EFSI 2.0: Smart investments to ensure a good future for all Europeans

Europe needs a strong and efficient strategic investment fund

Today, the European Parliament voted with an overwhelming majority in favour of extending the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) for two more years to 2020 and boosting its investment target from €315 billion to €500 billion. During the negotiations, the Socialists and Democrats had pushed for the prolongation of the Fund and for improving the quality of the investments by ensuring that EFSI will, from now on, complement and not duplicate existing investment structures; that investments will go to the regions where they are most needed and to strategically important sectors like climate change actions; and that the transparency of the selection procedure will be increased, also by having a European Parliament appointed member on the Steering Board.

Udo Bullmann, S&D vice-president for economic and monetary affairs, said:

“Cuts and austerity are the wrong recipe for coping with the fall-out of the economic and financial crisis. To put Europe back on the path to sustainable growth and good jobs, massive investments in infrastructure, innovation and a modern public administration are what is needed. With the European Fund for Strategic Investments, we are investing in a good future for all Europeans. The prolonged and increased Fund will play an important role in boosting Europe’s economy.

“The balance sheet of the Investment Fund for the past years looks good: 425,000 SMEs have benefited and 300,000 new jobs have been created. However, a closer look reveals that funding too often went to member states who are already doing well economically instead of going to those regions where investments have virtually dried up. Too often EFSI duplicated existing investment structures instead of complementing them and the selection procedure for projects was not transparent and specific enough. I am proud that we managed to improve the machinery so that the Fund will be more efficient, transparent and innovative.  An EFSI that delivers good results is a case in point for re-adjusting the EU’s economic policies towards smart and sustainable investments.”

S&D Group negotiator for the budget committee, Eider Gardiazábal, added:

“Investment is key to boosting growth in Europe. This reinforced and improved EFSI can help us develop high-quality jobs and help us improve our competiveness in Europe. During negotiations, we ensured that less money was taken from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). This would have been self-defeating as this programme supports cross-border infrastructure that is vital for European growth. We have instead ensured that money for funding EFSI is coming from genuine new resources.”