MEPs have approved a provisional and partial deal with EU ministers on a new EU programme to support investment and access to finance during 2021-2027.
-Launchpad for investments which otherwise would have been difficult to finance
-Stronger focus on climate protection and employment
-Aim to generate almost €700 billion in investments
Aiming to generate almost €700 billion in investments, the ‘InvestEU’ initiative replaces the current European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI, which was part of the ‘Juncker-Plan’) that was set up after the 2008 financial crisis.
MEPs intend to improve the Commission’s proposal by increasing the EU guarantee from €38 billion to €40.8 billion, to trigger €698 billion in investments (the Commission aimed at €650 billion). In negotiations with EU ministers held so far, they have agreed on the following EP priorities:
-clearer and new objectives, such as employment, contributing to the achievement of the Paris Climate Agreement goals and economic, territorial and social cohesion;
-better climate protection: a target of “at least 55%” of the investment under part of the programme reserved to support sustainable infrastructure was set for climate and environment objectives.
The report by co-rapporteurs José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT) and Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT) was adopted with 463 votes in favour, 64 against and 29 abstentions.
José Manuel Fernandes (EPP, PT), co-rapporteur for the Committee on Budgets: "InvestEU will bring more investment, competitiveness and economic growth, allowing for more and better jobs all across the EU. It will help economic, social and territorial cohesion and close the investment gap in the EU by supporting public and private investment in SMEs, research, innovation and digitalization, sustainable infrastructure and the social sector."
Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT), co-rapporteur and Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee: “With InvestEU, we are shaping the future of the EU towards more investments to support small and medium-sized enterprises as well as local projects. Moreover, we strongly link this new tool with the incentive to support Environmental, Social and Governance projects, promoting culture and ensuring ethical and sustainable finance”.
Parliament has now closed its first reading, including parts already agreed with member states (press release on agreement with member states here). The text of the provisional deal can be downloaded here, with parts highlighted in grey which have not yet been agreed with the EU ministers. The newly elected European Parliament will continue talks with EU ministers.
Despite numerous initiatives to remedy the situation, there is still a significant 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.
InvestEU aims to bring together the various EU financial instruments currently available (among others: the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the Connecting Europe Facility instruments, specific facilities under the Competitiveness Of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (COSME) programme, as well as specific guarantees and facilities under the Employment and Social Innovation programme (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).