Today, the European Parliament approved the extension of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, referred to as EFSI 2.0. This extension consists of an increase in the EU guarantee from €16 billion to €26 billion and a raise in the capital of the European Investment Bank (EIB) from €5 billion to €7.5 billion. It aims to trigger private and public investment of €500 billion in total over the period until 2020.
“EFSI 2.0 will enhance competitiveness, growth, employment and the quality of life of EU citizens through sustainable investments”, stated José Manuel Fernandes MEP, EPP Group Spokesman in the Budgets Committee and Co-Rapporteur on EFSI.
“EFSI will be even more effective, targeted and transparent in future”, added Othmar Karas MEP, the EPP Group Spokesman on the issue in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.
This guarantee fund allows the EIB to use EU funds as collateral to provide loans and participation to the projects with high additionality, the principle that a project is selected only if it would not have been realised at all or in this form without EFSI support.
“This new version of EFSI will also improve the geographical distribution of investments since we have enhanced the role of the Advisory Hub, strengthening its local presence to provide the targeted support required to identify, prepare and develop investment projects across the EU”, added Fernandes.
“The focus extends especially to high-quality cross-border projects. There will also be direct EU guarantees for investment platforms, allowing investments in smaller projects as well as supporting big research ideas”, concluded Karas MEP.
EFSI is an EPP Group initiative launched in 2015 for an initial period of 3 years to help tackle the investment gap in the EU by mobilising private investment in strategically important projects for the EU. Since its creation, EFSI has already significantly contributed to growth, employment and competitiveness in Europe: more than €251 billion in investments, benefiting 445,000 Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and creating 300,000 new jobs.