MEPs from Economic and Monetary Affairs and Budgets committees backed an extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), in their vote on Monday evening. They stressed however that the EU investment plan should focus on riskier future oriented investments, which would not otherwise happen, preferably in economically weaker EU regions, and in a transparent way.
MEPs outlined their positions in two votes, the first one assessed the EFSI implementation and the second gave a green light to the prolongation and boosting the fund’s technical assistance (Investment Advisory Hub) for small-scale and cross-border projects.
MEPs believe that EFSI could optimise its results with:
- Focus on additionality: EFSI should support operations addressing market failures or investment gaps and projects with a high risk profile, especially in less developed regions which would not otherwise be supported.
- Better geographical dissemination: EFSI should actively contribute to sectorial and geographical diversification and investment in less-developed regions.
- Improved European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH): EIAH should address any EFSI implementation shortcomings and provide advice on combining other sources of Union funding with EFSI. EIAH should have a strong local presence to better address local needs.
- More investment platforms: In order to ensure that EFSI covers also small-scale and cross-border projects both the EIB and the European Investment Fund should cooperate more with national promotional banks or institutions.
- Transparency and communication: The decisions by the EFSI Investment Committee should be public and justified. In order to enhance the visibility of the EU guarantees, the final beneficiaries should be aware of EFSI support.
In their vote on ESFI regulation, MEPs also call on the Commission to put forward a legislative proposal under the new multiannual financial framework (MFF) on an investment scheme which would address the investment gap in the EU, replacing EFSI and taking into account the results of its independent evaluation which the Commission is asked to submit to the EP and the Council until the end of December 2018.
The EFSI, implemented by European Investment Bank, was established for an initial period of 3 years, with the aim of mobilising at least €315 billion euro of investments in the real economy. The European Commission proposed to extend the fund’s duration until the end of current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in December 2020 with a view to reaching an investment target of €500 billion.
Own initiative report on EFSI implementation should be voted by the full House in June and the negotiations on the regulation which extends the fund’s duration are set to start by the end of May.