Budgets and Economic Affairs committees adopted their position on a new EU programme to support investment and access to finance during 2021-2027.
The new InvestEU programme, approved on Thursday, follows and replaces the current EFSI (European Fund for Strategic Investments), set up after the financial crisis.
The two committees adopted improvements to the 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);
-introducing a steering committee to ensure the right balance between policy and banking experience in governing the programme; an EP appointee will also sit on the committee;
-to ensure better accountability to European citizens, the Commission and the Steering Board should report annually to Parliament and Council on the progress, impact and operations of the InvestEU Programme;
-clearer and new objectives, such as increasing the EU employment rate, climate protection and economic, territorial and social cohesion.
The draft report was adopted with 52 votes in favour, 5 against and 3 abstentions.
“InvestEU will mobilise almost 700 billion euros from 2021 to 2027, in infrastructure, research and innovation and support to SMEs. It is an excellent tool for creating jobs and strengthening the competitiveness of the European Union. It aims to foster inclusive growth and strengthens investment in the social dimension”, said José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), co-rapporteur for the Committee on Budgets.
“Today we adopted a good text that marks a decisive step towards creating jobs and mobilising investments to support growth and enhance cohesion. Investment in sustainable infrastructure, research and innovation is still inadequate; InvestEU can continue and improve the positive change brought about by the European Fund for Strategic Investment. It can help to bring strategic and long-term benefits to key areas that are underfunded and thereby improve the EU’s competitiveness and socio-economic convergence. We made sure that the InvestEU Fund would support social infrastructure and programmes, along with projects that are technically and economically viable. The programme should continue to facilitate access to finance for SMEs, the cultural and creative sectors and climate actions”, said Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT), co-rapporteur and Chair of the Committee on Economic and Monetary affairs.
Once the full house has confirmed the Committees’ position during the January session, MEPs will start negotiations with the Council.
Despite numerous initiatives to remedy the situation, there is still an important 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: EFSI, the CEF instruments, specific facilities under the COSME programme, as well as specific guarantees and facilities under 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)