The European Parliament has made a critical assessment of the first 18 months of implementation of the European investment plan, in a resolution adopted today in Strasbourg drafted by S&D Group vice-president Udo Bullmann together with José Manuel Fernandes (EPP- Portugal).
Although the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) - which is at the heart of the €315 billion investment plan - has been a useful tool to boost the volume of investments in Europe, there are substantial shortcomings concerning the quality and selection of the projects.
S&D Group vice president responsible for economic and social policy Udo Bullmann said:
"'The EFSI has been one of the Socialists and Democrats' key achievements to boost growth and job creation in the EU. The EFSI has, however, only partially fulfilled the expectations. Despite good overall results, the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) supports too many investment projects that could have been realised without its support. This is clearly against the objective of using EFSI to mobilise additional investments in Europe that are held back by market failures and funding shortages. We also believe that its decision-making structures lack the necessary transparency that its activities are overly concentrated on the most highly developed regions of our Union.
"Against this backdrop, the EFSI must be upgraded and improved. The European Parliament has already opened negations with the European Council on the extension and prolongation of the fund. Together with my co-rapporteur José Manuel Fernandes (EPP-PT), I will make sure that our concerns are addressed in these negotiations. Member states can be sure that there will be no final agreement that does not reflect the proposals for improving EFSI to which a large number of MEPs have given their support today."
S&D Group spokesperson for the EU budget committee Eider Gardiazabal Rubial said:
"A well-funded European investment fund is essential if we want to boost growth in our economies. As we have seen, EFSI has already helped to do this in the EU. However, we need to ensure that it works as efficiently as possible and is helping the regions where it is needed the most. We now need to secure a more robust investment plan to relaunch the European economy. This will allow public investment at both national and European level and act as a catalyst for further investment and growth."