EC expands European Fund for Strategic Investment

The European Commission adopted the conclusions of the three evaluations proposal for strengthening of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), also known as Plan Juncker. All three evaluations confirmed the intention to double the duration of action to the Fund by the end of 2020 and increase the total investment target from 315 billion EUR to at least 500 billion EUR. The Communication of the European Commission noted that the plan has already proven its effectiveness in promoting sustainable investment growth in EU countries.

European Commission reminded that the intention to expand the European Fund for Strategic Investment was announced in a speech by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on September 14. Then European politician come up with a proposal to strengthen EFSI to further stimulate investment. In turn, the commissioner in charge of competitiveness Jyrki Katainen called on the Member States and the European Parliament to adopt the proposal to modernize EFSI as soon as possible, to help support sustainable investment, to find a job for Europeans and strengthen European growth.

The conclusions from the presented estimates of the European Commission will be considered in the legislative debate. The EU countries have undertaken to issue an opinion on the meeting of the EU Economic and Financial Affairs on December 6. In each of the reports noted that the investment fund has helped to increase access to finance and leverage private capital. Reported in areas where investment plan could be improved.

In each of the assessments indicate the high potential of development of new forms of cooperation between the Fund and other sources of EU funding. The need for careful monitoring of possible competition between investment funds and other funds.

The European Commission’s proposal highlights the potential benefits of combining different funds and co-financing from national development banks. There are improvements in the European consulting center on investment issues to create a steady stream of projects and investment platforms and increasing the combinations of various EU funds. The Commission proposed initiatives to facilitate the financing of the real economy. The EU countries will be able to benefit from clear guidance on accounting rules for the public sector, especially in the field of public-private partnerships.

Market uptake is particularly fast in the first pillar in the so-called window for small and medium-sized enterprises in which the results of the Fund significantly outperformed forecasts. In order to have sufficient funding to SMEs with the support of the fund, funds for this window are increased by 500 million EUR in July 2016.

The second pillar became operational European consulting center on investment issues since September 2015. The project organizers, authorities and private companies can receive technical assistance projects. To enable investors to better acquainted with investment opportunities in the EU, the European Commission set up the European portal for investment projects, which operates from June 2016. The organizers can submit their projects online, where liaise between them and suitable investment opportunities – kind of intermediary service.

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