S&D Euro MPs today welcome “a very good compromise” reached by negotiators of the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers on the European Strategic Investment Fund (EFSI). This fund is the new financial tool of the €315 billion investment plan proposed by the European Commission.
S&D Group and European Parliament negotiator, Udo Bullmann said:
“The European investment plan is now on track and will bring added value to boost growth and jobs in Europe.
“We were able to successfully improve the fund in recent weeks. The fund will have greater legitimacy and will be more efficient. While EU member states and the European Commission wanted to continue business-as-usual, we were able to give a decisive orientation on where and how to invest.
“The aim of the fund will be to modernise the European economy instead of investing in the past. It will promote sustainable projects that benefit citizens and that can get small and medium size enterprises on board.
“The European Parliament will also have a say on the appointment of the managing and deputy managing director. The person responsible for the investment committee can only be selected by the democratic voice of the European Parliament.”
S&D Group negotiator on the budget, Eider Gardiazabal added:
“After difficult negotiations, we finally found an agreement to build a guarantee that will be granted to the EIB, to allow them to conduct riskier operations under the EFSI.
“We succeeded in changing the position of the EU Council of Ministers. The €8 billion guarantee fund, which is a liquidity cushion for the European Investment Bank in case of failure of the EFSI operations, will now have a mitigated impact on Horizon 2020 (EU programme for research and innovation) and the Connecting Europe Facility (EU programme for infrastructure and digital agenda) compared with the original proposal.
“We will then use the margin available in the 2014 and 2015 EU budgets. We can expect to reduce further the cuts in both programmes during the negotiations on the EU budget 2016.”
S&D Group vice-president responsible for sustainable development, Kathleen van Brempt concluded:
“As socialists and democrats, we can claim a victory for the part of the agreement on where the money should go to. We managed to focus on the quality of the investments, more than on quantity.
“We should not invest just for the sake of it and risk creating white elephants. Investments should not only boost our economy, but also change it towards a more sustainable economy. We managed to focus the investments more on renewable energy, energy efficiency, interconnections and smart grids, circular economy, resource efficiency… thus stimulating growth and jobs in a new green economy for Europe.”