EC and Presidency call for close cooperation with EP on Juncker Plan
At the European Parliament's plenary meeting on 28 January 2015, Jyrki Katainen, Commission Vice-president for Growth and Investment, presented the Juncker Plan and the Commission's legislative proposal for the EFSI (European Fund for Strategic Investment). Mr. Katainen called on Parliament ensure the Juncker Plan could be operational by June 2015 and emphasised the importance of the plan's three pillars: the EFSI fund itself, the project pipeline and the completion of the internal market.
On behalf of the current Council Presidency, Latvian Parliamentary State Secretary for EU Affairs Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica informed MEPs about the Council’s position on the creation of the EFSI, stressing that close cooperation with the EP was required to set up the EFSI by mid-2015 as planned. She highlighted the urgency of an investment boost for Europe, saying: “The EU Fund for Strategic Investments is a top priority for the Presidency. It is essential that we strengthen economic growth and reduce unemployment in the EU. The investment package is designed to deliver on this dual goal and it is of utmost importance that the co-legislators work together as quickly as possible, to meet the ambitious deadline set by the European Council”,
Many political groups at the European Parliament welcomed the Juncker Plan, even though some doubts were voiced as to whether the Plan was substantial enough, or whether it could be effective in building the confidence of private investors amid the uncertainly on the markets following the Greek elections. Some MEPs were in favour of the Plan itself, but saw the euro as the real problem in Europe's stagnating economy. Others saw doing away with austerity policies as important for getting public investment back on track.
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