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  • Commission justifies extension of EFSI

    (photo: European People's Party)

    (photo: European People's Party)

    - The European Commission is about to extend and expand the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI). “The Investment Plan for Europe has proven useful in encouraging a sustainable increase in investment in Member States,” the Commission says, despite criticism from the European Court of Auditors.

    In September the European Commission proposed to extend the Juncker-plan (EFSI). According to the Commission the budget has to rise from €16 to €26 billion en the contribution from the European Investment Bank from €5 to €7,5 billion. This raise is needed to build on the successes that have been achieved over the last years.

    Making a difference

    Last months the EFSI was evaluated several times and according to the Commission, these evaluations justify its extension. “The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has mobilised €154 billion across 27 Member States in just over one year, which is expected to benefit almost 377,000 SMEs. The EFSI is making a real difference by supporting innovative and strategic projects that contribute to job creation and growth,” the Commission writes.

    This claim is not supported by the European Court of Auditors. A few weeks ago they criticised the claims being made by the European Commission about the impact of EFSI. “It is still too soon for the economic, social and environmental impacts to be measured or for a conclusion to be drawn as to whether EFSI is achieving its objectives,” ECA-member Mihails Kozlovs told Euractiv.

    In a publication to the European Parliament, the Commission now states that the evaluations give evidence to support the reinforcement of EFSI.  “The Investment Plan for Europe has proven useful in encouraging a sustainable increase in investment in Member States,” therefore extension as wells expansion is justified.

    Close coöperation with EIB

    According to the Commission “The Investment Plan for Europe is already making a real difference in a range of sectors by supporting innovative projects that contribute to job creation and growth in local communities, as well as by tackling youth unemployment by supporting innovative and strategic and young companies in their development.”

    In its concluding remarks, the European Commission says it will continue to cooperate with the European Investment Bank to “build on the success” of the Juncker-plan. “The Commission considers that the EFSI is achieving its objectives and that maintaining a scheme for supporting investment is warranted.”

    The publication by the European Commission can be read here