Stakeholders comment on EFSI approval
Stakeholder organisations have issued mixed comments on the European Parliament's vote to approve the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI).
The European University Association (EUA) says this decision "leaves EU research with a limp", because even though the contribution from Horizon 2020 had been decreased, it still amounted to € 2.2 billion. While the EUA welcomes the fact that these cuts will not affect the European Research Council (ERC), Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and "Spreading Excellence and Widening Participation", it states that "collaborative research remains gravely hit by these cuts. EUA deeply regrets the signal that is being sent to the research community in this regard, and recalls the importance of university research for Europe’s overall economic recovery".
The Committee of the Regions (CoR) welcomes the Parliament's green light to EFSI. Markku Markkula, President of the European Committee of the Regions, said: "We are happy see the new regulation taking on board the CoR's call for creating incentives for higher risk projects to boost growth while ensuring consistency with the economic, social and territorial cohesion across the EU. We also welcome that the 315bn Investment plan will work in synergy with the Structural and Investment funds and in the same time avoid any overlapping in order to ensure a clear added value of EFSI projects." The CoR is pleased with the possibility of local and regional authorities' and of regional banks' to contribute directly in the EFSI projects, giving room also for smaller ventures. It also highlighted the importance of the envisaged European Investment Advisory Hub for regional players, as well as the creation of an open European Investment Projects Portal.
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