EU launches Investment Offensive to boost jobs and growth
European Commission and European Investment Bank press release
The European Commission yesterday announced a € 315 billion Investment Plan to get Europe growing again and get more people back to work.
The Plan is built on three main strands (see Factsheet 1)
- the creation of a new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), guaranteed with public money, to mobilise at least € 315 billion of additional investment over the next three years (2015 - 2017);
- the establishment of a credible project pipeline coupled with an assistance programme to channel investments where they are most needed;
- an ambitious roadmap to make Europe more attractive for investment and remove regulatory bottlenecks.
According to European Commission estimates, taken as a whole, the proposed measures could add € 330 - € 410 billion to EU GDP over the next three years and create up to 1.3 million new jobs (see Annex 3).
Commenting on the Plan, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "If Europe invests more, Europe will be more prosperous and create more jobs – it's as simple as that. The Investment Plan we are putting forward today in close partnership with the European Investment Bank is an ambitious and new way of boosting investment without creating new debt. Now is the time to invest in our future, in key strategic areas for Europe, such as energy, transport, broadband, education, research and innovation. I am now counting on the European Parliament and on Member States to pitch in and do their part to get the new European Fund for Strategic Investments up and running as soon as possible. Europe needs a kick-start and today we are supplying the jump cables."
Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness said: "We need fresh investments in Europe and for this we need to mobilise extra private finance. The new European Fund for Strategic Investments will act as a multiplier. Every public euro mobilised in the Fund will generate about € 15 of investment that would not have happened otherwise. The Fund will start with a very significant firepower and will be able to expand its activities further as more stakeholders join. The Commission calls on Member States and National Promotional Banks to join in to multiply the impact of the Fund and trigger even more significant positive knock-on effects for the European economy."
European Investment Bank President Werner Hoyer said: "We have ample liquidity in Europe, but we don’t have enough investments. We are faced with a crisis of confidence, so the challenge is to re-connect private investment with attractive projects. To achieve this, we need to take on more risk to encourage project promoters to launch their investments. The new “European Fund for Strategic Investments” will provide targeted, catalytic risk bearing capacity for economically viable investments, building on the Bank´s expertise and experience in selecting and managing projects. This will be accompanied by other initiatives such as lifting regulatory hurdles and putting in place an investment advisory service to boost project development and preparation across Europe.”
In detail, the new Investment Plan will be built on three strands:
1. Mobilising additional finance for investment (see Factsheet 2)
The Investment Plan will unlock public and private investments in the real economy of at least € 315 billion over the next three years (2015-2017). At a time when public resources are scarce while financial liquidity existsin financial institutions and on the bank accounts of individual and corporations, ready to be used, the challenge is to break the vicious circle of under-confidence and under-investment. The Investment Plan foresees a smart mobilisation of public and private sources of finance – where every euro of public money is used to generate additional private investment, without creating new debt.
A new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) will be set up in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB). It will be built on a guarantee of € 16 billion from the EU budget, combined with € 5 billion committed by the EIB. Based on prudent estimates from historical experience, the multiplier effect of the Fund will be 1:15. In other words, for every public euro that is mobilised through the Fund, € 15 of total investment, that would not have happened otherwise, is generated.
The focus of the Fund should be to invest in infrastructure, notably broadband and energy networks as well as transport infrastructure in industrial centres; education, research and innovation; and renewable energy and in SMEs and middle capitalisation companies (mid-cap).
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