After the seventh and final negotiating round, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission reached a political agreement on the extension of the duration of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) until 31 December 2020, and the introduction of technical enhancements for the fund and the European Investment Advisory Hub.
“We have reached an agreement that enhances competitiveness, growth, employment and the quality of life of EU citizens through sustainable investments”, stated the Rapporteur in the Budgets Committee, José Manuel Fernandes MEP.
The new proposal, referred to as EFSI 2.0, includes an increase in the EU guarantee from €16 to 26 billion and in EIB capital from €5 to 7.5 billion, which should mobilise private and public investment of €500 billion over the period until 2020.
"In future, the EFSI will be even more effective, more objective and transparent", said Othmar Karas MEP, EPP Group negotiator in the European Parliament's Economic Affairs Committee.
“I believe that the geographical distribution of investments will improve since the financing of small projects has been facilitated. We reinforced additionality and at the same time, we have facilitated the access of less developed regions. The Advisory Hub will have a proactive stance to promote and structure platforms and good projects in all regions of the EU”, added Fernandes.
Since its creation in 2015, EFSI has already significantly contributed to growth, employment and competitiveness in Europe: more than €225 billion in investments over the last two years, benefiting 425,000 SMEs and creating 300,000 new jobs.
“In future, there will be stronger focus on high-quality and cross-border projects. EU guarantees would be allocated directly to investment platforms. They would be in a position to allow projects under their umbrella and even small-scale projects to participate in large research ideas”, concluded Karas.
The EFSI is a guarantee fund that allows the European Investment Bank to use EU funds as collateral to provide loans and participations for risk-free projects. In this way, it can help those high-quality projects which cannot be implemented within the framework of existing financial instruments.