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28 Jan 2015

Katainen to MEPs: Juncker Plan will create 1.3 million jobs

According to the European Commission's calculations, the Juncker Plan for a European Strategic Investment Fund (EFSI) will create 1.3 million jobs and is expected to raise €315 billion in investments, Commissioner Katainen said when speaking to the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on 26 January 2015. The Commissioner for Growth and Jobs debated the Commission's proposal with MEPs, who were concerned about the risks associated with the Fund, its effects on the EU budget, as well as the selection process for projects.

Investment shortfalls are caused by a lack of both supply and demand, Mr Katainen said, adding that "some member states are just not sufficiently competitive", and that some member states have also chosen to cut public spending, which has had a negative impact on EU-wide investments.

Mr. Katainen conceded that the Commission's proposal was a "high-risk approach", arguing that there was sufficient liquidity in the market, but a shortage of investment in the private sector. The projects to be selected for funding should be in line with the policies of the EU, Mr Katainen said, mentioning investments to develop technologies such as solar power and smart cities, single market projects such as digital networks and the capital markets union and projects to tackle climate change, as examples. He assured the committee that the selection of projects would be "non-political".

Replying to MEPs’ concerns about proposed “favourable treatment” within Stability and Growth Pact limits of national investments through the Fund, he said countries with a deficit above 3% of GDP could win leeway if their governments have decided on necessary structural reforms.

For more information see http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20150126IPR14904/html/Juncker-Plan-will-create-1.3-million-jobs-Katainen-tells-economic-affairs-MEPs

For the Commission's legislative proposal see http://era.gv.at/directory/222

Photo: European Parliament

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