- Launchpad for investments which otherwise would have been difficult to finance
- MEPs demand bigger EU guarantee: €40.8 billion to trigger €698 billion in investments
- Increased accountability, stronger focus on climate protection
Parliament has adopted its position on a new EU programme to support investment and access to finance from 2021 to 2027.
The new InvestEU programme follows and replaces the current EFSI (European Fund for Strategic Investments), set up after the financial crisis.
MEPs adopted amendments on Wednesday to improve the EU Commission proposal, including:
- increasing the EU budget guarantee to €40.8 billion (current prices) to mobilise more than €698 billion of additional investment across the EU (Commission proposed €38 billion to mobilise €650 billion);
- clearer and new objectives, such as increasing the EU employment rate, achieving the Paris Climate Agreement goals or economic, territorial and social cohesion;
- better climate protection: MEPs set a target of “at least 40%” of the overall financial envelope of the InvestEU Programme for climate objectives;
- introducing a Steering Board to ensure the right balance between policy and banking experience in governing the programme; an EP appointee will also sit on the committee;
- the Commission and the Steering Board should report annually to Parliament and Council on the progress, impact and operations of the InvestEU Programme to ensure better accountability to European citizens.
The report was adopted with 517 votes in favour, 90 against and 25 abstentions.
“InvestEU brings together all the financial instruments of the EU budget. EFSI or the Juncker Plan, which inspired the creation of InvestEU, has already helped to create around 1 million jobs in the European Union and supported more than 850 000 small and medium-sized enterprises. The Commission proposes to trigger €650 billion in investments for the 2021-2027 period but we, in the Parliament, are aiming for almost €700 billion. The EU’s priorities must be reflected in the programme. InvestEU will be a very important tool for economic growth, job creation, entrepreneurship and social, economic, and territorial cohesion to the European Union”, said José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), co-rapporteur for the Committee on Budgets. Watch Mr Fernandes’ plenary speech .
“InvestEU is not only a tool that prolongs the positive experience of the EFSI and other projects developed in recent years. In addition to further strengthening support for small and medium-sized enterprises, research, innovation and sustainable infrastructure, this programme aims to begin to address the huge gap in social infrastructure, ensuring that projects in the fields of education, health, social housing are feasible”, said Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT), co-rapporteur and Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary affairs. Watch Mr Gualtieri’s plenary speech.
MEPs are now ready to start negotiations with EU ministers with the aim to reach a first reading agreement.
Despite numerous initiatives to remedy the situation, there is still a significant investment gap in the EU. The InvestEU programme (part of the MFF 2021-2027 package “EU budget for the future”) aims to address this problem.
It aims to bring together the various EU financial instruments currently available (among others: the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the Connecting Europe Facility instruments, specific facilities under the Competitiveness Of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (COSME) programme, as well as specific guarantees and facilities under the Employment and Social Innovation programme (EaSI)) in order to benefit from economies of scale, and expand the Juncker Plan’s model (i.e. using guarantees from the EU budget to bring in other investors).
InvestEU will consist of the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal (More information)