Council officially adopts EFSI regulation
Immediately following the European Parliament's vote on the European Fund for Strategic Investment (EFSI), the Council officially adopted the EFSI regulation by written procedure on 25 June 2015. This was the final step in the legislative process for the EFSI, which had involved intensive negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council. The regulation will now be signed before the end of June and can enter into force at the beginning of July 2015.
Commenting on the final adoption, Jānis Reirs, minister for finance of Latvia and president of the Council, said: "In the current economic context, there is a clear need to boost investment, With an enhanced risk-bearing capacity, this new fund will create the conditions needed for the private sector to become involved."
The EFSI is the core element of the Juncker Plan, and is intended to stimulate participation by private investors in a broad range of new investment projects. Expectations are for the EFSI to mobilise more than €300 billion of additional investment during a three-year investment period. The fund will be built on €16 billion in guarantees from the EU budget, € 2.2 billion of which are taken from the original Horizon 2020 budget, and €5 billion from the European Investment Bank. To facilitate the payment of potential guarantee calls, a guarantee fund will be established so as to gradually reach €8 billion (i.e. 50% of total EU guarantee obligations).
The EFSI will be established within the EIB by an agreement between the EIB and the Commission. It will operate for an initial investment period of four years and is due to support projects in a broad range of areas, including transport, energy and broadband infrastructure, education, health, research and risk finance for SMEs. Before the end of the initial investment period, the EFSI will be subjected to an independent evaluation by the Commission. Based on the conclusions of its report, the Commission will, as appropriate, present a proposal to either set a new investment period, restructure the fund, or terminate the EFSI.
A "European investment advisory hub" as well as a "European investment project portal" will be set up to provide advisory support for the identification, preparation and development of projects as well as to improve investors' knowledge of existing and future projects.
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