measures to provide greater regulatory predictability and to remove barriers to investment, making Europe more attractive and thereby multiplying the plan’s impact. The European Parliament was generally positive regarding EFSI, however, there were criticisms regarding its scope, remit and overall output in the European economy. One of the issues raised in policy fora is the complex relationship between EFSI and the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) as well as EFSI’s overall impact on the territorial cohesion objective of European Union regional policy. Various stakeholders have also mentioned that EFSI may run contrary to the aims of the ESI Funds, thus creating a competitive relationship with EU regional policy.