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28 May 2015

Council and EP negotiators reach agreement on EFSI in last trilogue

The Council negotiators and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the regulation for the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI) in the early hours of 28 May 2015, after 12.5 hours of discussions in Brussels - the longest trilogue meeting in ECOFIN history. This meeting was the last in a series of eight trilogue negotiations between the two parties.

The agreement still has to be confirmed by the Council, once the full text of the regulation has been finalised at technical level. The regulation will then be submitted to the European Parliament for a vote at first reading (24 June 2015), and to the Council for final adoption.

The Latvian Council Presidency was pleased with the outcome of the negotiations and said that this agreement would pave the way for the EFSI to become operational this summer. European Commission Vice-Presidents Katainen (Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness) and Georgieva (Budget and Human Resources), who represented the Commission in the trilogue, were equally satisfied with the outcome, saying the Commission now counted on Parliament and the Council to give their final approval in June 2015, to be able to then implement the EFSI as quickly as possible.

The European Parliament's negotiators commented on the outcome by saying that they had succeeded in scaling back the budget cuts to Horizon 2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility that had been envisaged by the Commission's EFSI proposal. Both parties had to make concessions in order to make it possible for the EFSI to become operational.

According the  Latvian Presidency, EU funding for the EFSI will now come from redeploying grants from the Connecting Europe facility and Horizon 2020, as well as unused margins in the EU’s annual budget. The Council Presidency and the EP agreed to increase the share of financing coming from unused margins, in comparison with what the Commission had proposed, in order to reduce contributions from the Connecting Europe facility (CEF) and Horizon 2020, which will now amount to €2.8bn from the CEF and €2.2bn from Horizon 2020. Details on the exact distribution of the budget cuts remain as yet to be announced.

For more information on the content of the agreement:

Latvian Council Presidency - press release

For further information:

European Commission - press release

European Parliament - press release

EFSI proposal

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