The European Parliament has reached an agreement on the InvestEU programme, supporting EU investment between 2021 and 2027.
The InvestEU initiative, designed to replace the current European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), aims to guarantee €40.8 billion in order to trigger up to €698 billion in private investment – an increase on the European Commission’s initial proposal, which offered a €38 billion guarantee to generate €650 billion investment. MEPs agreed on two primary investment priorities: setting clear, achievable objectives, such as increasing employment or fostering economic cohesion; and improving the EU’s climate protection policies. Negotiators agreed to set a provisional goal of at least 55 per cent of the programme’s sustainable infrastructure investment to be allocated to climate and environmental solutions.
José Manuel Fernandes, co-rapporteur for the Committee on Budgets, said: “InvestEU will bring more investment, competitiveness and economic growth, allowing for more and better jobs all across the EU. It will help economic, social and territorial cohesion and close the investment gap in the EU by supporting public and private investment in SMEs, research, innovation and digitalisation, sustainable infrastructure and the social sector.”
In order to qualify for InvestEU support, businesses and projects must:
- Be inherently economically viable;
- Address an existing gap in the market;
- Need access to investment or financial support from the EU to continue to grow;
- Be subject to a “multiplier effect”, whereby a new injection in spending can generate an exponential increase in final net income; and
- Work towards meeting the EU’s policy objectives.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “The [2015-17 Juncker] Investment Plan put Europe back in business and delivered on this Commission’s number one priority: creating jobs and growth. But we can do more and that’s what InvestEU is about. By making smart use of the EU’s budget, InvestEU will help Europe stay an attractive place for investors worldwide.”