The EU is shaping up its new financial tool to support investment and job creation.
EU ambassadors today confirmed the common understanding reached by the Romanian Presidency and the European Parliament on InvestEU, which will bring together under one programme 14 different financial instruments currently available to support investment in the EU.
The agreement excludes budget-related and horizontal issues, which are currently being discussed as part of the negotiations on the EU's next multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the period 2021 to 2027.
Thanks to InvestEU, the EU will have a permanent, strong and reliable tool to foster investment and growth that benefit everyone, to help finance ambitious infrastructure projects and to effectively tackle challenges such as the digitalisation of the economy and high unemployment rates. Important elements related to the MFF still need to be agreed, but we now have a clear understanding of how this new instrument is going to work.
Eugen Teodorovici, minister of public finance of Romania
The aim of InvestEU is to encourage public and private investor participation in financing and investment operations by providing guarantees from the EU budget to address failures and sub-optimal investment situations. The EU guarantee will be divided under the following policy windows:
-research, innovation and digitalisation;
-social investment and skills.
Consolidating all existing financial instruments, InvestEU builds on the success of the European fund for strategic investments (EFSI) which was launched in July 2015 to boost investment and stimulate economic growth and employment in the EU, at a time when Europe was still recovering from the financial and economic crisis.
The main investment partner will be the European Investment Bank Group (EIB) which has implemented and managed the EFSI. In addition, national promotional banks and international financial institutions will have direct access to the EU guarantee.
The text will provide the possibility for member states to channel some of their allocated cohesion policy funds to the InvestEU fund, adding to the EU guarantee provisioning.
The governance setup will reflect the existing positive experience with the EFSI. It will ensure that the new programme will be a one-stop-shop for all existing financial instruments and that implementing partners other than the EIB will have the possibility of accessing directly the EU guarantee, while reflecting the central role and expertise of the EIB.
More specifically, the InvestEU programme will be governed by:
-a steering board, charged with determining the strategic and operational guidance for InvestEU. It will be composed of four representatives of the Commission, three representatives of the EIB and two representatives of other implementing partners. The Commission and the EIB will have a veto right in the steering board. The EP will appoint an expert with no voting rights.
-an advisory board, consisting of representatives of the implementing partners, representatives of member states, one expert appointed by the European Economic and Social Committee and one expert appointed by the Committee of the Regions. Member states will also meet in a separate format. Both configurations of the advisory board will provide advice to the Commission and the steering board.
-on the financing and investment side, an investment committee composed of independent experts and responsible for providing external expertise in investment assessments in relation to projects. The secretariat of the investment committee will be located in the Commission: all implementing partners will have access to the investment committee by submitting their proposals for financing and investment operations through the secretariat, while the EIB will be able to submit its proposals directly to the investment committee.
The Council expects the negotiations with the next European Parliament to start as soon as possible, with a view to their being finalised on the basis of the progress achieved as reflected in the common understanding. Negotiations will also need to take into account the overall agreement on the multiannual financial framework for 2021-2027.