By setting up new investment programmes initiated by the EPP Group, the European Union delivered.
- €375.5 billion investment mobilised
- €70.4 billion financing approved
- More than 1000 operations
- To the benefit of 858,000 small and medium-sized enterprises
It is estimated that by 2020, investment will create 1.4 million jobs. It is now incontestable that the guarantee provided by the EU budget to the investment programmes (EFSI and InvestEU) has delivered €13.5 billion of fresh investments.
How this was achieved
As a result of the global financial crisis (2007/2008) and the European sovereign debt crisis (from 2010 onwards) the European Union lacked investment. According to European Investment Bank (EIB) estimates, infrastructure investment needed in the fields of energy, transport, water, sanitation and telecoms amounted to €688 billion per year. To address this problem, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker initiated the establishment of the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) in 2014, commonly known as the Juncker Plan.
EFSI was set to become the main instrument to mobilise €315 billion in new investment in the real economy over the next three years. It was created within the EIB and designed to finance projects with a higher risk profile, which would not have been financed otherwise. The aim was to maximise the impact of public spending and to unlock private investments. To pursue these objectives, the EU granted a guarantee covered by the EU budget.
The success of EFSI was confirmed when a year after its establishment, a legislative proposal was presented (EFSI 2.0) to extend its duration and increase its investment target to €500 billion until 2020.
In the context of the planning of the EU's long-term budget (2021-2027 Multi-Annual Financial Framework), the European Commission put forward a proposal for an InvestEU programme, which was agreed upon in April 2019. The new programme brings together 13 existing EU financial instruments and expands the successful model of EFSI to further boost job creation, investment and innovation.
From the outset, this was purely an EPP initiative: it was already initiated by Jean-Claude Juncker during his campaign to become Commission President and was formally presented as its landmark proposal only months after the beginning of his term. In the European Parliament, the EPP Group had the lead in all subsequent legislative files - EFSI, EFSI 2.0 and finally InvestEU.
The EPP Group has strongly and successfully defended the market-driven nature of the fund and secured that its governance structure was kept free of any attempts of politicisation. It was at the origin of several proposals that managed to significantly improve the operational aspects (priority to high-risk projects, new governance provisions, special attention to small projects and the prevention of geographic concentration) of the programme.
While EFSI was proposed to be financed through cuts in two key EU programmes, Horizon 2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility, the EPP Group strived to minimise the impact on them. The EPP Group successfully negotiated that EFSI and EFSI 2.0 were financed through new money rather than contributions from other programmes.
The EPP Group championed investment facilitation throughout the whole parliamentary term because we are convinced that economic growth and new jobs come from entrepreneurial opportunity.