Multiannual financial framework - InvestEU programme 2021–2027

In “A European Green Deal”

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For a brief overview of the key points of the adopted text and its significance for the citizen, please see the corresponding summary note.

In 2018, despite the improvement of the overall economic situation, numerous structural reforms undertaken by Member States and pan-European initiatives such as the Juncker Plan, there was still an important investment gap in the EU. To continue addressing this issue, the Commission proposed the InvestEU programme.

The programme aims to bring together various EU financial instruments for internal policies (e.g. those under EFSI and the CEF) in order to benefit from economies of scale, and to expand the successful model of the Juncker Plan (i.e. using guarantees from the EU budget to crowd-in other investors). InvestEU would consist of the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal.

The InvestEU Fund would aim to mobilise public and private investment through a €47.5 billion total guarantee (EU budget guarantee of €38 billion + €9.5 billion in risk-bearing capacity from the financial partners themselves) that will back the investment projects of financial partners (the main one being the EIB Group, but also others such as national promotional banks) and increase their risk-bearing capacity. Thanks to a multiplier effect, the programme was expected to mobilise €650 billion in additional investment over the 2021-2027 period. 

InvestEU would support four policy windows. The InvestEU Fund would also feature a Member State compartment for each policy area, enabling Member States to voluntarily channel up to 5% of their cohesion policy funds to these compartments.

On 13 December 2018, Parliament's Committees on Budgets (BUDG) and Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) adopted their joint report (co-rapporteurs: José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, Portugal) and Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, Italy)). The amendments aimed at maximising the added value of InvestEU, ensuring that it better reach all possible financial beneficiaries. The report raised the EU guarantee to €40.8 billion, while broadening the general objectives of InvestEU. As regards governance, the amendments provided for the establishment of a steering board whose aim was to ensure the right balance between policy and banking experience in governing the programme. Amendments also clearly established accountability under InvestEU by detailing reporting requirements.

On 16 January 2019 the Parliament adopted its position. On 21 February 2019, EU ambassadors endorsed the Council's position on the proposal. On 27 March 2019, a partial provisional agreement was produced reflecting the co-legislators' common understanding on the state of play of negotiations. On 18 April 2019, Parliament adopted the partial agreement.

On 27 May 2020, the Commission published its proposal for a recovery instrument, Next Generation EU (NGEU), to tackle the socioeconomic impact of the Covid-19 crisis. In this context, it unveiled that it would upgrade InvestEU and adjust it to the post-pandemic needs of the EU's economy. On 29 May 2020, the Commission tabled a new proposal for InvestEU, which reflected the partial agreement reached in 2019. The text increased the initially proposed financial envelope and broadened the scope of the proposal, adding a fifth window devoted to investment in strategic sectors, notably those linked to the green and digital transitions, and in key value chains in the internal market. Under the new proposal, the InvestEU budget guarantee would amount to some €75 billion, with the following allocation between policy windows: €20 billion for sustainable infrastructure; €10 billion for R&D and digitisation; €10 billion for SMEs; €3.6 billion for social investment and skills; and €31 billion for strategic European investment. The provisioning of the guarantee would be set at 45% (€33.8 billion), with a €30.3 billion contribution from NGEU.

The July 2020 European Council reached a political agreement on the new MFF and NGEU. The conclusions set the MFF allocation of the InvestEU Fund at €2.8 billion, to be complemented by reflows from predecessor instruments. The additional contribution from NGEU was set at €5.6 billion. In the subsequent MFF negotiations, Parliament secured a €1 billion reinforcement for InvestEU.

Within Parliament, José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, Portugal) and Irene Tinagli (S&D, Italy) were appointed as co-rapporteurs for the new proposal. On 28 October 2020, the BUDG and ECON Committees adopted their joint report, supporting the creation of the fifth window proposed by the Commission. The text added a sixth window devoted to solvency support of viable EU companies, and provided further details on a just transition scheme to be established horizontally across all policy windows. On 13 November 2020, Parliament adopted the mandate for negotiations.

On 4 November 2020, Member States' EU ambassadors adopted the Council's partial mandate for negotiations. In its partial mandate, the Council did not agree to the creation of a fifth policy window, but sought to integrate relevant provisions in the previously proposed four windows.

On 7 December 2020, Parliament and Council reached a political agreement on InvestEU. The EU guarantee, set at €26.2 billion, is expected to mobilise €372 billion of investment (current prices). At Parliament's insistence, EIB legacy portfolios will be consolidated with InvestEU, thus reinforcing it. In addition, Member States will be able to implement part of their recovery and resilience plans through InvestEU. The strategic European investment window has been integrated into the original four policy windows. The Coreper as well as BUDG and ECON approved the compromise text on 16 December 2020 and 11 January 2021, respectively. Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 9 March 2021. Eight days later, the Council adopted the act. On 26 March 2021, the InvestEU Regulation entered into force, with retroactive application from 1 January 2021.

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Further reading:

Author: Alessandro D'Alfonso, Members' Research Service, legislative-train@europarl.europa.eu

As of 20/04/2024.