One year after President Juncker announced the proposal in his State of the Union speech, the European Parliament and Member States have come to an agreement in principle on the extension and strengthening of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the core of the Investment Plan for Europe. Tonight’s agreement extends the EFSI’s duration as well as increases its financial capacity.
- The EFSI’s initial three-year timeline (2015-2018) is now extended to 2020 (the end of the current Multiannual Financial Framework).
- The target of investment to be triggered is increased from €315 billion to at least half a trillion euros by 2020.
- The EFSI’s investment decisions will be even better explained with these explanations published online.This will help show that the projects would not have been financed at the same time or to the same extent without the EFSI support.
- The European Investment Advisory Hub will play a bigger role in providing technical assistance to project promoters at a local level so that even more regions and sectors will benefit from EFSI support.
- The EFSI will also reach new sectors such as sustainable agriculture and fisheries as part of the overall emphasis on financing projects in line with the Paris Agreement “COP 21” targets to transition towards a low-carbon economy.
Commission Vice-President, Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: “Tonight’s agreement means that the new and improved European Fund for Strategic Investments – or EFSI 2.0 – will benefit European citizens until at least 2020. The EFSI has already reached all 28 Member States, supporting key public and private investment projects and financing a huge range of small businesses and start-ups. I thank the Council and the Parliament for their hard work and commitment on this important piece of legislation. With its increased firepower and duration, the EFSI will continue to be an important driving force in the EU’s economic recovery.”
The draft EFSI 2.0 Regulation agreed tonight still has to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council.
The Investment Plan is already expected to trigger more than €225 billion in investments. The operations approved under the EFSI represent a total financing volume of over €43 billion and are located in all 28 Member States. Around 445,000 SMEs and Midcaps are expected to benefit from improved access to finance as a result of EFSI support.